“Every science denial cherry picks data, believes in conspiracy theories, engages in illogical reasoning, relies on fake experts, and denigrates real experts. If this sounds familiar to you in the context of anti-aquaculture activism in British Columbia, it is.
By Fabian Dawson
2021 has been a life-threatening year for many of us as we have felt the impacts of climate change and lived with the COVID-19 virus unleashed.
If the past 365 days have taught us anything, it’s the value of making decisions based on science, not activism.
Sadly, the “denial industry” fueled by a rabid and brainwashed “culture of cancellation” is expected to flourish in 2022, as fear-induced lies continue to trump the facts examined by the public. peers.
Which brings us to the link between food security and sustainability on Canada’s west coast, where opponents of salmon farms are set for another season to present their theater of apocalyptic aquaculture nonsense.
Lee McIntyre, a researcher at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University, says in his new book that denying science has never been more dangerous.
“Science denial comes in many forms: climate change deniers, people who are anti-vaccines, who believe COVID is a hoax, that evolution is not real, and who believe the Earth is flat, ”says McIntyre.
“Every science denial cherry picks data, believes in conspiracy theories, engages in illogical reasoning, relies on fake experts, and denigrates real experts. “
If this sounds familiar to you in the context of activism against fish farmers in British Columbia, it is.
The central premise of anti-salmon farm activists in British Columbia is that we should not believe any science that questions their unscientific observations. For them, the sustainability of aquaculture is defined by what they cannot explain, because they do not know, what they do not know.
There is no doubt that 2022 will be a tough year for BC salmon farmers who support 6,500 jobs near rural and remote communities on Vancouver Island, the Central Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Canada’s new Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, herself an avowed opponent of net aquaculture, has taken up the club left by her predecessor to declare war on salmon farmers and opt for “social license and acceptability” at the benefit of anti-fish. farm hall.
The government, hoping to keep the votes of the anti-fish farming lobby, refuses to believe its own scientists and nine peer-reviewed studies which have found that farmed salmon pose minimal risks to migrating wild stocks in the controversial Discovery Islands.
Fish farmers are now awaiting a judicial review decision of the Discovery Islands decision, after a Federal Court judge in a related injunction motion said that “the only evidence I have is that today the salmon farming in British Columbia poses minimal risk to wild salmon.
More recently, a new scientific study at the University of British Columbia dismantled a key false claim by anti-aquaculture campaigners that pool reovirus (PRV) is a killer of salmon and will devastate the iconic species of British Columbia.
The study, like previous ones, refutes the fear of activists who tell their predominantly urban supporters that PRV has spread from fish farms, causing disease in wild salmon stocks. PRV has long been present in wild salmon in Pacific Northwest waters and has been detected in healthy fish, showing that its presence does not mean disease is occurring.
So far, virtually every claim and pseudo-science conveyed by the anti-fish farm lobby in BC has been discredited, dismissed and corrected without the media fanfare that accompanied their horrific original announcements.
Unable to fight against the clarity provided by science, activists have wrapped their claims in First Nations treaty rights, co-opting some tribal leaders and pitting them against their parents, in a form of eco-colonization.
In addition, they have employed empty celebrities to produce inflated “shock documentaries” that feature conflicts devoid of ethical values, knowledge acquisition and redemption.
Everywhere today, from the United States to the EU, to Australia, Asia and Europe, well-run aquaculture is seen as the future of affordable, low-carbon and protein. that provide shared prosperity to coastal and indigenous communities.
The United Nations General Assembly has also declared 2022 as the International Year of Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022).
“Let’s give artisanal fishermen, fish farmers and fishworkers the attention they deserve,” says the global body.
You can help by telling the truth to activists and everyone involved in the debate on salmon farming in British Columbia.
(Image – Adobe Stock)