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The Fort McMurray Fire: 'Absolutely a Harbinger of Things to Come'



Just how much of the Earth's biota do people think can be burned off, how much topsoil washed into the sea, how much land filled with pesticides, heavy metals, and stripped of minerals before food stops magically appearing at the grocery store?

How much water do people think can be polluted before even that bottle of "spring water" is full of carcinogens?

How much air do people think can be filled with smoke and soot and toxins and ash and radioactive particles before breathing itself becomes too dangerous to indulge in?

How many large-scale strandings and beachings and dead zones and bleachings of coral and collapses of ocean species and discoveries of gigantic garbage whorls do people think can occur before the entire oceanic web of life collapses?

How long do people think they have, before the devastation they see on their screens becomes their own devastation?

Nature is not a place "out there". It isn't a place you visit. You are nature, and you are being destroyed.


I know there the tendency to suggest the tar sands themselves are fuel for this fire. It important to realize that it the forest that is burning and these types of fires will happen anywhere at anytime due to warming.

Yes the C02 dumped onto the sky from the tar sands leads to warning as does their removal of peat bogs and the forest cover over vast tracts of land leads to drier forests and this itself is enough reason to shut those tarsands down, but these fires are going to happen with greater frequency the world over.

I have already seen right wing websites claim there no warming and this fire not an example of it as it the tarsands burning that leads to the fire burning with such intensity and would hope the responsible types do not advance this meme.

This is the single largest natural disaster in the history of Canada. The previous highest from a financial impact was the great ice storm in Quebec that lead to just under 2 billion in damages.

This is now at 9 billion just in estimated insurance claims and climbing.

Wake up Alberta. Stop looking for ways to make the use of tarsands oil cleaner and start implementing a strategy to shut these plants down.


Anybody feel it so deeply, that we decide to stop driving and flying now, before the collapse?

Or should we stick with Plan A, and keep driving and flying, until the collapse?

What does it mean to live in opposition to an omnicidal system?

What does it mean, to live with nature, instead of above nature? What do work, transport, or agriculture look like, if we live in a system that is not omnicidal, but is ecological?

What do we cling to; what do we let go of; and when?


good link, thanks


I'm thinking that the world needs people, especially those in rich nations, to take voluntary vows of poverty as exemplified by St. Francis and numerous other sages to start a new way of living and thinking.


How about Permaculture?. https://youtu.be/TVS45dbNL-E.


Alberta is not the only participant in the expansion of the tar sands extraction, it is the home government in Ontario that also needs to WAKE UP. Granted, there is a lot of money riding on the tar sands destruction but what is the cost of all life that these operations destroy? You have already addressed the CO2 dumping but not the magnitude of that dumping worldwide. The devastation of land, soil, and water left in the wake of the tar sands miasma is absolutely irreparable...cleaning up the tailing ponds in and of itself will never happen without additional damage being done. Canada, like the US, has tied itself up with giant energy corporations much to the detriment of both. Will it never end?


Fire is going gangbusters in eastern Siberia, too.


Absolutely, i'm a practitioner. Here's a project some folks here have started, to create a public food forest on public land.


Are you not paying attention? All of it of course. The only world they see and live in is all man made. Even arriving at a empty supermarket will only raze an eyebrow as they jump back in their car get back on the phone and twit their sorrow. Probably go viral. Who cares? Americans have a few weeks fat on them anyway. Plenty of food energy to continue the ride off the cliff having failed to notice the "Dead End" sign miles back.


The collapse probably isn't going to be for everybody. It seems to follow a pattern of one town collapsing at a time. Lower Manhattan floods its subways and harbor tunnels. A town of 200 people in Australia can't evacuate in time and all the people are just gone. A mile-wide tornado takes out a reinforced hospital and everything else. A 220 mph typhoon hits a city in the Phillippines.

However, our food resources are going, especially our oceans and our wheat growing areas, also our rice growing areas. Most of our forests are slowly dying off now. That's what fuels the big fires. We'll probably see mass starvation of great numbers of poor countries, and then....


The people who live in the countryside of Papua New Guinea can show you; life is tough, brutal and most men are dead by 50 years of age, whilst women are worn out by age 40, if they haven't died as a result of childbirth and its attendant post-natal dangers.


And that outlines the limits of human possibility?


It's the living-in-harmony-with-nature reality show, no holds barred. When one's arms and legs are covered in scabies with no scabies ointment; when one's chest carries spectacular displays of ringworm and there is no ointment; when one cuts a leg and dies three weeks later of scepticaemia because there are no antibiotics and the "traditional" poultice of spiders' webs, fungi and dirt hasn't worked; it's worms; it's breathing smoke from smokey fires in small badly ventilated huts and ending up after years of that with chronic bronchitis or emphysema or worse; it's tuberculosis; it's dysentery, or typhoid, because too many people are in the village and the local stream is polluted because one's enemies upstream take delight in shitting in your sole source of water; it's an ectopic pregancy that kills your wife very painfully in 4-5 weeks as there is no hospital and no skilled surgeon; it's a placenta that won't come out clear and your wife dying of sepsis after a week or so as you haven't got a helicopter to get her to a doctor, if there is a doctor and antibiotics and blood transfusions........it's living in harmony with nature and being in balance with nature as nature balances one naturally in nature's inimitably unpleasant ways.

And I'm not even thinking of the humans in the tribe across the river who are your traditional enemies from 100 years of blood feuds about a pig or a woman that went astray.

Or you might opt for the superstition-raddled feudalism as practiced in Europe before the industrial revolution. The Black Death that killed 1 in 3 in the 1340s or thereabouts helped to sort that out.

Are those the alternatives to us wrecking our own nest through pursuing omnicidal comfort and ambition? It's the "natural" option; are there others? I would like to think so but remain unconvinced as yet as I haven't seen them in the last 60 years.


I'm thinking that Asia in particular and the other parts of the world in general need to take the voluntary vow of celibacy for the next 25 years. As exemplified by assorted saints and sages.


It's the tragedy of the commons. People who have a conscience cannot stop the destruction by merely discontinuing their own destructive activities. The greedy, without conscience, will simply use what is left by those who stop using. Perhaps physically defending the commons needs to be considered, before ALL is lost.


Premier Kathleen Wynne - "But we must talk about the causes and for me, climate change—extreme weather events—is the face of this problem and for me, it's not about the economy, it's not about industry, . . . . " Say what? She's joking badly right? Climate change is definitely about the economy and industry. Scientists have proved it. Even children know it. Didn't anyone tell her?
C'mon Kathleen!
Your words are poison and become another museum piece exhibiting the corruption of centrist politics dominated by the fossil fuel industry for much too long. Time for a big change.
Let's try democracy instead.


Oddly enough they were thinking the same thing about your part of the world.


What you see may look like some set in an apopoclyptic movie but for the extremity and concurrent human drama it is only transitional. While the forests we have may burn, they will be replaced by a more drought tolerant vegetation. Yes we may see the Corn Belt of America succumb to drought and heat but it will move north to Canada and a similar circumstance will be seen to happen in Siberia. The land will remain and nature will adapt but whether humanity's geopolitical divisions will be able to adapt is another story.

While nature accommodates a change of climate by substituting drought tolerant vegetation and animals ... human beings do not say 'Let's switch countries because we are more used to more rainfall and you can always move further north while we finally try to fix this climate problem.' Instead we will see great turmoil and strife for declining water resources and food shortage etc. Mother Nature doesn't give a damn if we survive or not to be blunt about it.

We can fix this before the worst happens but more likely it will take a series of horrendous catastrophes that finally convince everybody that something has to be done and that fossil fuels use has to cease.

It won't be the end of the world. It will be the end of the bountiful Earth and the beginning of the days of want and likely famine. Rough stuff without a doubt but not the end. If temperatures reach too high then our civilization and its technology can't function properly. By that time fossil fuel use will have caused riots and have been shut down voluntarily or otherwise and so forth. Then people will try to get by as best they can. Luckily we have solar and wind and so techno-civilization is not dependent on fossil fuels anymore..

In any case... Good Luck Kiddies !!!