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There’s More to Fort McMurray Than Oil Sands – It’s a Real Community


There’s More to Fort McMurray Than Oil Sands – It’s a Real Community

Aritha van Herk

Fort McMurray is a real place, not a Dante-esque metaphor for hell, despite the wildfires currently raging, which has forced its entire evacuation.


I do not see the point of this article or what its doing on Common Dreams. Sure, Fort Mac has a history, its was a front line settlement in the European expansion and genocide against the indigenous people.
If we can't see the connect between climate change, wild fires and tar sand extraction we are not looking at the whole picture and we are fooling only our selves. This is another wake up call to our oil addicted society.


While it is heartwarming to learn about this community under siege, I do take exception to this statement:

Perhaps the most poignant moment and the greatest metaphor for hope are the two babies born to evacuated mothers at one of the camps north of town. They opened their eyes on an apocalyptic night, but they signal what has always been the Alberta spirit – there will be another day, and whatever the terrible trial they have passed through, they will endure.

The chances for those two babies, and all other babies world-wide, to endure are decreasing with every passing moment. It's nice to lift up the community but a fluff piece that ends with this conclusion is literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


Here's a broader portrait of just how intense Earth Changes have become recently:


The author is an Albertan. I don't see why having the article published in the UK is problematic. On the contrary --she is using respected and widely read medium to broadcast internationally her defence of Alberta.


The article should have said where Justin Trudeau stands in all of this. If there is a Canadian equivalent of FEMA, they should be assisting the residents. & cleaning up Ft McMurray.


"To their shame, Canadians themselves don’t know much about Fort McMurray (unless they have been there)."

I have never been there, but I know that it's basically suburban pods carved into forest, surrounding a strip-mall service center - like virtually every suburban development of the last 40 years.

From photos and personal anecdotes from people who've been posted there.... it's clearly not a very interesting place, and is the product of a failed urbanism that has, as its central function, the selling of cars and fuel.

The real "shame" is that Canadians allow their corporate masters to continue building these kinds of dreary parking lot-and-lawns non-places.