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Will Wildfire Refugees in Canada Finally Spur Action on Climate Change?


Will Wildfire Refugees in Canada Finally Spur Action on Climate Change?

Mahli Brindamour, Ryan Meili

A young child presents to emergency in respiratory distress, his asthma worsened by smoke exposure. An elder has uncontrolled blood pressure because there wasn't time to get her medications when the evacuation orders came through. Scabies and other illnesses related to crowding spread quickly through the close quarters of the evacuees. Sudden departure from and worry about home bring significant mental stress.


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Massive fires in Canada’s forests, massive fires in California’s forests, massive heat wave now occurring in Japan, massive heat wave last week in India, ridiculously high temperatures in Florida, drought in Puerto Rico, drought in Cuba, and LOTS of volcanoes–formerly dormant–all “waking up” in virtual real time. Now.

And still the energy overlords, like those generals in Vietnam, insist on pushing the crews on through the big muddy.

This is not about when will WE–as a singular fabric of humanity–wake up. It’s about how power, big money, and influence push agendas that are anathema to life, itself.

How many millions of refugees are already negotiating misery on a daily basis either from actual war or the war on nature propelled by today’s high tech. corporate conquistadors?

As I stated several years ago in this forum, increasingly, more and more persons are finding themselves occupying the status of “the new natives” as coal slurry’s downhill force, oil spills, fracking toxins, or big agriculture’s slew of chemical pesticides increasingly impact their health, community, and quality of life.

The great irony is that while more and more people are bearing up to the challenges posed by these corporate conquistadors, in the U.S. their salaries are garnished (via taxes) to fund the massive military police state that does nothing to ensure national or any other form of security.

Metaphorically speaking, most citizens are coming to resemble the unfortunate souls residing in Haiti. After “aid” was sent in, most of it went to funding the entities that provide the illusion of aid. In reality, these entities added to the problems of the Haitians by introducing Cholera to their already compromised water sources. And even now, several years later, rather than truly aiding those who were made homeless by climate change events, what is instead happening is setting up new “norms” that make the status of climate (or war) refugee more widely shared.

The paradigm imposed on people all over the world is one that is spreading death and destruction. It is going to collapse. The question is, how many will be made martyrs during the process?


Fire refugees from Canada. An unexpected choice of words that somehow seems like one of those things that maybe you heard incorrectly because ‘that can’t be right!, can it.’! Refugees from fires… From where.

Everyday something unexpected and new to our usual way of thinking about the world gets through to us. We’ve already grown familiar with the idea of rising sea levels creating refugees in the Andamans and other islands but climate change refugees from Canada?

The world seemed very different at that moment somehow. The first sense that the unexpected was becaming normal for us. Things that we would have never believed possible will not surprise us.

We will grow accustomed to the unexpected where once things had always remained the same. Our future grows dreadful and we will grow accustomed to it being that way.

Ordinary things will startle us by having disappeared like the frogs and newts and the butterflies we caught as children but aren’t there for our kids. Well known childhood memories shared by all of us like catching fireflies or seeing songbirds like bright red Cardinals we will remember but our children will not, at least not like we did. Playing amid hundreds of fireflies twinkling about strong texteverywhere is our memory but our children will be excited by even seeing maybe one or two.

But even this is not unexpected really. We know and have already seen what is likely to come. But it is things like this… Fire refugees from Canada… That will startle us because they aren’t only just unexpected.

They are things that have never happened before.

That will be what has become normal… Things that have never happened before.