On Coin Operated Street Lamps and Smoking Out the Joys of Summer

After the smoke has cleared: ‘The lost summer’: the emotional and spiritual toll of the smoke apocalypse. The one thing that gets us through the misery of overcast grey days set to a backdrop of overcast grey empty condos; the ever present threat of eviction, the ubiquitous sirens blaring above burnt out EMTs and the constant gloom of a losing hockey team is that glorious 6 week window of blue sky and beaches; craft beer and camping; phosphorescence and food cart fests; line-ups at expensive ice cream shops and oh, those sunsets.

There’s something larger at play for many people when they wake up to dim, smoky skies. Dodd points to the concept of solastalgia to explain the gloom people feel when the smoke rolls in — and sticks around for weeks or months.

“It’s basically the feeling of being homesick when you’re still at home,” he explained of the feeling people get when their community is shrouded in smoke. “It’s really this concept of stress and anxiety about environmental change that’s happening in a place that is very familiar or at home.”

For many people, Dodd said, wildfire smoke is particularly frightening because it feels emblematic of larger environmental issues. “It’s connected to things that might happen in the future.”

Ecological grief and perpetual malaise aside, it also make us dum dums: Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals.

Which might explain why our GreeNDP government has so embarrassingly dropped the ball: BC’s Timid Climate Plans, and 12 Steps That Could Save Us. Shots fired:

So what unprecedented action is the B.C. government proposing to address the advancing catastrophe? It feels a bit like “punt it into the future and let the next generation sort it out,” with goals of reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050, but without annual goals or carbon budgets or the needed policies. Our NDP MLAs should be embarrassed. Our Green Party MLAs should be screaming from the legislature rooftops. It’s just not good enough. (I don’t expect the Liberal MLAs to contribute much; they have never seemed to understand the issue.)

I’ll add to the list: Half the world’s surface must be reserved for nature, nature should have rights and Public Transport Should Be Free: “We don’t put coins in street lamps or pay by the minute in public parks. Here’s why we should make subway and bus fares a thing of the past”.

But perhaps the most damning indictment of the Horgan government? Vaughn Palmer: Christy Clark chimes in on keeping Liberals happy, women in politics, ambition.

“When the government changed, I thought ‘oh my gosh, that’s years of work down the drain’ — and then they changed their minds… So Site C is going to happen. LNG is going to happen and we were the most successful province in the country for the last three or four years I was premier. Most jobs. Most economic growth.”

Ouch. Although I guess it could be worse. Weaver could be premier: B.C. Green Party leader calls Victoria Council’s decision to remove Macdonald statue “boneheaded”. If your environmental movement lacks class consciousness and intersectional analysis, well then…it’s just a bowel movement.

Again, I guess it could be worse. Doug Ford could be premier: Every Ontario ministry now banned from talking about climate change. A scorched earth policy doesn’t work well on a scorched earth there, Dougie Buck-a-Beer.

This would be fucking hilarious if it didn’t perfectly exemplify the crises of capitalist relations of production: Gulf Refineries Seek Taxpayer Dollars to Defend Against Rising Seas. And to the commenter on the last TATS, I’m perfectly aware of my own contradictions, but thanks for the logical fallacy.

Bonus: What’s killing whales off B.C.-Alaska coast?

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