The truth is this economic system has always been on fire. The terrifying object at the end of the extraction economy is the devastating and total incineration of almost everything we know and love. This is the only endgame in the extraction economy — it is what happens when a model dependent on infinite growth is played out on a planet with finite resources.
Indeed. Now expand this to slavery, borders, police, prisons and pipelines and you get a sense of the range of settler colonialism — the dispossession and removal of lands and resources once stewarded by Indigenous peoples to ensure – above all – that capital flows. Harsha Walia:
Yes, Vancouver air quality is awful and climate change is exacerbating the wildfires. But let’s make sure our renewed vigour to address climate change takes into account that the rest of the world is already burning or drowning. The drought in the Horn region has left 14.8 million people in need of water. Flint still doesn’t have water, there are 43 Indigenous communities within Canada with active boil advisories, and 300 people have died and 1 million have been displaced in the current floods in Kerala. We can’t perpetuate NIMBYism in climate justice work; the TransMountain pipeline, for example, must be axed not only because ‘we’ need clean air and water but because everyone does. This is the moment to ensure we turn our gaze outwards and realize that we if can’t breathe our air, then how are people in China supposed to survive with 310,000 foreign-owned polluting industries? We need environmental justice with solutions and leadership from Indigenous communities, low-income racialized communities, and communities in the global South who are most impacted by climate capitalism and imperialism.
At the same time, however, if the smoke gets people like Gary Mason calling for bold action on climate change while echoing the above global scope of the crisis, then I’m for it: While the planet burns, our politicians fiddle.
This is not, of course, a Canadian problem alone. The entire planet is on fire, literally and figuratively. Last year was a record-breaking season for wildfires in the United States. This year might be just as bad. Infernos are tearing across Colorado, New Mexico and other western states. In Europe, nuclear reactors have had to be shut down because the river water used to cool them is too hot. Electricity grids around the world have crashed, the consequence of heat waves.
Which makes partisan hack Bill Tieleman’s take really confusing: Blame BC Liberal Neglect, Not Climate Change, for Year of Fires. Don’t get me wrong, I made a career of blaming the BC Liberals for just about everything, but this sounds like Trump accusing California for causing wildfires by ‘diverting’ water To Pacific. The fact is, we can blame both climate change and the BC Liberals. In fact, we can blame the NDP too. They had the same policy in the 90s (not to mention LNG and Site C).
Of course, Horgan doesn’t want to blame anyone. Instead, this is just the new normal: Premier John Horgan warns raging wildfires and toxic haze could be “the new normal” for B.C. summers.
That’s not going to stop him welcoming Trudeau with open arms. You know, the guy who bought the pipeline equivalent of Blockbuster the year Netflix took off: Welcome to fiery B.C., Prime Minister. Why aren’t you talking about climate? Lemme guess, something to do with jobs and the middle class?
Related: Federal government thanks wildfires for clearing path for Trans Mountain pipeline. Satire, but ouch.
It’s like none of these politicians have any solutions. Fortunately, a group of citizens have taken it upon themselves: Facebook event calls on people to ‘throw rocks at the smoke to make it go away’.
Meanwhile, this is still happening: As BC burns, Nestlé is still taking water at $2.25 per million litres.
Throwback Thursday: We’re Choking on Smoke in Seattle.
There’s a mental health impact, too. To live in Seattle is to exist, perpetually, in the bargaining stage of grief. From October through May, generally speaking, it drizzles. Every day. This past fall and winter, we broke a 122-year-old record for rain and had only three sunny, mild days in six months. What gets us through the gray, like a mantra, is the promise of summer. Summers in Seattle are perfect, bright blue and fresh, and all winter long we assure ourselves, over and over, “This is worth it, for that.” Please let this one be a good summer, a long summer, a real Seattle summer. We need it. It’s our medicine.
Trudeau makes no apologies for calling out heckler as racist. “Was the heckler really a racist or maybe just a xenophobe is a weird wedge issue for the national media to focus on while Trudeau is pushing a pipeline through a province that is on fire after saying he’d take climate change seriously” – Derrick O’Keefe.
Of course, the conservatives are all to happy to oblige with their “mah freeze peach” divisive rhetoric: Trudeau Sweeps Away Criticism With ‘Vile Personal Insults’: Scheer. Remember, white supremacy is the only identity politics worth attacking.
That feeling when the basement-dwelling neckbeards over at Reddit who don’t understand what a link roundup is question your mental health. Like, dude…I would love to live in a socialist country.
Bonus: Tracker takes B.C. government to court to prove Bigfoot exists. This guy’s conviction is so strong it’s really hard to make fun of him.