I've tried to be as positive and as sensitive as possible about the fire that almost consumed Fort McMurray.
I've tried to point out all the ways that catastrophe has brought us together as Canadians.
And I completely understand why Justin Trudeau and our other political leaders have been reluctant to blame that fiery apocalypse on climate change.
For the simple reason that nobody can be that sure. And for all the reasons Tom Walkom lists here.
The reason why he (Trudeau) and other politicians are tiptoeing around the issue this time, it seems, is that they fear giving offence.
In the popular imagination, Fort McMurray is linked to the Alberta oil sands. They in turn are linked to the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
Politicians fear that to even use climate change and Fort McMurray in the same sentence might be seen as blaming the victim.
And I find that entirely legitimate at a time when so many residents have had their homes and their dreams reduced to ashes...
And nobody should inflict more pain upon them in a moment like this one.
But as Walkom also points out, sooner or later, after they have had a chance to recover, we will have to have that discussion.
To say that the inhabitants of Fort McMurray brought this disaster on themselves is dead wrong. But to say that climate change played a role is not.
The Fort McMurray wildfire is not just a freak accident. Neither was the 2013 ice storm that crippled much of Toronto. True, these things can happen without global warming.
But climate change dramatically increases the probability of their occurring.
For with global temperatures rising alarmingly as this nifty GIF demonstrates...
Global Temperature Change 1850-2016 pic.twitter.com/YpBmNDfb72— Bella Caledonia (@bellacaledonia) May 10, 2016
This too is true.
Yes, Canadians are generous. Yes, the people of Fort McMurray are remarkably plucky. Some have gone through experiences that are truly terrifying.
Yes, we should all chip in and help. But what about the future? Is weird weather our destiny?
If not, what are Canadians willing to do to make sure disasters like this one don’t become the norm.
So what should we do?
Comfort the suffering, help them get back on their feet.
Celebrate the heroism of those who managed to beat back The Beast.
But prepare to do more to fight climate change.
For many other beasts are coming...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers