Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Fort Mac Fire: Time to Give Cheap Politics a Rest

It's like a scene out of hell, a raging inferno if ever there was one.

And I feel so sorry for the residents of Fort Mac who have lost their homes or their businesses. 

But what I find really moving is the way many Canadians all over the country have been doing what they can to help those poor people through this terrible time.

So we really don't need this ugly reaction. 

The raging forest fire that's forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., has brought out the worst on social media, with sanctimonious eco-trolls posting incendiary, insensitive and unhelpful barbs describing the conflagration as climate change "karma" for a city that is synonymous with oilsands development.

Or need to see the decent Rachel Notley attacked for no good reason.

Or see the equally decent Elizabeth May attacked for daring to suggest a climate change connection. 

The leader of Canada's Green Party said Wednesday climate change was partly to blame for the wildfire devastating Fort McMurray, Alta., touching off a debate about whether it was the right time to discuss the causes of the conflagration.

Even though she later clarified her statement.

Later, in a statement sent to reporters, May said she wasn't directly tying the Fort McMurray wildfire to climate change. "No credible climate scientist would make this claim, and neither do I make this claim," she said, while urging Canadians to take collective action to mitigate the impact of "extreme climate events."

And nobody can argue with that.

I mean can you imagine how those vicious Cons might react when these Bombardier made planes arrive from Quebec? 

We need to turn this Canadian tragedy into something hateful, like we need a hole in the head.

And I think Justin Trudeau was right to say this:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to make a direct link between the fire — which has forced some 80,000 people out of their homes — and climate change, at least while the embers are still burning. 

"It's well-known that one of the consequences of climate change will be a greater prevalence of extreme weather events around the planet, however any time we try to make a political argument out of one particular disaster I think there is a bit of a short cut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome.

And so was Tom Mulcair.

"It's not the time to start laying blame," he told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons. "Our only thoughts today are for the people in those communities and I want to make sure that the federal government does everything it can to help the Notley government."

It's not the time to blame the residents of Fort Mac for their own misfortune, while their homes are still burning...

Trudeau wasn't denying what Elizabeth May said, he was only suggesting that her timing could have been better.

So why use that to attack him like this old Trudeau hater does.

Even though Trudeau was only trying to be tactful, and not hurt the feelings of those who are suffering enough. As a Prime Minister should in a time of tragedy.

But then the other day he was comparing Trudeau to a "bitch". The kind who are raped in jails. And suggesting that he deserved the same fate. So why should we be surprised?

But honestly, why would we turn this tragedy into a partisan exercise?Partisans on all sides should cool their jets.

Now is the time to come to the rescue of our fellow Canadians in Alberta.

Pray for them and their families...

Save what we have to say about climate change until the embers have gone out.

Cheer on the firefighters and the emergency workers.

And give cheap politics a rest....


Here's a list of places where you can contribute to help the people of Fort Mac.

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.


ninente said...

And donate if you possibly can:
"In addition to matching donations, the Government of Alberta will provide the Red Cross with $2 million in seed money to help kick-start operations."

Anonymous said...

It's a miracle that more lives weren't lost during the evacuation. The images and video of the infernos people had to drive through to escape the city were unbelievable.
This is absolutely no time to talk climate change. Let's hope that what they learn from this disaster is when they should have issued the order to evacuate the city. Not an easy decision but in hindsight, this could have easily been so much worse.

Anonymous said...

One Fort Mac resident quote....."who ever voted NDP should be shot". I didn't know that the NDP caused the fire. I would not blame Fort Mac for their misfortune...but....... In hind sight some spending on good emergency planning would have been helpful. But that again that would be the NDP' fault?..........As for Ms. May....... Ya gotta call a spade a spade. She was just the first to call it. As you say Simon everyone else will stay quiet until the embers have gone out. Thankful everyone got out alive and well despite the poor evacuation planning.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Armed Forces are ready to help...... Should they not be already helping? All three helicopters and two planes....... Here comes the Sea Kings to the rescue........ Nah, I rather take my chances on the ground. Funny Canada immediately sent one million dollars to Equator earthquake along with an assessment crew to confirm their needs!!!!!! All about the world stage for the government. Voted for Change.....Got the Same!,,,,,,, Ralph says federal response underway. Cannot drop food and supplies in Alberta but you can bet if it it was outside Canadians drops would have already been made!!!!!!!! But when you have Canadians living in third world conditions do you really expect self serving, corrupt governments to come to the forefront on this disaster. Not a chance, helping would not make world news for our current, same as the last, corrupt government.

GreazedLitenen said...

Although this might not be the time or place to talk about the relationship between man made climate change and extreme weather patterns, it certainly must be discussed, and addressed in the future. Nobody likes a 'sanctimonious-I-told-you-it-was-coming zealot' immediately after the fact, but none the less, this problem needs to be addressed. I would imagine it will only be a matter of time before Harpers Albertan evangelical nut bars start pointing the finger at Rachel Notley and blaming her commie godless party for all of Albertas woes, including forest fires. I can see it now, "It's the wrath of our almighty god coming down on all the godless heathens who stole the election from the right-eous and of course, spread some of the blame onto the LGBT crowd"

Anonymous said...

Right on! Love the Albertian Evangelical Nut Bar reference!!!!! You maybe be right, leave it to the redneck, righteous Alberta folks to blame Rachel, LGBT, anyone but themselves, and the obvious results of climate change and the raping of their own land. FP

Anonymous said...

Evil conservative/racist/homophobe/bigot Ezra Levant and have raised almost 100k in one day for Fort McMurray. How much money has Simon and his "progressives" raised? You'll never know, because he can't take criticism and refuses to post my comments.

lagatta à montréal said...

Here is a piece that explains the relationship without cruel attacks on the workers in this polluting industry:

Karma would be hitting the billionaires, nay often trillionaires, who are making obscene profits burning the Earth to a crisp, not workers who had little other choice.

Many of them are from "Down East". The largest contingent is from Newfoundland. Here I'm listening to Radio-Canada and most of the francophones they interview are Acadians or Gaspésiens.

Here are people from Lac Mégantic raising money for people in Fort McMurray:

No, I won't give politics a rest; there is no issue as important as catastrophic climate change. But one can do politics without petty attacks on other workers.

Anonymous said...

Rednecks eh? Very progressive of you.

Anonymous said...

Sea Kings aren't based at Cold Lake, but who needs facts when you have hyperbole!

UU4077 said...

Why is Ezra funding raising? He should be directing those looking to donate to the Canadian Red Cross.

Anonymous said...

Uu4077 Ezra will sent maybe one or two percent of what he collected to Fort Mac.....the rest goes into his pocket. Actually I love the way Simon allows debate, and criticism. But the Cons do not understand the concept of debate. Dicktatorship does not allow debate, nor criticism.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon 3:21.......

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of that 100k will actually go to help anyone and how much goes into Ezra's pockets?

Anonymous said...

Cold Lake?????????

e.a.f. said...

there is a great deal of difference between this forest fire and the earthquake in Ecquador. There is no evidence there is a need to drop food, etc into the area, they are moving the people out of the area. Once they get to reception centres, it appears they are being supplied with what they need.

Like really no one drops supplies into a forest fire. you drop fire retardant.

Canadians aren't living in third world conditions, they're on the move to get away from the fire. they are travelling in their vehicles, buses, and air planes. Not much of a third world condition. Staying in lodges supplied by the oil companies is not living in third world conditions. yes, some of the rooms are small and the whole family has one room, but remember this is not the 4 seasons and you're not on vacation. This is an emergency. No one saw this coming.

David said...

If you have any friends/contacts who are Bible-believing Christians (who make up a sizeable portion of the Con base) show them this:

The Bible says God can control the weather if He wants to:

Is the fire at Fort McMurray God's judgment on Canada's tar sands, that are depleting Alberta's groundwater supply and spewing carbon into the atmosphere?

God only knows.

Alberta Supporter said...

I understand that the NDP cut the budget for fighting wildfires by $15 million and cancelled arrangements for water bombers just weeks before the blaze at Fort McMurray started. Alberta has 27% fewer air tankers on the ground ready to fight wildfires. This wildfire was ablaze before the town was threatened and the local fire fighters had been fighting to keep it that way. Once it hit town it's progress went beyond their capabilities to protect the city. Why were not the air tankers mobilized before the city was imminently threatened?

Were the senior bureaucrats who were making recommendations concerning such emergency events to the relevant ministers that incompetent to ignore the signs or were they new NDP lackeys who lacked experience and competence in this area or was the decision made by NDP MLAs who ignored competent advice from their staff experienced in these matters?

This question arises due to the recent experience the Govt of AB was faced with with the fire at Slave Lake and the floods in June 2013. Was there not an evaluation of how those events were handled and how the response of Govt at ALL levels could have been improved?

Do they not know how to take steps to mitigate damage when events seem to be leading toward damage?

In light of the NDP approach/attitude towards the consumption of fossil fuels relating to climate change and their mandatory reduction of use of fossil fuels such as that provided by coal and oil, I reach the conclusion that the NDP had no motivation to protect Fort McMurray since its destruction could mean the end of producing oil from the local oil sands. Also, the area was represented in the legislature by a non-NDP party member. (Could also be called hanging Fort McMurray out to dry with no consideration of the economic losses the residents of Fort McMurray would face due to job loss and property loss.)

The NDP seem to forget that those oilsands provide something like 18% of Alberta's GDP and every penny spent by the companies up there is TAXED by the provincial and the federal governments as the revenues flow down through all the companies who contribute to the production wherever they are located in Canada. With that drop in the AB economy the governments lose these income taxes paid by the companies (if they make a profit) and the wages they pay out, there will be considerable pressure to move from an tax on wealth generation (income) to a wealth consumption tax (spending known as Sales Tax) to replace the loss of wealth generation taxes. Suncor has shut down production and stops spending $100million/day which reduces govt income through income taxes by about 30% or $30million/day and this is the cost to the govt. of only one company closing down (currently only temporarily).

Thus good economic environment management is critical to the successful government of the people. The NDP seem to be struggling to provide for a good economic environment.

What conclusion do you reach?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:40 Ya I think you have the stereotype down pat....but it's just a stereotype. the vast majority of Albertans I know here aren't any more or less reneck than what I find back in Ontario.