I, like many others around the globe recently, have kept an eye on Northern Alberta. Been watching the steadily deteriorating state of affairs. The blaze now so massive that only weather can slow it in its tracks. And even that sliver of hope (in the form of a cold front), is questionable at best.
This to the dismay of both those attacking the blaze, and those that have fled its scorching path. Some of those evacuees may even have to flee again, should the fire be driven their way by an unfortunate change in wind direction.
I will be honest. The whole karma thing did cross my mind. Or more accurately, irony. A city that has seen almost limitless riches on account of, and a city that largely exists because of, a substance known to drive climatic disturbance. Now a city that has been decimated by those same forces that it helps enable.
Bitch slapped, mother nature style.
Yes, my mind entertained such thoughts. As have many other people, judging by a few articles out (rightfully) condemning the phenomenon.
Indeed, their economy does have a gigantic dirty bitumen soaked elephant in the room. As does this whole nation, thanks to short term gain seeking executives and politicians. And of course the ordinary people, to blinded by big pay cheques to worry about their children’s future.
But that said, I must step off my high horse. Because there are many more places besides Fort McMurray that could be said to be enabling dirty industry. Including my very city, which likes to showcase its location as the Gateway to the bakken oil field. Even though many embrace the unsustainable and destructive new economical boom, many (like me!) are not so short sighted. And like the people of Fort McMurray, we also would not appreciate being thoughtlessly thrust into an agenda.
Brandon whores itself out to oil interests and allows one of the biggest polluting fertilizer plants in north America (Koch fertilizer) to operate in its city limits. It deserved to be razed by an F5!
If I happened across such a tweet or post not long after seeing my home, neighborhood and life torn to shreds, I would be inclined to lash out. Who wouldn’t, at such an insensitive and thoughtless comment. Even if it may have a basis in reality, one tends to lose credibility for their argument when they kick the downtrodden when they are down.
We should all take a lesson from a a representative of Greenpeace (of all people) that I received an email from Tuesday. All it contained was some information of the situation, and links to the Red Cross for making donations.
There is a time for discussion, a time to criticize outdated and destructive economic drivers. But that time is not 24 hours after people affected by disaster lose everything.
Be an activist. But don’t be stupid.