Fort McMurray wildfire

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6079_Smith_W

Hurtin Albertan wrote:

It's almost like some of you really believe the evil oil sands are to blame for this fire.

Hurtin Albertan wrote:

Beetle killed trees did not have any impact whatsoever on the recent fire by Ft McMurray. 

Look, Hurtin. It is very good that you are one of the people fighting fires, and we appreciate your technical info.

But you seem to be moving the goalposts here. Climate change is a global problem, but we can't say if the fires are a changing trend until we have more data? The oil sands are just one part of a big problem so they have no significance? Tree death didn't cause this specific fire (which I did not claim), so it presumably isn't also a big part of the threat to our forests? I mentioned it because it is a real and direct part of climate change which is contributing to our forests dying, and the major reason why not all fire is healthy renewal.

It is almost as bad as denying the whole if we can only mention it in the abstract, and not talk about how things in this case fit into that bigger whole, or not mention anything that doesn't have a direct connection to this fire.

At least when the floods were wrecking High River and Calgary no one freaked out when the completely valid point was raised that climate change contributes to more erratic weather, and that we can expect more of this.

As for this one, no I don't think it is "karma", as a former Lethbridge candidate stupidly said. Wild Rose may support big oil, but they didn't even exist a decade ago, and in fact criticized those cuts to firefighting budgets. And anyone who thinks denial is a problem specific to Alberta might want to consider that we all use that oil, and we can count our PM among those who are studiously looking the other way.

 

6079_Smith_W

Except that for every Katrina  there are scores and scores of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and other disasters where people actually have pulled together. They have had far more experience of natural disaster in recent years than we have. I don't buy that smear directed against Americans any more than I buy it against people here.

As for Japan, when you consider that the biggest and most long term aspect of that disaster - the entire reason why people can't go back home - came down to a major utility being too cheap to buy a water pump I'd say that stereotypical myth about them having their shit together isn't entirely true.

 

 

6079_Smith_W
Paladin1

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Except that for every Katrina  there are scores and scores of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and other disasters where people actually have pulled together. They have had far more experience of natural disaster in recent years than we have. I don't buy that smear directed against Americans any more than I buy it against people here.

As for Japan, when you consider that the biggest and most long term aspect of that disaster - the entire reason why people can't go back home - came down to a major utility being too cheap to buy a water pump I'd say that stereotypical myth about them having their shit together isn't entirely true.

 

 

 

There is a huge difference between how displaced/effected people in Japan act during disasterscompared to how Americans act. Shooting, looting, robbery, rape, you name it.   Compare videos and eye witness accounts of the Fukushima disaster to any number of American floods, tornados etc. and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As a soceity they have their shit together and are programed for lack of a better word to help and assist each other.

6079_Smith_W

Programmed? Lack of a better word? Like "inscrutable", maybe?

You know, these tragedies are bad enough given the loss of homes and lives, without all the judgmental crap that inevitably goes along with it.

 

 

 

Grover

Basement Dweller wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And regarding insurance, well you can read the news to see how smoothly that has gone after the floods.

Of course, but CMHC payouts go to the banks, not disaster survivors.

Yes, but CHMC insurance protects the bank from the mortgagee defaulting, not against any kind of loss or damage.  

Typically, if you have a mortgage the bank will require you to carry house insurance.  I guess the question is whether this kind of fire is one of the risks insured under a typical homeowners policy.  Could get really ugly if not.  

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fort-mcmurray-insurance-cost-1.3568113]Fort McMurray fire could cost insurers $9B, BMO predicts[/url]

Quote:
Standard home and business insurance typically provides coverage for the property, the possessions inside and living expenses elsewhere while the insured are unable to stay in their residence, Celyste Power of the Insurance Bureau of Canada said in an interview.

"The policies differ a little in terms of the length and amount, but generally damage and destruction coverage is standard."

While homeowners should have little to fear in terms of having coverage, if the Slave Lake fire can be used as a guide, the cost for insurers could be enormous.

 

Hurtin Albertan

6079_Smith_W:  I honestly thought you were talking about the Ft McMurray fire, not the fires that happened in BC. 

Anyways, I hereby refute my previous doubts about climate change being responsible for the Ft McMurray forest fire, boy howdy was I ever wrong there.  What can I say?  First chance I get, I will find a copy of the Leap Manifesto and use it to give myself a hundred paper cuts as penance for my heretical disbelief. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa....

From now on I will stick to updates and information on the Ft McMurray wildfire, and maybe some more background about forest fires in a general sense.  I can go on at great length about the wildland-urban interface and FireSmart and maybe more information about the fire situation in Alberta in the spring of 2016.

 

 

Hurtin Albertan

6079_Smith_W: I do need to comment on "the major reason why not all fire is healthy renewal".

From a pine tree's point of view, if it has one, all fire is healthy renewal.  Pine cones don't open up and release their seed until they are heated.  Before we started interacting with the pine forests, this is how they reproduced.  You can simulate this to a certain degree with some logging practices, leaving the closed up pine cones behind after harvest, and if you do it right, the cones will heat up in the sun and you get a very dense stand of young pine trees just like after a fire.  Or if you want to do it the harder way, you can take pine cones to a tree nursery and heat them up in an oven to get the seed to grow seedlings for planting.  Prescribed fire in a cutblock is also an option, but has a few obvious drawbacks.

Some of Alberta's younger trees are on the landscape due to human interaction, but by and large most of them are where they are due to past fires.

And most of the trees that are harvested and turned into various forest products are either fire origin, or secondary trees that grew in after the fire origin trees died off.  Forest succession is a really interesting topic, but it's a bit off topic so I'm going to go back to talking about forest fires.

Hurtin Albertan

Given Alberta's extreme fire hazard, the provincial government has put in place both a complete fire ban across the province, as well as a restriction on the recreational use of off-highway vehicles.  I have heard this is only the second time that there has ever been a province wide fire ban, can't remember when the first one would have been.  We have tried to prevent fires caused by off-highway vehicles in the past by doing area closures, it's been done a few times in southern Alberta but I think this is the first time it's been province wide.  There are certain exemptions to the ATV restriction, but these unprecedented measures are positive steps taken by the government to reduce the likelihood of new fires starting due to these reasons.

It's not a perfect solution but I hope the public will be on-side in our efforts to keep new fires from starting under these conditions.

Still lots of other ways for fires to start, and unfortunately I think the lightning will come before significant amounts of rain does.

Hurtin Albertan

No point in me doing updates on the fire itself, our Information Officers are doing a very commendable job in getting the message out there to the public.  Even if you don't want to look at traditional media or social media you can always go to the Alberta governemnt website and find all sorts of current information on the weather forecasts, the current fire activity in the province, what we have on for resources including all the stuff working on the active fires as well as all the stuff on standby for the next fires.

We even have an Alberta Wildfire app for anyone with smart phones! 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I know about pine cones. I am a former treeplanter, and that is why I mentioned the jackpine burn I drove past in Jasper.

What isn't healthy is dead stands of spruce which are as dry as a slash pile and ready to burn.

Our part of the country hasn't been open territory for that pest because it is killed by long stretches of solid winter cold. We can no longer count on that cold (we sure didn't get it this winter), so how long is it going to be before Alaska,  B.C. and Quebec's problem arrives in our forest, already stressed by extreme fire danger conditions?

An article on the spread of budworm and bark beetles in Alaska, which had been limited to the Fairbanks area, until temperatures started rising.

http://www.cgc.uaf.edu/Newsletter/gg6_1/beetles.html

Anyway, hope you are staying safe, and thank you for your hard work. Good to hear tonight that the fire has passed much of the city, though it continues to grow in size, and will probably burn for weeks.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-context-fort-mcmurray-wildfir...

Quote:

The wildfire is the latest in a lengthening lineage of early wildfires in the northern reaches of the globe that are indicative of a changing climate. As the planet continues to warm, these types of fires will likely only become more common and intense as spring snowpack disappears and temperatures warm.

“This (fire) is consistent with what we expect from human-caused climate change affecting our fire regime,” Mike Flannigan, a wildfire researcher at the University of Alberta, said.

In Canada, wildfire season now starts a month earlier than it used to and the average annual area burned has doubled since 1970, according to Flannigan.

voice of the damned

Paladin1 wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Except that for every Katrina  there are scores and scores of tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and other disasters where people actually have pulled together. They have had far more experience of natural disaster in recent years than we have. I don't buy that smear directed against Americans any more than I buy it against people here.

As for Japan, when you consider that the biggest and most long term aspect of that disaster - the entire reason why people can't go back home - came down to a major utility being too cheap to buy a water pump I'd say that stereotypical myth about them having their shit together isn't entirely true.

 

 

 

There is a huge difference between how displaced/effected people in Japan act during disasterscompared to how Americans act. Shooting, looting, robbery, rape, you name it.   Compare videos and eye witness accounts of the Fukushima disaster to any number of American floods, tornados etc. and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As a soceity they have their shit together and are programed for lack of a better word to help and assist each other.

But Paladin, you're shifting the goalposts somewhat. The violent crime rate in the USA is considerably higher than in a lot of other places, so yes, we could assume that that would manifest itself to a degree during times of disaster.

But your original post didn't say "Glad to see there's no looting in Alberta". What you wrote was...

Quote:
I'm actually really surprised and quite proud though about a lot of the stories of generosity and chairity coming out of Albera. It sounds more like Japan and less like the USA after disasters there.

I'm pretty sure there are lots of people in the US, apart from the violent crime element, who would help out during a major disaster. Granted, I don't have any stats on hand to prove whether Alberta has more people like that, but I'm kinda guessing that you don't either.

And what is with all these international comparions anyway? Shouldn't it be enough to just say "Albertans have really performed well during this crisis", and leave it at that? Pointing out how you're not only doing well yourself, but so much better than other people, is usually a sign of insecurity.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

With your "Charitable Tax Credit" and the "Federal Matching Funds" you could get $3 in value for each $1 you donate to the Canadian Red Cross. 

Hurtin Albertan

Far as I know, Alberta is one of only a few fire organizations that has their own in-house meteorologists.  Maybe the only one.  We have 4 full time meteorologists in our provincial weather section, and they use weather stations located at all of our lookout facilities to help them get the information to do their job.  There are also a lot of automatic weather stations that are set up in other locations to help fill in the gaps where we do not have lookouts collecting weather.  After our recent merger with Agriculture we also have access to some former agriculture weather stations as well.

I seem to remember hearing that our weather section has access to more weather stations in Alberta than Environment Canada has across the country.

During fire season, they do 2 forecasts a day.  A morning forecast that gets very specific about what the weather will be like today, and more general info on the next 2 days.  The afternoon weather forecast gets into more detail about the next 3 days.  They are able to give really accurate info on the timing of weather events, which you can't get from Environment Canada or Weather Network.  For example, if gusty winds or changes in wind direction are forecast ahead of a frontal passage, they can tell you what time to expect the front to pass through your area

They have been very accurate for weather forecasters, think a year or two ago they upgraded with new computers or software or something.

Each of the 2 forecasts they put out is also accompanied by a weather briefing conference call, which also has a real time online slide show that you can log into if you have internet access and the right passwords.  As they cycle through the various weather maps they will often be drawing or writing on the maps as they discuss the various topics. 

All these weather briefings get recorded, so if you were busy with something else you can watch them later.

Nice part about having our own weather people, is their ability to do spot forecasts.  With a little time to prepare, they can do a 3 day forecast for a specific location, no doubt at least one of them is doing nothing but spot forecasts for the Ft McMurray area.

Our fire behaviour people can then use this information to do their job, which I'll get into next.

Hurtin Albertan

The Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System I mentioned before doesn't really look at the differences between forest fuels, it is a generic sort of system.

The Canadian Fire Behaviour Prediction System gets into the different fuel types, and what to expect for fire behaviour under different conditions.  Head Fire Intensity that I talked about, predicted rates of spread, how big the fire will be in an hour if you don't or can't do anything to stop it, etc etc.  It has a few key assumptions built into it, for example it does not account for slope, it assumes everything happens on flat ground.  A person doing fire behaviour predictions should be able to factor in specific local information like slope, and tailor their prediction to a fair level of accuracy.

Interestingly enough, this was all done based on real world fire behaviour information.  Canada started doing test burns under different weather conditions up in the NWT years ago, up by Ft Providence.  There was a big area of jack pine that they divided up into little squares with fuel breaks in between, and fire scientists from around the world continue to go up there and burn off these little squares of pine under various weather conditions to see how big the flames get, how quickly they spread, if the fire gets up into the crowns of the trees or not, etc etc.  So it's based on real worl observations under known conditions of weather and fuel moisture, not just theory and computer models.

There are fire behaviour people that work out of our main office in Edmonton, and recently we also created new positions so that there should be one person in each district to do fire behaviour stuff as their main workload.  The Edmonton staff are very experienced, some of the local staff are newer and don't have as much field experience, but a summer like this one should get them that field experience to give their predictions better context.  Either way, we use this information in our daily safety discussions to give everybody an idea what to expect in the field if fires start, or on bigger fires the planning section can use this info to map out what the fire might look like in a few days.

The Edmonton staff just did a 5 day general sort of prediction, it doesn't have specific detail but gives us a good idea of what to expect up to May 11.  About what you'd expect.  Very low chance of getting any rain, but we might get scattered showers here and there, better than nothing.  Another cold front passage, which is not good at all, today we should see southwest winds of about 20-25 km/h with gusts up to 40, wind direction shifting to the northwest this afternoon or evening.  Fire behaviour of HFI class 5 and 6 in most fuel types today, maybe down to 2-4 on Sunday and Monday if we get the scattered rain showers.  Then a ridge of high pressure will build into the province and give us more hot and dry weather.

I'll quote the next part word for word, then explain some of the technical jargon:

"Safety Implications:  Extremely flashy winter-cured fuels remain while coniferous trees are starting to approach their annual lowpoint in moisture levels due to spring foliar moisture content dip.  FFMC's and ISI's are high enough that nearly any fire brand is a potential new fire.Areas of the fire that seem 'out' may only be waiting for a windy afternoon or evening to spring back to life.Another day of very rapid fire growth remains before any relief is forecasted to occur."

winter-cured fuels=dead grass, coniferous=spruce and pine trees, anything with needles more or less, FFMC=how dry the fine fuels are, like dead grass, pine needles on the forest floor, ISI=how quickly a fire can spread due to wind.

The spring foliar moisture content dip is worth mentioning in more detail.  As the coniferous trees begin another year of growth, they have one point in the spring where their branches and needles are the driest, then as summer goes on they take up moisture.  Dead fuels will dry out and gain moisture a lot more than living fuels, where living trees tend to stay about the same because they are sucking up moisture from their roots, transpiring mositure out of their leaves or needles, trees doing tree stuff.  We will soon be at the point where the live coniferous trees will be at their driest for the year.

One of the factors why Alberta sees it's worst fires happening in mid-May usually.  Might be a bit sooner this year, everything seems to be happening sooner this year.

 

6079_Smith_W

News report on CBC this morning about concerns the fire destroying a crucial sector of Canada's economy (Christy Clark was mentioned). So no problem with talking about the elephant in the room in that context.

Good article in the New Yorker about the question of whether to talk about it or not talk about it:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/fort-mcmurray-and-the-fires-...

Quote:

But to fail to acknowledge the connection is to risk another kind of offense. We are all consumers of oil, not to mention coal and natural gas, which means that we’ve all contributed to the latest inferno. We need to own up to our responsibility, and then we need to do something about it. The fire next time is one that we’ve been warned about, and that we’ve all had a hand in starting.

And the fire is apparently now 156,000 hectares.

 

JohnInAlberta JohnInAlberta's picture

Using the fire as a springboard for anti-oilsands rhetoric is pretty gross but an even more egregious offence is not looking at some of the worse offenders: global beef farming (I'd direct people to the terrific documentary "Cowspiracy" for more information) and the simple fact that even if all oilsands extraction stopped today it would make a less than 0.5% impact on global greenhouse gas production.  Until China (responsible for over 1/4 of all greenhouse gasses produced today) gets their crap under control any efforts we as Canadians make are farts in a windstorm.

Paladin1

voice of the damned wrote:

But Paladin, you're shifting the goalposts somewhat. The violent crime rate in the USA is considerably higher than in a lot of other places, so yes, we could assume that that would manifest itself to a degree during times of disaster.

It's not only violent crime. Watch videos of what goes on in the US when there's a black friday sale, let alone a disaster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooLc0poudyU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBkGla-sYis

 

 

Quote:

I'm pretty sure there are lots of people in the US, apart from the violent crime element, who would help out during a major disaster. Granted, I don't have any stats on hand to prove whether Alberta has more people like that, but I'm kinda guessing that you don't either.

Because peoplegive a shit about stats lol

But no, I don't have stats. I just have what  I've picked up when I've researched natural disasters, disaster response, evacuation corridors and stuff like that.

 

Quote:
And what is with all these international comparions anyway? Shouldn't it be enough to just say "Albertans have really performed well during this crisis", and leave it at that? Pointing out how you're not only doing well yourself, but so much better than other people, is usually a sign of insecurity.

Considering I'm not in Japan, as per my reference, you're insecurity comment is pretty off the mark. I'm in Ontario so aside from asshole electricity rates I'm doing super well.

I fully intended to point out what a shit show it is in the stats when a disaster happens. I'm sure theres a lot of good people generous people down there. Theres also a lot of looters, looting and adults that will rip food and water away from kids.

6079_Smith_W

JohnInAlberta wrote:

Using the fire as a springboard for anti-oilsands rhetoric is pretty gross.

Nonsense. What makes it truly significant is not relative size WRT China as a means of distraction, but the fact that our federal government has tied our entire economy to the oil sands. Case in point - the politicians and economists falling all over themselves this morning over the threat this fire poses to the cash cow.

When the fires were here in Saskatchewan last year, when they were in Slave Lake, and when the floods happened a couple of years ago no one was "tut tutting" over talking about climate change, and the role of the oil industry.

But it is somehow off limits to continue to make those very real connections just because this time it has struck at the heart of Canada's oil industry?

Again, nonsense. And double nonsense because even those who decline to say it are aware of it in the way they studiously avoid it.

 

 

 

voice of the damned

Yeah, I've seen those Black Friday videos. I've also seen videos of East Asian legislatures erupting into riots because one party didn't like a bill that got passed. Or British soccer fans tossing bricks through windows or at each other because their team didn't win. Or, somewhat less frequently, Canadian hockey fans doing the same thing.

Not sure what all that proves about the relative merits of culture, except that the excuses people find to riot vary from place to place. I guess I can concede that, while the Black Friday shoppers are selfishly aiming just to get a better discount for themselves, the sports fans who trash their respective cities have a sense of something bigger than themselves. (Go Team Go!!)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JohnInAlberta wrote:

Using the fire as a springboard for anti-oilsands rhetoric is pretty gross but an even more egregious offence is not looking at some of the worse offenders: global beef farming (I'd direct people to the terrific documentary "Cowspiracy" for more information) and the simple fact that even if all oilsands extraction stopped today it would make a less than 0.5% impact on global greenhouse gas production.  Until China (responsible for over 1/4 of all greenhouse gasses produced today) gets their crap under control any efforts we as Canadians make are farts in a windstorm.

I guess you would rather stick your head in the tar sands and ignore the real data. Tell me how is it possible you want to vilify China for burning carbon and at the same time want to build pipelines to export bitumen for them to burn. Give your head a shake and try using some logic. It doesn't matter who burns the filthy tar sands gunk it will contribute to global warming and the resulting climate change that fire experts say are the cause of the increase in both the number and severity of forest fires in the boreal forest.

By the way the only reason why Canada is a small contributor to carbon emissions is our population size. Per capita in 2011 China's citizens emitted 6.71 t, the US per capita emits 17.02 t and Canada per capita is one of the worst countries on the planet at 14.14. As individuals we contribute twice as much to climate change as a citizen of China but you want to point your finger at them and sell them your bitumen at the same time.

Quote:

The media line now is that fire experts saw this coming five years ago when one of the Flattop Complex fires tore through the Alberta town of Slave Lake in 2011, forcing everyone to leave on a moment's notice. A report released shortly after predicted that something similar could happen again, and its authors made 21 recommendations to prepare for the possibility.

But fire scientists and fire managers actually saw this coming back in 2009 when 70 of them gathered in Victoria to address the issue of climate change and what impact it was going to have on the forest fire situation in Canada. Each one of them was already well aware that fires were burning bigger, hotter, faster, and in more unpredictable ways than ever before.

''We're exceeding thresholds all the time,'' said Mike Flannigan, who was at the time a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. ''We'd better start acting soon.''

''We let 150 wildfires burn each year and we need to be more transparent about that,'' said Judi Beck, Manager of Fire Management for BC Wildfire Management Branch. ''The public needs to know what we can and can't do.''

Gordon Miller, a director general with the Canadian Forest Service, summed it up succinctly, saying, ''More fires mean more communities will be at risk.''

'Strongest signal yet'

Flannigan is now a professor and research scientist at the University of Alberta. He remembers the meeting well because the participants were so bluntly honest about what they knew, what they didn't know, and what needed to be done.

''Many of us saw a Fort McMurray-like situation coming back then and even earlier, but frankly none of us expected anything as horrific as what has happened there this week. This is a signal, one of many, and the strongest we've seen yet, that suggests that the fire situation is going to get a lot worse, and that in some cases, there will not be much we can do about it other than evacuate communities.''

http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/05/07/Brace-New-Era-Infernos/

 

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Emissions vary drastically from province to province. Here in Quebec we are around 10t.

I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Forest fires rage along Manitoba, Ontario border, mandatory evacuations called for

Multiple communities have been evacuated as two massive forest fires rage in eastern Manitoba Friday.

The first wildfire started Thursday evening northeast of Caddy Lake in Manitoba. It’s grown in size to 700 hectares and expanded into Ontario....

voice of the damned

montrealer58 wrote:

Emissions vary drastically from province to province. Here in Quebec we are around 10t.

I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

 

I think it's kind of a wild goose chase, trying to prove that a PARTICULAR fire was caused by global warming. It's like the following disucssion...

A: Smoking causes lung cancer!! Look what happened to Jim. He smoked, and he died of lung cancer!

B: Yes, but his father and all his uncles died of lung cancer as well, and they didn't smoke, so obviosuly, Bill's cancer was genetic.

A: But his non-smoking aunt didn't die of lung cancer, so what does that tell you about genetics?.

And so on so forth. Of course, whether or not Jim's cancer was caused by smoking is neither here nor there, to the question of whether smoking is connected with a greater risk of lung cancer in the aggregate. Science has pretty much proven that it is, so getting bogged down in a debate about Jim's own individual case is just a useless diversion, distracting from the overall point.

As far as I am aware, there is no way of knowing whether the Fort McMurray fire would still have occured in some alternative time-line where global warming had been brought to heel twenty years ago. I know some people like the symbolism of Tarsands Central suffering blowback from the pollution trends to which it had contributed, but that's nothing on which to build a case for emission reduction.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

montrealer58 wrote:

Emissions vary drastically from province to province. Here in Quebec we are around 10t.

I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

Climate change provided the conditions that allowed human negligence to produce this catastrophe. Humans causing forest fires is a constant factor and always has been. The intensity and destructiveness of the fires caused by that constant is the new factor. The tar sands did not cause this fire nor did Alberta's century of burning coal for energy however both of those things contribute to the present day global warming. We can all look in the mirror when it comes to climate change and we can all do what we can to change the course we are on. For me that is doing what I can to ensure my personal carbon footprint is low and that bitumen is not pumped through my province to be exported and burnt somewhere else in the world. It appears the majority of people in Quebec and the majority of people in BC are saying no to pipelines.

Quote:

To raise environmental concerns in the midst of human tragedy is to risk the charge of insensitivity. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alluded to this danger at a recent news conference: “Any time we try to make a political argument out of one particular disaster, I think there’s a bit of a shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome.” And certainly it would be wrong to blame the residents of Fort McMurray for the disaster that has befallen them. As Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist who is a Green Party member of British Columbia’s provincial legislature, noted, “The reality is we are all consumers of products that come from oil.”

But to fail to acknowledge the connection is to risk another kind of offense. We are all consumers of oil, not to mention coal and natural gas, which means that we’ve all contributed to the latest inferno. We need to own up to our responsibility, and then we need to do something about it. The fire next time is one that we’ve been warned about, and that we’ve all had a hand in starting.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/fort-mcmurray-and-the-fires-...

 

6079_Smith_W

montrealer58 wrote:

It was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

 

You can't say that either. Hot spark from a passing train. Cigarette flicked from a passing car. Peat fire. Any thing could have started it.

Why are the conditions so hot and dry so early in the season that allowed whatever started that fire to take hold and grow so big so fast? That is another matter.

JohnInAlberta JohnInAlberta's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

It doesn't matter who burns the filthy tar sands gunk it will contribute to global warming and the resulting climate change that fire experts say are the cause of the increase in both the number and severity of forest fires in the boreal forest.

 

<sigh> It's not "filthy gunk" when it's burned ... your apparent lack of knowledge regarding petroleum products is stunning.  Again, the net affect of the tar sands on global greenhouse gas emission is zero-point-five percent.  That's end-to-end.  To reuse the phrase, it's a fart in a windstorm.  

Looking at it another way, Canada's growth this year has been revised 1.5% to 0.0% as of yesterday.  Why? Because Ft. McMurray's oil sands output has been halted.  Until provinces like PEI, NS, NB, MB and especially Quebec find an industry in which they are successful (and thus end dependence on equialization welfare) then suck it up, princess: you're going to have to take the bad with the good.

 

6079_Smith_W

Especially quebec? Because they have the highest GDP per capita of the provinces you mentioned? Or some other reason.

In case anyone was wondering about the wisdom of turning this into a "bash alberta" or any other province thread, this is where it inevitably winds up when you open that door.

 

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

And don't forget fellow Eastern bastards, we can freeze in the dark too!

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

You are in trouble, the rest of the country wants to help, and all you can do is talk shit. Grow up!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JohnInAlberta wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

It doesn't matter who burns the filthy tar sands gunk it will contribute to global warming and the resulting climate change that fire experts say are the cause of the increase in both the number and severity of forest fires in the boreal forest.

<sigh> It's not "filthy gunk" when it's burned ... your apparent lack of knowledge regarding petroleum products is stunning.  Again, the net affect of the tar sands on global greenhouse gas emission is zero-point-five percent.  That's end-to-end.  To reuse the phrase, it's a fart in a windstorm.  

Your arrogance is stunning. It is filthy tar sands gunk and the reason I say that is because tar sands development produces four times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil reserves. Tar sands development is the single largest contributor, and fastest growing source of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Try doing some research before you throw around stupid insults. Given I live in BC and we don't get equalization payments I guess your other ridiculous argument means nothing to us. So I will continue to do what I can to strand as much filthy bitumen in your province as possible.

If I accept the 0.5% figure as Canada's share of the carbon emissions I can see we really punch above our weight in that category. Our population is 0.005% of the worlds population.  I thought right wing Albertan's were all about personal responsibility. You obviously have no desire to be personally responsible for your individual part of the planet's carbon emissions.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Canada to Review Russia’s Offer to Assist With Alberta Wildfire

Trudeau regime: "Dirty Russians, we don't want your help. Bugger off."

ETA: Canada: "“We can confirm that we have received a letter from the Russian Federation offering their assistance,” [Public Safety Canada spokesperson Mylene] Croteau said. “We will review the offer received from the Russian Federation and will respond to them in due course.”

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

First Nations in Canada come to the rescue!

TeleSur wrote:
First Nations communities are opening their doors to people fleeing Fort McMurray, the city engulfed by the blaze at the heart of Canada's oil sands.

A raging forest fire near Canada’s tar sands in the western province of Alberta that has forced evacuation of the 88,000-population city of Fort McMurray late Tuesday and Wednesday has caused devastating damage, but it has also shown the resilience of Indigenous communities already hard-hit by oil sands expansion on their lands.

JohnInAlberta JohnInAlberta's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Given I live in BC and we don't get equalization payments I guess your other ridiculous argument means nothing to us. So I will continue to do what I can to strand as much filthy bitumen in your province as possible.

British Columbia?  Oh, my mistake.  Your province is merely all about clear cutting, over-fishing and strip mining.  Let's not even talk about the end-to-end greenhouse gas impact of the coal you're extracting.  Hypocrisy, thy name is the B.C. "environmentalist".  

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Especially quebec? Because they have the highest GDP per capita of the provinces you mentioned? Or some other reason

Yet QC still receives almost $8B per year in equalization.  Your per capita GDP number means squat when you're still feasting at the trough.

 

voice of the damned

JohnInAlberta wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Given I live in BC and we don't get equalization payments I guess your other ridiculous argument means nothing to us. So I will continue to do what I can to strand as much filthy bitumen in your province as possible.

British Columbia?  Oh, my mistake.  Your province is merely all about clear cutting, over-fishing and strip mining.  Let's not even talk about the end-to-end greenhouse gas impact of the coal you're extracting.  Hypocrisy, thy name is the B.C. "environmentalist".  

Well, I think it's probably the case that Kropotkin is oipposed to those things you mention, and has likely engaged in activities meant to stop them, or at least curtail their excesses. At the very least, I believe he has said be votes for parties that take an environmentalist stance.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

montrealer58 wrote:
I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

If the fire was human caused, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area if the tar sands were not a thing.

My take on the relationship between climate change and this fire is that while climate change likely did not directly cause it, climate change did create the very hot and dry conditions that have allowed this fire to grow as rapidly as it has.

voice of the damned

Left Turn wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:
I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

If the fire was human caused, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area if the tar sands were not a thing.

Well, by the same logic, if there is a fire near Cambridge Massachusetts, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area were Harvard University not a thing.

Therefore, Harvard University caused the fire?

ilha formosa

Tragic. Canada would be prudent to prepare for more of it. Listen to good scientists. Climate change is biome change. With less annual precipitation (right side of triangle), much of Canada's biomes will be turning from 'moist forest' into 'scrub' and even 'boreal desert,' like Mongolia. With winters becoming mild with less snow, ie much drier springtimes, those forests are not going to grow back the same. The Rockies without snowcaps look strange, like Mars. More water conservation awareness and infrastructure (like rainwater barrels) for the prairie provinces, including for agricultural purposes, is in order -- NOW.

Holdridge_life_zones

Climate Change and Biomes http://www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/climate/climate-change/toolkit/ei/tg...

Climate change may bring big ecosystem shifts, NASA says 

 

Climate change is biome change.

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Vice News takes a dump on the Russian offer of help.

Quote:
It's hard to tell whether it's a legitimate offer, or a snide geopolitical belittling of one of its fiercest critics, but Moscow has extended an offer to Ottawa to help battle the raging forest fires in Fort McMurray which have displaced more than 80,000.

The only "fierce" thing about Canadian criticism is how it echoes the Master's Voice in Washington in a shrill and yappy way. England is the US poodle? Canada is its chihuahua.

Vice News: Russia Has Made a Questionably Sincere Offer to Help Put Out Canada's Forest Fires

Those dastardly Russians! How dare they offer help! Just like a Communist! So Sneaky! etc.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

JohnInAlberta wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Given I live in BC and we don't get equalization payments I guess your other ridiculous argument means nothing to us. So I will continue to do what I can to strand as much filthy bitumen in your province as possible.

British Columbia?  Oh, my mistake.  Your province is merely all about clear cutting, over-fishing and strip mining.  Let's not even talk about the end-to-end greenhouse gas impact of the coal you're extracting.  Hypocrisy, thy name is the B.C. "environmentalist".  

Well, I think it's probably the case that Kropotkin is oipposed to those things you mention, and has likely engaged in activities meant to stop them, or at least curtail their excesses. At the very least, I believe he has said be votes for parties that take an environmentalist stance.

Indeed you are correct VoD.  Strange this right wing person would highlight the worst environmental offences of BC's oligarchy to try and mitigate Calgary's oil and gas oligarchy's environmental degradation. Clearly logic is not his strong suit. If it was he could draw the connection to our capitalist assholes who run the country and the disasters we are enduring. Instead he blames activists for the problems caused by the ruling elite. Methinks he wandered into a chat site that he clearly does not understand.

Paladin1

Left Turn wrote:

 

If the fire was human caused, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area if the tar sands were not a thing.

 

have to say that's a tenuous theory.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Strange this right wing person would highlight the worst environmental offences of BC's oligarchy to try and mitigate Calgary's oil and gas oligarchy's environmental degradation. Clearly logic is not his strong suit. If it was he could draw the connection to our capitalist assholes who run the country and the disasters we are enduring. Instead he blames activists for the problems caused by the ruling elite. Methinks he wandered into a chat site that he clearly does not understand.

Yes.

 

quizzical

Unionist wrote:
kropotkin1951 wrote:
Strange this right wing person would highlight the worst environmental offences of BC's oligarchy to try and mitigate Calgary's oil and gas oligarchy's environmental degradation. Clearly logic is not his strong suit. If it was he could draw the connection to our capitalist assholes who run the country and the disasters we are enduring. Instead he blames activists for the problems caused by the ruling elite. Methinks he wandered into a chat site that he clearly does not understand.

Yes.

i know hey!!

JohnInAlberta JohnInAlberta's picture

Funny that, I'm not left-wing and I'm not right wing: I prefer not to align myself with any dogma but instead choose to decide on individual issues based on a comprehensive set of data.  I understand that left-wing demagoguery appeals to many but please try to remember that the so-called "capitalist assholes" are responsible for pretty much every modern benefit and convenience that you enjoy today.  Despite the negative environmental impact that oilsands extraction has caused there are numerous benefits to it and I believe the benefits far outweight the negative aspects, especially when a global view is taken.  If we choose to disagree then so be it, but I can only recommend that you attempt to expand your knowledgebase beyond simple rhetoric.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

voice of the damned wrote:
Left Turn wrote:

montrealer58 wrote:
I'd say that because there was no lightning before the wildfire, it was probably started by someone in the area. You can't blame the tar sands OR climate change for that.

If the fire was human caused, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area if the tar sands were not a thing.

Well, by the same logic, if there is a fire near Cambridge Massachusetts, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area were Harvard University not a thing.

Therefore, Harvard University caused the fire?

If a fire near Cambridge Massachusetts was caused by someone who was only there because of Harvard, then Harvard is an indirect cause of that fire.

quizzical

JohnInAlberta wrote:
 I understand that left-wing demagoguery appeals to many but please try to remember that the so-called "capitalist assholes" are responsible for pretty much every modern benefit and convenience that you enjoy today.

faulty logic.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

 

If the fire was human caused, chances are it was caused by someone who would not have been in the area if the tar sands were not a thing.

 

have to say that's a tenuous theory.

The theory is that most of the people who would venure out into the wilderness near Fort McMurray would be people who live in the area, and that most of the people who live in the area are there either directly or indirectly because of the tar sands. The number of out of area people who would be out in the wilderness near fort McMurray would be a small portion of the total people who would venture out into the wilderness near Fort McMurray.

I'd guess that somewhere in the order of 70-80% of the people who would venture out into the wilderness near Fort McMurray would have either a direct or indirect connection to the tar sands.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

JohnInAlberta wrote:

Funny that, I'm not left-wing and I'm not right wing: I prefer not to align myself with any dogma but instead choose to decide on individual issues based on a comprehensive set of data.  I understand that left-wing demagoguery appeals to many but please try to remember that the so-called "capitalist assholes" are responsible for pretty much every modern benefit and convenience that you enjoy today.  Despite the negative environmental impact that oilsands extraction has caused there are numerous benefits to it and I believe the benefits far outweight the negative aspects, especially when a global view is taken.  If we choose to disagree then so be it, but I can only recommend that you attempt to expand your knowledgebase beyond simple rhetoric.

 

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I tried facts with you at first but since that has failed you get the rhetoric. I suspect that my knowledge base far exceeds your and I have no time to try and educate someone with a closed mind. I as said above you seem to not have realized that on this site your line of pro-capatilist bullshit is not the norm and frankly so far you have shown yourself to be ill equipped to have a debate within the parametres of the intended purpose of this site. When you have read something beyond mindless corporate propaganda come back and chat in the meantime I will not waste any more of my time on someone who believes that left wing views are demagoguery and that the tar sands are a global benefit. 

 

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