We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Here’s the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire

Click here to access article by Brian Kahn from Climate Central

I looked long and hard for any commentaries about the relationship between the fire conflagration in Fort McMurray and global warming. This is one of the few. Most other corporate media are feasting on the sensational aspects of this event, some try to figure out the causes but have a very limited perspective by focusing on the immediate causes, some attribute the increasing fires to a "new normal" climate, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized people who made a  connection with global warming. I've noticed that local TV meteorologists in the Seattle area, if they make a connection at all to the record breaking temperatures we've been experiencing, correctly deny that any single event can be traced to global warming; but yet they refuse to look at patterns over time.

This article provides the best analysis of the relationship, but it only makes some brief references.
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.
I think that the fire conflagration at Fort McMurray is giving us a look into our future. Unfortunately, most people, especially our ruling capitalist class, refuse to acknowledge this simply because capitalism and a planet that can support human life are completely incompatible. Capitalist indoctrinated people frequently can imagine the end of humans before they can imagine the end of capitalism.