After a summer of dodging the bullets while the rest of the BC Interior was subjected to a record wildfire season, it’s now our turn, and big fires are burning all around us, even as we head into autumn.
Growing up on the prairies — an area that has among the highest temperatures ranges winter to summer on the planet — I thought I’d seen it all. But I’ve never seen anything like 2017.
We had a winter that dropped a record amount of snow on us in a record short time, shutting down the town for a couple of days, followed by a summer of record heat and (arguably at this stage) record dryness, with a record amount of wildfires threatening to torch our towns. Not to mention a record amount of particulate matter in the air we breathe.
Environment Canada isn’t offering up any theories as to cause, to me, anyway. But statistics show each year is hotter than the last (although 2016 is the hottest year on record, 2017 is on track to be the second hottest year on record — * see links below).
Down south, records are also being broken in a devastating hurricane season — Hurricane Harvey just past, which caused record flooding in Texas, and the unprecedented Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, currently wreaking devastation in the Caribbean and heading towards the US.
I’m not saying climate change is or is not a hoax created by China, as Donald Trump has claimed, and which some people seem to believe. Conspiracy theorists like Infowars may peddle ideas like these — alternative facts, as the new term has it.
But this is just crazy talk, and you’d have to be out of your mind to believe such nonsense.
Instead, we should revisit that great conspiracy theory of the 1980s, which I think is way more grounded in alternative fact, and which I offer here as an obvious reason for this new world of weather we’re living in. That is, the weaponization of the weather.
Remember back in the ‘80s, when all the buzz was that the Soviet Union and the U.S. were racing to see who could develop weather control first, and thus unleash drought, famine, and the like on their “great power” enemy?
After all, widely respected American political commentator Ann Coulter is on record saying Hurricane Harvey is far more likely to be God’s punishment for Houston having a gay mayor than as the result of climate change. But isn’t it even far more likely than God’s punishment that the U.S. is fighting a secret weather war — not with the Russians, but with China?
It’s plain as the nose on Ann Coulter’s face — China is flinging powerful new mutant hurricanes at the US, and the Americans are retaliating by blasting China with ferocious record wildfires — oh, wait that’s British Columbia that’s being blasted!
I know what happened. The Americans set their weaponized weather target to “China,” but it autocorrected to “Canada.” They didn’t notice, and just hit “send.” We all know how easily that can happen.
Speaking of new apocalyptic warfare, and how Canada can get caught in the middle … I have to say that as someone who reached adulthood (theoretically) in the 1980s, this talk of nuclear combat between the U.S. and North Korea doesn’t faze me one bit. I and many of my peers got so used to the idea of the inevitability of nuclear war between the US and the USSR that we’re still blandly waiting for it to happen.
Back in the day, if either of those two enemies were to have launched a first strike with their missiles, the other country would launch its intercept missiles, and of course all those missiles would meet each other over Canada. We all got used to the thought of being the battleground, either nuclear or conventional, between the US and USSR, like Germany and Russia fighting in Poland.
I’m still half expecting it in the back of my mind. The big doomsday siren in Rotary Park in Cranbrook will go off at any moment. I’ll hit save on whatever I’m doing on the computer, and crawl under my desk — ducking and covering — and wait for the big flash of light.
And I have always assumed most of us would actually survive the atomic holocaust, and would go on living — with way more incidences of cancer and way fewer goods and services — here on the planet of the weeds.
But the way things are going weather-wise, we might be headed there anyway.
* • www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-noaa-data-show-2016-warmest-year-on-record-globally