As I watched in horror as hundred foot fire bombs engulfed Fort Mac forcing upwards of 80,000 people to flee from their homes another reel played out simultaneously behind the first and I wondered how the blame game in Alberta would go once the flames died out?
Hmmm…. Fort Mac smelled rich with blame…. and I wondered how much of it was my own? It’s no world secret that Fort Mac represents a giant scar on the face of our beautiful planet blue dot. Nor is it any secret that the battles raging beneath the masks of corporate interest and government pockets runs nice and deep. Neither is it any mystery that various indigenous and environmental groups have been lobbying to make changes to Fort Mac and its infamous funder the grand Tar Sands for years. So who will be left holding the smoking gun when the flames die down and there is blame to pay?
As I see it the blame game is classic human nature in action, and its an ingrained collective story; the higher the stakes, the harder it is NOT to do. We humans are limbicly archaic, quite psychologically infantile and blame is something we do very well. Think of it personally, like when the neighborhood cat craps in your flower bed… then move more moderate say to groups of homeless people creating a garbage dump in your neighbourhood (aka riverdale last summer) …then head ballistic like when planes knocked over the world trade center or flames just destroyed your home and you are forced to flee the city you live in. We need to blame so that we have someplace to land our negative emotions.
Could it be that a careless resident of Fort Mac tossed a cigarette out the window while driving home from a long stint in the oil fields?… or how about that Mother Nature has given up more than her fair share and the gig is up? I doubt it will end this obvious.
It seems too harsh to blame the victims of such tragic loss. But who are the victims really? Are the people of Fort MacMurry the only victims? … what about the Indiginous groups whose lands have been destroyed, Mother Nature left as a scab, traumatized animals, burned plants… the air we all need to breath or the environment we are leaving for the future?
We simply aren’t neurologically or psychologically capable of containing the pain and hardship we create or contribute to so my curious question remains; who will become the scape goat when the flames die down in Fort Mac?
My speculation goes something like this…. We have a new NDP government who needs to stay in power long enough to make some changes; we are in a recession and near sighted Albertans aren’t happy; we have environmental pressure to change the energy we consume and oil is presently the world currency; we have indigenous and environmental groups saying we are destroying our environment and the future lives of our children by continuing to rape the land and we have scientists along with Mother Nature saying hello friends our eco-systems are spiraling out of control. … oh yeah, and we have our surreptitious security and surveillance business AKA AI wanting to be the next oil.
Given history likes to repeat itself…government, oil and AI are all holding hands… environmental is the greatest threat… I say blame will land on a group in the Environmental world… or oppositional gov parties will use this as a way to bring the NDP down. Either way corporate handshakes will remain firm, business will likely continue on as usual and the big players will continue to play while the muzzle is placed on the new environmental terrorists or affiliatates. But will anyone see this as a sign of the times or an opportunity for mass change?…. I doubt it.