Tag Archives: Mother Nature

Fort McMurray Wildfire: Not a Campfire

©2016 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee  

(*photos unavailable at this time due to technical difficulties)


We like Camping Better

Think back...have you ever sat beside a lake at a camp site,  toasting marshmallows, watching a natural, crackling fire consume firewood, glowing red-hot, yellow flames,  wisps of smoke and  sparks magically drifting off into the night sky?  Maybe it's not a campfire; many  modern camping enthusiasts  content ourselves with a camp stove, usually not a campfire, the open type, at least —or  we carefully use  the same safe, good old-fashioned fire pit. Enjoying the company of good friends and making fond memories out camping may be accessorized with a favourite book or fishing rod, or both, and  R&R is completed with sunshine,  snoozing, canoe, kids,  water-play, tent, food and fun. Fire danger presently in the mind or not, we like camping better than  life back at the suburbs, and that's how the great outdoors should be, but...

But let us try again...have you ever  wind gust and shift almost instantaneously at your campsite,  blowing hot, suffocating, ash, smoke and sparks from your fire into your face, making those  comfy seats around the campfire a hazard,  not a place to sit and dream?  Perhaps too much fuel is indiscriminately added;  the fire becomes too big,   flames reach to the sky, threatening  nearby trees.  It has become dangerous; it is not a simple campfire any longer as wind fans flames.  Heat, acrid smoke,  dangerous sparks fly,  flames spread into nearby tinder-dry grass or the forest itself. There is a  sudden realization of fear...good times are forgotten and panic ensues. With unpredictable winds in some conditions  it is even possible to become surrounded by a deadly  wildfire.

The Fort McMurray Wildfire

To date it is unknown if the current fire event at Fort McMurray, Alberta, was started by lightning or accidentally,  by human activity.  Here at IncomingBytes we  respect, treasure and enjoy the great outdoors, and certainly hope the cause was not a campfire neglected by individuals who were enjoying the finest Mother Nature has to offer. It is too early to speculate.

We can only offer for certain that, like all forest fires, the Fort Mac monster started out small, accidentally or otherwise.  Fires have been caused by lightning, a vehicle,  a single spark, the careless tossing of a cigarette butt, or  in the worst case scenario, vandalism.  Not arson, please;  there could never be adequate punishment meted out for a crime of that magnitude.   And hopefully, it was not an innocent campfire run amok;  we repeat, please, —not an innocent campfire.  That would imply that someone's love for the wonderful outdoors burned  and scarred Mother Nature;  carelessness... neglect,  and unfettered guilt...You get the idea.

The Perfect Firestorm

Regardless of how the 'Fort Mac ' fire started, it grew unbelievably fast and totally out of control.  Within a very short period of time, the fire became an insatiable monster of the highest magnitude. Why?  Fire officials suggest this event was differenta perfect storm, with kindling-dry forests,  an endless and huge supply of fuel, bone-dry wood,  logs, dead trees, green conifers, extremely  low humidity, hot temperatures,  no rain, —all coupled with  gusting, driving winds capable of switching direction  unpredictably within moments.  Perfect conditions existed province-wide for the incredibly fast expansion of even the tiniest  fire.  Heat, dry fuel, oxygen... all are necessary for fire, and contributed greatly to this unbelievable, perfect firestorm.  All it took was one spark,  a campfire, a cigarette butt,  perhaps a discarded glass bottle and sunlight, or a lightning strike.  With the fire still in progress, officials can only guess at the cause as Canadians have switched into survival and firefighting mode.

The Fort Mac fire took off, becoming large enough to create its own weather system and be seen from space;  it soon consumed thousands of buildings, homes, commercial buildings, infrastructure, destroying  vehicles, personal property and livelihoods indiscriminately in an incredibly savage attack. More than 80,000 people were forced to evacuate to safer areas initially both north and south.  Unbelievably, some people  were even forced to evacuate more than once, to flee  endangered oil facilities and evacuation centers.


Not a Campfire?

This fire remains a vicious, unpredictable predator many days later, after destroying large neighbourhoods of Fort McMurray, and unbelievably, far more than 200,000 hectares, hundreds of square kilometers of forest —a monster wildfire which ultimately may only be controlled eventually by cooler conditions,  rainfall, and Mother Nature herself.

This is an ongoing story;  a  horrific forest fire event unparalleled  in Canadian history. A wildfire to which all North Americans should be paying attention. We continue to hope it was not a camp fire.


Is that Incoming I hear?

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Life: Climate-change Liars and Deniers

©2014  Raymond Alexander Kukkee   [caption id="attachment_2739" align="aligncenter" width="448"]Winter Sunrise ©2013 by r.a. kukkee Winter Sunrise                                ©2013 by r.a. kukkee[/caption]    

The Climate-Change Conundrum

I don't know about anyone else, but it seems to me we have been fed more than  enough lies, deception and denials about climate change. We're interested, open-minded,  and we try to keep up and stay  informed to enable reasonable conclusions.  We weigh facts,excuses, lies, crap and creative discussions. One thing is clear. Extreme weather change is obvious, but acid reflux continues to flow unabated from political and corporate  lobbyists  and climate-change liars and deniers.  Common sense evaporates.  

 "Let's pretend political ideology is  responsible for bad weather"

  Dreamland suburbia. Neighbourhoods shredded  by tornadoes,  homes flooded to the rooftops. Disasters.  Nations shattered, seemingly  irreparably by  extreme  'events', earthquakes, Mother Nature's best. She is clearly becoming increasingly testy with our blatant stupidity and foolishness, yet politicians, lobbyists, liars and deniers brazenly continue to explain away reckless  agendas of exploitation and destruction. There must be a more intelligent explanation for disasters than political orientation and partisan ego, but ask  "average Joe'  who somehow confirms  the agenda of the  "other" political party or ideology is responsible for the destruction, mayhem,  or environmental disaster. We jest . Perhaps not.   "Is it really global warming?" You ask naively. "Oh, no,"  smartass wise lobbyists, climate-change liars and deniers offer; profusely, deviously, incredulously,   "that's not warming, 'they' have done studies, it's proven".  Profiteering corporations "do studies" to promote, 'prove the safety of '  and enable their agenda, but let's not go there, not today. Today we're watching everyone  play games. Alas, even political  liars and corporate CEO's will have to breathe deeply in in choking smog and bring themselves up to speed with reality.   That's worth repeating, 'bring themselves up to speed with reality.'  Gasping for air does that.


Deluded Liars and Deniers

Politicians, lobbyists, liars and deniers,  apparently,  do not require food in  la-la-land. Devastation and floods are encouraged to miss homes of partisan  liars and deniers. A tradition.  Flood waters part where there's a BMW,  and  "tornadoes go round and round"  the house of The Three Little Pigs.  Cute. In la-la land, that is.  No kidding. Get real.    

The Coffee Shop

But let's not inject climate panic into favourite coffee-shops. Behind the counter  the apocalypse is only  "tree-hugger coffee-talk" — tornadoes in coffee mugs,  you get the drift.  Real issues are disguised like a grandé latté with plastic foam on top, expensive ideological whitewash camouflaged  with  pre-purchased   political decisions gleaned from official corporate reports. Nice.   We the 'ordinary', passively entertained, get real coffee, double-double.   We are supposed to believe LL&D  rhetoric, and unbelievably, we are encouraged to  want to believe it.  Logic suggests we pick and choose.  We`re encouraged to disbelieve  "scientific fact or base-line scientific data that our  leaders have stupidly and arrogantly dismissed  like a stale doughnut. We, the Timmy's crowd, after all, know stale doughnuts.       The Harper government ignores historical,  scientific baseline data at their convenience,  eliminating meaningful comparative data. They gut environmental legislation.  Never mind that.   The government wants YOU to believe  "shiny new, modern scientific data" gathered from operating sites by corporation should be used to enable, unnoticed,  "wise puppet policy" recommended by endless corporate reports printed on shiny paper.  Uh, huh..quite a cool show, isn't it?     Loyal readers and thinkers may ask why would average Canadian coffee-drinkers  concern themselves? After all, " hamburger jobs" are created and  the economy is "under control".   Yes, we are  controlled by  'the wise', manipulators, the political, the 'corporateaucracy', the elite, the rich, the profiteers, the exploiters. The corporateaucracy  controls everything including pulling the strings of  their political puppets. We, the ordinary, are —on a 'need to know' basis.  We get it. Gag the scientists, the real ones —and offer lies from  partisan politicians, paid lobbyists, liars and deniers instead.  "Oh, yes," we whisper at Timmy's. " the elite and rich know, that makes them qualified to run everything to a state of disaster."   Really?  No. There is no alternative world to live in after "the wise" destroy this one.   Yes.  Average global temperatures swing wildly, and centuries-old glaciers are melting; the Arctic is melting, unprecedented weather events proliferate,  carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in 800,000 years. All are proven, scientific fact, yet are labeled partisan rhetoric, Houdini magic science, and  scare tactics.  Coffee-shop people need oxygen to breathe, clean water to drink, and food to eat,  do we not? —or is that just another scare tactic  to be  ignored at the clever advice of devious lunatics?


Liars and Deniers Persist

No matter; partisan or not,  every human being on earth is playing catch up with reality which approaches quickly.  We're told to vote for a profiteering corporateaucracy.   Stubborn egotistic leaders insist we must be satisfied with hamburger jobs and  silently allow international corporations trillions upon trillions in profits as they exploit finite resources, destroying the environment we need to survive. "Cars in China now produce oxygen?"  "Contaminated, condemned  oil lands now produce food?"  "Oil spills are good for the economy"? The liars and deniers keep at it. We laugh raucously. Lobbyists, climate-change liars and deniers passionately dismiss humanity itself. They are the partisan ''wise". Something is amiss in the coffee-shop. We can do better.  Yes, that we agree on, we need a refill. What do YOU think? Have you had enough of the reckless corporate agenda, destruction of the environment for profit,  political puppets, and  climate-change liars and deniers?    Is that Incoming I hear? ©2014 all rights reserved
Posted in Business, Ethics, Life, Major Issues, Nature, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments