Yes, It's Okay to Talk About Climate Change Right Now
Yes, It's Okay to Talk About Climate Change Right Now
By Nicholas Ellan / nicholasellan.ca

With the largest evacuation in the history of the province of Alberta displacing nearly 100 000 people as large sections of Fort McMurray burn to the ground in the middle of a spring heat wave, it’s only natural for people affected to ask “why?” Why is this happening? What was the cause, and how were we not prepared?

When tragedy strikes we try to make sense of it. What’s happening now is, undeniably, a tragedy. Thousands of Canadians are losing everything they own. People’s lives are at risk. Life as normal has ceased for a significant portion of the people of Alberta. And while I could point out that this wildfire coincides with record-shattering temperatures across Western Canada, the likes of which we have literally never seen before in recorded history, and join in helping others draw the natural conclusions (or at least, what seem to me to be natural conclusions) about how climate change and natural disasters are causally linked, I will decline. Other people are better equipped to lead that conversation. People like Alberta’s First Nations, like climate justice activists across the country, students and organizers and grandparents and children.

No, what I do want to do, is defend our right to have that critical, and arguably existential, discussion. What I want to zero in on are the usual chorus of people, who turn up reliably after every school shooting in the United States, for example, and shout down everyone.

“Not now.” “It’s not the time.” “You’re being insensitive.” “People are in crisis, they don’t need a lecture.” “Don’t politicize this tragedy.”

But of course every tragedy is political. Every crisis is a contested site. It’s not insensitive to for people to actively and publicly struggle to make sense of this: on the contrary it is precisely an act of sensitivity. People are allowing themselves to be affected by events, and this is good. It would be (and is) insensitive to demand people remain deaf, mute, and numb to what’s happening all around them. And for decades, that has been the precise demand levelled at much of Alberta, Canada, and the globe. What it boils down to is: “Shut up.”

So don’t let those bastards get you down. Keep talking, to your friends, your families, your neighbours. If this sounds like a wake up call to you, it probably is.

Good morning, Fort McMurray. Stay safe out there.

3.8 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 15,525 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 9,886 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 2,839 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 1,429 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 1,023 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 967 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 902 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 902 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 761 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure
Daniel Quinn · 680 views today · PART ONE A fable to start with Once upon a time life evolved on a certain planet, bringing forth many different social organizations—packs, pods, flocks, troops, herds, and...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 613 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 613 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 513 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 456 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 442 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
A New Story for Humanity (2016)
102 min · 382 views today · Inspired by the New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation: a sold-out multicultural, multigenerational inquiry into a new story for humanity, attended by change makers and...
Lawns Are for Suckers. Plant a Garden - for the Climate!
Nathanael Johnson · 381 views today · Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change...
Masculinity Is Killing Men: The Roots of Men and Trauma
Kali Holloway · 359 views today · We begin the damaging process of turning boys into men long before boyhood ends.
Why You Should Take Your Kids Out of School
Ben Hewitt · 333 views today · We don't need no education. At least not of the traditional, compulsory, watch-the-clock-until-the-bell-rings kind. As a growing movement of unschoolers believe, a steady diet...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 297 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Yes, It's Okay to Talk About Climate Change Right Now