The Oilsands Didn’t Set Fort McMurray On Fire

STJ1👤 By Shawn J. ¦ Founding Editor, Calling Out Community
Posted May 9, 2016.  Updated June 6, 2016.
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The giant 500,000+ hectare fire near Fort McMurray, AB makes the evening sky glow red like the morning dawn. (Credit: Canadian Press)

The giant 500,000+ hectare fire near Fort McMurray, AB makes the evening sky glow red like the morning dawn. (Credit: Canadian Press)

Update: June, 6, 2016:

From Alberta Wildfire (Sunday, June 6, 2016):
Wildfire (MWF009) has experienced minimal growth and is estimated to be 581,745 hectares in size (including SK). Firefighters and heavy equipment continue to make steady progress securing approximately 442 kilometres of guard around the perimeter of the fire.

Agriculture and Forestry has 2,161 wildland firefighters and support staff, 80 helicopters, and 217 pieces of heavy equipment working to extinguish this fire. Assisting Alberta Agriculture and Forestry firefighters are firefighters from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Parks Canada, Nova Scotia, PEI, Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), South Africa, Yukon and the U.S.

As we continue to see crews transition in and out of the Horse River Wildfire it is important to acknowledge all those who have supported the tremendous firefighting efforts being undertaken. These crews have travelled across Canada and the world to stand side-by-side on the fire line with their fellow wildland firefighters. We are grateful for the national and international relationships that allow for this resource sharing and we thank each and every one of the men and women who have joined Alberta wildland firefighters and all those who will still be joining. Thank you! (emphasis ours)

Original Post: May 9, 2016

I woke up several mornings in this past month from a great night sleep, only to become instantly irritated with the toxic brew of talk radio idiots, spewing nonsense about how the Fort McMurray, Alberta wildfire (that forced the evacuation of the entire city of 88,000 on May 1) was “karmic” and/or a result of climate change or of the oil sands.

Now, the reality is that a cause for this fire is not yet determined, even one month later, and we may never know what happened for sure. However, Huffington Post quoted Mike Flanagan, a professor of wildland fires at the University of Alberta as saying:

“…the fire’s proximity to the city, as well as data that shows there were no lightning strikes in the area, lead [Flanagan] to believe the cause of the fire was likely human.”

Canada’s politicians and scientists have also all cautioned that individual fires cannot specifically be linked to climate change, but agree that it is part of a general trend of more intense wildfires.

Let me be completely clear – blaming the initial cause or development of this massive forest fire on the oilsands, just because it was located in the same general area of the province, is both insensitive, stupid and slanderous.  It makes as much sense as blaming the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (outside of San Francisco) on the 62,000 people gathered nearby at Candlestick Park to watch Game 3 of the World Series.  Maybe they were jumping around too much – the earthquake did start at 5:03 PM as the game went live on television. 

The fire out of control (Credit: Canadian Press)

The fire out of control (Credit: Canadian Press)

First of all, fires do not ever start as a result of climate change.  They are caused by human error, electrical malfunctions, lightning – but the gradual warming of the earth will never start a forest fire. EVER.

And as we reported earlier in the year, scientists announced recently that this trend toward a warming earth actually has been paused anyway – for 18 straight years.  Right around that same time, the Climate Change Institute at the prestigious Ivy League school Yale University closed for good. Coincidence?

Now, this forest was made bone dry as a result of the very dry Spring weather in the area, caused by warm dry air coming from the equator (El Nino).  But it’s been happening for decades, yea centuries, recorded first in the 1700’s.  We are currently breaking some records that were set back in the mid to late 1800’s, but these are all part of a weather cycle.

(Credit: Frugal Café)

(Credit: Frugal Café)

The site, on the subject of global warming, clarifies that:

According to temperature measurements taken near the Earth’s surface that are correlated and adjusted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Earth’s average temperature warmed by 1.5ºF (0.8ºC) between the 1880s and 2000s, mostly during 1907–1944 and 1976–2014.  (emphasis mine)

Hard to believe that all this fuss is about an increase in 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, isn’t it?  AFTER the toxic smog of the Industrial Revolution had come and gone?  And including all the current pollution of today?  That doesn’t sound like people have had a lot of impact on anything.  You cannot possibly argue that ALL of that temperature increase came from man regardless of your philosophical persuasion.

But here’s something to consider as well from another Global Warming fear mongering site that stated:

World Temperature Trends over the last 10,000 years. (Credit:

World Temperature Trends over the last 10,000 years. (Credit:

Six thousand years ago, when the world was one degree warmer than it is now, the American agricultural heartland around Nebraska was desert. It suffered a short reprise during the dust- bowl years of the 1930s, when the topsoil blew away and hundreds of thousands of refugees trailed through the dust to an uncertain welcome further west. The effect of one-degree warming, therefore, requires no great feat of imagination. (emphasis mine)

STOP THE PRESSES.  EX-SQUEEZE ME?  If 6,000 years ago it was 1 degree warmer than today, and we warmed up by 1.5 degrees since the 1880s, it must have been at least 2.5 degrees colder at some point in the last 6,000 years.

Why was it so hot back then?  Surely not as a result of the impacts of man.  And why did it cool down so much – that’s almost as dangerous if not more so.  Again, couldn’t have been because of man’s influence.  Which says that we are at the mercy of the planet.

Therefore, the traumatic impact on the planet as scientists, politicians and other assorted jackasses warn today is coming is all nonsense.  Man survived hotter days before.  The ice caps didn’t all melt.  The polar bears didn’t all drown.  We survived. 

And even if we did have an impact, based on the rate of temperature increase previously (which was well before any environmental laws were in place as well) it would take us nearly 100 more years just to get back to the point we were at 6,000 years ago.

But what happens if/when the world goes into a major cooling down point?  Can we blame the scientists and politicians who brought in these laws in the first place?

Experimental pavement made with bituminous sand. (Credit: Robert Fitzsimmons, 1930 / Edmonton Journal)

Experimental pavement made with bituminous sand. (Credit: Robert Fitzsimmons, 1930 / Edmonton Journal)

Secondly, the oilsands themselves not start this fire, and it continues as a result of the current weather conditions and man’s decisions in fighting it.   The fires never actually reached the oilsands, nor were they started in the oilsands.  They started some like 25 kms away from there.

Let’s get real about this region, people.  The oilsands have always been there, they are naturally occurring and have been exposed for many, many years to the elements and surrounding environment.  In 1929, the Dominion of Canada issued a patent to Dr. Karl A. Clark for the hot-water extraction process for separating bitumen from oil sands in Alberta. This process laid the groundwork for the large-scale methods used by today’s producers of Canadian oil sands.

But the oilsands existed far before that.  As quoted from the United Nations University site:

imagesKWGC85VDHistorically, raw bitumen was used by the indigenous Cree and Dene peoples to waterproof their canoes. European fur traders first discovered the resource in the early 18th century and Canada’s colonists soon began experimenting with techniques to separate and upgrade it. It wasn’t until 1967 that the first commercially viable Great Canadian Oil Sands (now Suncor) plant opened, using surfactants in the separation process.

Today, we see a host of un-informed celebrity no-minds and leftwing media and politicians join forces to use this forest fire as their catalyst to boycott this “dirty oil”, as if the two had any correlation.  These oilsands would exist whether we developed them or not, as they have for centuries.  The oilsands have been leaking into ground water and been exposed to fire and the elements long before the white man set foot in North America.  And again, this fire was not caused by the oilsands, nor does it continue because of them.

Hollywood A-List actors Leonardo DiCaprio (front in blue) and Mark Ruffalo (in blue to his right) participate in the Sept 23, 2014 "People's Climate March" in New York.

Hollywood A-List actors Leonardo DiCaprio (front in blue) and Mark Ruffalo (in blue to his right) participate in the Sept 23, 2014 “People’s Climate March” in New York.

These same pinko watermelon (communist red on the inside, green on the outside) environmental idiots, like Leonardo DiCaprio, will fly in to the televised protests on private jets from one of their multiple homes, be whisked to the protest site in the biggest limousine possible…

…And will then will jaw on in front of the cameras about how they drive a hybrid, or rides a pony or a bike to work, and are on some kind of moral high ground as a result, to berate the people the rest of us who aren’t quite there yet mentally or financially.

Yet these people are missing one major fact in their protests – the bike they ride to work with has tires partly made with oil, as is the grease they use to lube up the chains, and possibly the handle bar grips.  Half the parts inside that hybrid car are also made with oil or its byproducts, including nearly all of the fluids that vehicle still requires to operate.

In fact, according to some experts, there are 6,000 items that we use every day that are made from oil.  The list is going to shock you.  Check out that post here – we have listed just the first 400 items.  You get rid of mankind’s need for any of these, and then we’ll talk.

In conclusion, stop blaming Fort McMurray for creating its own problems.  That is vile and evil as far as I’m concerned.  No one looks at Hiroshima today and blames Japanese people for their own demise, yet history shows that’s in fact the case.  But when people attempt to make political or philosophical hay out of this fire, when there isn’t even a true link, I trust that hay will always ignite as well, and burn those who attempted it.

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