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Forest fires, extreme weather and breaking the climate silence

At CRPC, we firmly believe that access to verified information, good faith analysis and data transparency are central to making good decisions about our future as a society, whether at the local or planetary scale. That’s why we’re concerned to see many leaders and media outlets failing to connect the dots between climate change and the more frequent severe weather events and disasters in recent decades. Disastrous flooding, heat waves and storms are some examples. And in recent weeks, forest fires have dominated the news — but the smoke that has blanketed major North-American cities and caused dangerous air quality levels is only part of the story. This is also about the climate crisis, just as much as the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather.

This is scary, anxiety provoking stuff. Not making climate change a part of the conversation is even scarier. It’s what many have called climate silence. That’s why it’s crucial that — in addition to taking action to respond to the immediate emergency needs of people impacted by these events — we invest in adaptation to help protect people from future disasters. The scientific evidence says that to reduce climate change causing emissions, we must massively scale back fossil fuel extraction and rapidly phase out their use as fuel. Grassroots, community mobilization seems to be the only way to push government and corporate leaders to make the right decisions and protect everyone from the climate crisis.

Here are a few resources we hope can help us to better think about these issues and break the climate silence.  



Have a look at the Canada Interagency forest Fire Centre website which provides a comprehensive portrait of the situation in numbers: 

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  • Listen to this interview on Democracy Now with Genevieve Guenther, founding director of End Climate Silence, a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the media cover the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves.
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  • Read this piece in The Guardian by Canadian activist and the Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, Tzeporah Berman, “Canada is on fire, and big oil is the arsonist”.
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