Is it time yet? Can we talk about this?
Others certainly are. As in the International New York Times:
Scientists have been warning for decades that climate change is a threat to the immense tracts of forest that ring the Northern Hemisphere, with rising temperatures, drying trees and earlier melting of snow contributing to a growing number of wildfires.
The near-destruction of a Canadian city last week by a fire that sent almost 90,000 people fleeing for their lives is grim proof that the threat to these vast stands of spruce and other resinous trees, collectively known as the boreal forest, is real. And scientists say a large-scale loss of the forest could have profound consequences for efforts to limit the damage from climate change.
The charge leveled against those who have made the connection – most notably the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May – is of insensitivity if not inaccuracy. The suffering is too real to be politicized – which is what some of those who prefer the connection not be made at all are calling it: politicization. Ideally, average Canadians will be persuaded that raising climate change in the context of those whose living depends on the oil sands is so inappropriate that it should not be discussed, ever.
Beyond that is an even tougher question: Should we as Canadians, whether through government funding or private investment, pour money into Fort McMurray to rebuild and enlarge the city so that we can double down on carbon extraction, even as the forests burn and threaten one of the world’s most valuable carbon sinks?
How can that be reconciled?
Or is it better just not to talk about it?