Normally at this hour I’d be at the gym. This morning, however, I woke up to the smell of wood smoke a sky that looks like this:

The air quality is noticeably terrible, and it doesn’t much feel like a great time for devotions in the iron temple.

There are currently over 100 fires raging throughout Quebec and, now, Ontario. The number goes up every time I go to check Google, last I saw was around 160. The closest is just over 100 km from here.

Wildfires on this scale, at the point in the year, are in my experience unprecedented. Ten of thousands of people in outlying communities have already been evacuated. So far about 3.5 million hectares have burned.

As you can see, not only are we on track for the worst wildfire season on record, the temporal pattern is completely out of step with what we normally see. In every other year, wildfire season is mid-August, mid-July at the earliest. The beginning of June is unheard of.

The usual suspects are blaming this on, of course, the climate emergency crisis catastrophe. Carbon dioxide concentrations have finally gotten out of hand, the tipping point has been reached, and Canada is burning as a result. Cue Greta, waving her hands in the air like the Ron Paul meme – It’s HAPPENING! You should have eaten the bugs, damn you. A cricket a day keeps the wrath of Earth Mammy at bay.

Only, that would be quite the remarkably rapid transition. As you can see in that graph, last year was a quiet year for wildfires. The year before was high, but followed the expected seasonal pattern. The year before that there were almost no wildfires to speak of. I don’t see much of a pattern there, personally. Granted, not every system in nature evolves smoothly and monotonically. Many systems undergo abrupt phase transitions.

Still, if that were the case, you’d expect the last month or so to have been both unseasonably warm and dry compared to historical averages. Certainly where I am, nothing has felt particularly out of the ordinary – we had a warm week or so at the end of May, and while it hasn’t rained much in the last two weeks it rained plenty before that. That said, it was something of a dry and winter, and a bad wildfire season was expected out in the Rockies due to the lack of precipitation.

But then there’s this satellite footage, which has been getting shared around:

It really is an amazing coincidence that all of those fires would start at more or less the same time. Perhaps if there had been an epic lightning storm blanketing the area, which there wasn’t. Or maybe a particularly large shower of meteors, although a cosmic impactor swarm large enough to set fire to the country would presumably have been seen by a lot of people, and there are only 2 reports for 2023 from the whole of Canada, with the most recent being out in Alberta.

The only other way I can imagine that you’d have that many fires starting with such perfect synchronization is via coordinated human activity. If you go on social media, the other narrative vying for supremacy with the climate crisis shrieking is that this is mostly deliberate arson. Yes, that’s a crazy conspiracy theory. It’s one that at least some police share, however, with local news in British ColombiaAlberta and Nova Scotia reporting arrests or active investigations of suspicious activity. The Alberta government has assigned just under half of the wildfires to human activity, with the rest under investigation.

Wildfire arson isn’t exactly unknown. I’ve seen reports in previous years of people setting fires in order to get jobs fighting the fires. And of course, not every human-initiated wildfire is deliberate. Accidents from unattended camp fires or cigarette butts that weren’t quite extinguished are hardly uncommon. But accidental wildfires seem unlikely to yield coordinated fires across such a wide geographical area, and rednecks looking to get summer jobs with the local fire brigade also don’t seem like the kind of bad actors that would possess this level of coordination.

That leaves, as far as I can make out, three broad categories of perpetrators: a foreign state actor; the Canadian government itself; or non-state actors.

A foreign state might be motivated by the intention to cause economic damage, but I find this somewhat unlikely. It doesn’t really seem like Russia’s or China’s style. Damaging Canada’s softwood lumber trade isn’t likely to result in any particular strategic advantage for them.

An obvious candidate for non-state actor would be an eco-terrorist group. Extinction Rebellion types, for example, might easily have concluded that Canada and other Western governments are not acting fast enough to shut down human activity and break the planet’s fever. So why not give people a good scare? Set a bunch of fires and blame it on Huitzilocarbon. It’s the sort of little white lie that zealots of their type can easily excuse to themselves.

Would an eco-terrorist group really be capable of that level of coordination, though? We’re talking a minimum of a hundred people going to remote areas and setting fires all at once. Certainly there are well more than a hundred carbon cultists in the world, but there’s a big difference between the levels of emotional buy-in that result in ‘I should not eat meat’ and ‘burn 3 million hectares of forest’. There’s also the competence question. As a rule, fanaticism and professionalism are inversely correlated. Not always, but the combination of ability and zealotry is fairly rare.

State actors tend to be much more capable of coordinated atrocity on a mass scale. Since I can’t really see what any of Canada’s adversaries would have to gain from this, that narrows it down to Canada itself. Canada’s national government is of course in the hands of precisely the same sorts of ideopathic maniacs that populate Extinction Rebellion. They’re already pushed through a carbon tax, they’re moving to start imposing agriculturally ruinous nitrogen caps, they’re fully on board with the EV and renewable scams. But Trudeau’s Liberals have also been getting increasing pushback, both in Parliament, and from the population at large. More people are rolling their eyes at climate catastrophizing than ever before, not only in Canada but throughout the Western world.

So why not give things a little boost? Remind people of how dire the situation is. The psychological impact of a wildfire season unprecedented in size and scope, darkening the skies with a yellow haze all the way down into the American East coast, is already providing rhetorical fuel for the regime media to caterwaul about carbon emissions, and not only in Canada. I’ve been seeing accounts all down the East Coast noting the haze and commenting on the wildfires. I wouldn’t be surprised if European media picks this story up as fodder for the climate propaganda ... which, given how badly the European economy is doing due to the self-imposed hobbling of “renewable” energy policies, nuclear shutdowns, and Russian sanctions, is increasingly being tuned out even in Germany. WEF types like Trudeau and his cabinet coordinate their actions with their counterparts abroad, so it wouldn’t surprise me all that much if the arson campaign is intended as part of a pre-planned media blitz. Time will tell.

I want to finish by emphasizing that neither I nor anyone else I know has any proof that these wildfires are caused by arson, or if so that this arson is the result of self-inflicted damage by the Canadian state. That is all pure speculation based on the highly anomalous behaviour of the wildfires (a large number starting more or less simultaneously two months earlier than normal), along with the known policy vectors of the current ruling class, and the demonstrated tendency of that ruling class to ‘make their own reality’, so to speak. This is the same ruling class, remember, that blew up the NordStream pipeline and then pretended Russia did it. They’re not above committing acts of terrorism on a vast scale if they think it will benefit them. With the reputation they’ve made for themselves, it’s easy for many of us - certainly for me - to believe that they would do something like set an entire country on fire purely to spook the populace, and that is perhaps the grimmest comment possible on the times in which we live.