Container Ship Of Toxic Chemicals On Fire In Path Of Historic Weather Bomb Storm.

Michael Nabert
3 min readOct 24, 2021

What could go wrong?

Container ship photo by Borderpolar Photographer on Unsplash, Storm at sea photo by Racim Amr on Unsplash, Fire photo by Chirag Nayak on Unsplash, Photoshop by author.

We’ve all had days that go wrong. Sometimes spectacularly so. Sometimes several things go wrong at once, magnifying all of them as they interact.

Those paying attention will have long noticed that this defines climate chaos in the era of late stage crony capitalism overturning our planetary ecosystem. First came warnings from scientists, that were ignored. Then came real world events proving them right, as extreme weather events broke record after record, that also failed to spur any serious action. Now we’re in the megadisasters coming at us in clusters rather than one at a time stage, and yet the COP26 climate talks are clearly not going to progress past the token gesture stage.

It is guaranteed to get a whole lot worse.

So you know to expect that when you look at your phone in the morning that if a year’s worth of rainfall floods a town over only three days, when you learn more it’s also going to turn out to be the place that makes the iPhone you were saving for, or that a brutal heat dome isn’t just going to break record temperatures, but also worsen wildfires to wipe an entire town off the map.

Here’s today’s example. Off the coast of Victoria BC, tug boats are spraying down the hull of a burning container ship. They can’t direct their hoses to try to put out the fire itself, though, because the flaming chemicals would react badly with water.

So we really want to avoid this burning ship coming in contact with water.

Maybe read that sentence a second time if your brain didn’t facepalm hard enough on the first pass.

Two of the burning containers contain potassium amyl xanthate, a poisonous chemical that is corrosive to skin and eyes and highly toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Fifty two tons of it.

This same ship has already lost forty shipping containers into the sea. No one seems to have reported anything about what was in them.

So what’s happening in the place where we are trying to prevent a burning ship that endangers fragile coastal ecosystems from getting wet?

Michael Nabert

Researching a road map from our imperilled world into one with a livable future with as much good humour as I can muster along the way.