The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
Get our free newsletter
Sign Up

Please Advise! Why the Biblical Weather? Must We Atone?

Wildfires, drought, bomb cyclones, atmospheric rivers, a tornado, flooding. Okay! We’re sorry!

Steve Burgess 16 Nov 2021 |

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Hi there, neighbour! How about this weather?


Neighbour Bob

Dear Bobby,

Put a sock in it, neighbour. I think there’s one thing we can all agree on — that recent double rainbow we saw in Vancouver was some serious bullshit. Isn’t the whole rainbow concept supposed to be God rolling the end credits on His mighty wrath? All is forgiven, happy days ahead? Dr. Steve is beginning to think maybe that Good Book is not quite as good as advertised.

Wet? Lordy. Dr. Steve is pretty sure he just saw a squirrel with gills. And the whole year has been crazy in B.C.: wildfires, drought, atmospheric rivers, bomb cyclones, a tornado and now epic rainfall, flooding and massive waves smashing into the Vancouver seawall. Who angered Jehovah, anyway? Dr. Steve knows. It was the Canucks. Even the Lord is pissed off at Jim Benning, and Yahweh does not need to rent a plane to say so.

So anyway, here we are after the latest storm, with a giant barge parked in English Bay. It’s empty now of course — all the animals came out two-by-two. If you’re driving this week, keep an eye out for giraffes. Also, you might want to consider an outboard motor.

This latest atmospheric river was a veritable Mississippi. The effects were no joke — it was very serious stuff. Homes flooded, power outages, Merritt evacuated, people stranded, flights cancelled, roads washed out, cars washed away. There was so much flooding, BC Ferries was all set to compete with DoorDash. OK, that was a joke. Sorry.

851px version of VancouverSeawallFlood1.jpg
851px version of VancouverSeawallFlood2.jpg
851px version of VancouverSeawallFlood3.jpg
Dr. Steve took his usual lone stroll along the seawall yesterday. He brought his camera and inflatable. Inflatable what you ask? None of your business. Photos by Steve Burgess.

Cell phone service was affected too. Why, Dr. Steve did not receive any calls from friends and well-wishers because of cell phone disruption. Yeah, that’s it — cell phone disruption. Must still be going on, too.

People have been talking about supply chain disruptions for months now. Those are now officially known as the Good Old Days. At least we had roads back then. As of now, highways into the Vancouver area are washed out, flooded or blocked. And Christmas is still more than a month away, so no emergency supplies from Santa. If anybody else has a line on some flying reindeer, maybe you could fly us in some soup and toilet paper and such? This year’s hottest Christmas gift: Chef Boyardee.

Supply disruptions could soon result in empty store shelves, and we will be back to those dreary early-pandemic days of hoarding. How tedious. Dr. Steve does not want to have to punch you for that last package of dried pasta but if he must, he must. Hold still, damn you.

Lawlessness will soon take hold. For those roving scavengers who have heard whispered tales of Dr. Steve’s glittering hoard of Triscuits and Kraft Dinner, be forewarned. Dr. Steve is deadly with a slingshot and a soup can.

Crazy weather events, taken individually, are not necessarily proof of anything. But a cluster of them like we’ve experienced can be taken, at the very least, as a preview of coming attractions. The UN COP26 climate conference just wrapped up in Glasgow, where world leaders discussed and formulated and fudged on climate change strategies. If only some Nostradamus could have scheduled that event for Vancouver. There wouldn’t even have been a need for PowerPoint presentations. Just a big picture window. And plenty of extra flashlight batteries.

We have been through quite a stretch around here, and the aftermath is still to be dealt with. Try to look on the bright side though. There has been very little wildfire news of late.  [Tyee]

Read more: Environment

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll