The storm that hit B.C. yesterday caused some serious devestation that the province will be grappling with for months or years to come. Towns are underwater; the Coquihalla has snapped in two. It's a pretty scary thing, to see the climate emergency wreak havoc so close to home.

So when the hyperventilating starts, I turn to the last nice place on the internet: the chat box on the Sunset Beach livestream.

vancouver barge

In case you missed the minutes-long drama yesterday, a barge broke loose in the windstorm and started barreling down towards the Burrard Street bridge.

As someone who has written about the property damage a humble McBarge can cause, I knew this was no laughing matter, but thankfully, it washed ashore onto Sunset Beach and we could all safely share CBC reporter Justin McElroy's very funny video about the situation (turn that sound ON, baby!). 

Since the barge nestled itself vaguely safely into the banks yesterday afternoon, I've been tuning in regularly to the Youtube livestream to make sure it's still there. An account named Bluemist Designs seems to operate this stream, and the camera switches perspectives every few minutes to give you a nice peek at Vanier Park.

Is this webcam always on? Have Seawall strollers been under surveillance by the Youtube community this whole time? Who is controlling the zoom lens here because there are some very interesting and artful choices happening? These are questions I am not bothering to investigate at this time because I am being lulled into a state of warmth passivity by the gentle, gentle conversations happening in the chat.

vancouver barge

In case you are unfamiliar with The Internet, giving people the opportunity to converse anonymously typically devolves into chaotic troll culture within moments. Even AI chatbots mimicking human behaviour turn racist within minutes.

READ MORE: What happened to Vancouver's McBarge?

So it's refreshing, to say the least, to tune in to watch a little boat trying its best to pull a barge off the beach and see some curious Vancouverites and international barge enthusiasts having a friendly conversation."I'm here for the barge!" says Vanboi, enthusiastically. "The barge should remain where it is," agrees Jean Delisi.

And that's it! Nobody is linking to any manifestos or trying to sell diet pills or positing that the barge is a sign from Q or threatening to assault anyone else. It's a miracle. 

vancouver barge stuck 2021

But hey, that's not to say Team Barge is stuffy. The jokes are flyin'!  "They're going to need more than one tug," notes Rich, prompting Gara to hit back with a zinger: "Nobody likes a backseat tug driver!" We have fun here!

In a time of so much conflict and partisanship, I salute you, comment section of the barge livestream, for keeping things civil and pleasant. The climate is only getting worse, but here, on Youtube, of all places, it's nice to know the world has a potential to be a little bit better.