Sunset, Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 6, 2011
My cell phone camera isn't very good, so I played with the colors via some graphics software to make the image more true to what I beheld with my own eyes. Trust me, it looked like this.
Massive forest fires burning in Arizona have shrouded the entire city of Albuquerque in dirty, sulfur-colored smoke. Hundreds of miles away. We've been smelling the smoke and seeing the haze for a few nights now, when the winds shift. But nothing like this. This is more than haze. It's a puke-yellow pestilence in the sky, pale jaundice smog in the glow of the setting sun. Going outside in it makes my eyes water and my lungs start to crackle.
This is a harbinger. As climate change superheats the atmosphere of the Earth, forest fires will become ever more frequent, ferocious, and immense. The great expanses of firs and spruce and pine in the mountains of the American Southwest will burn to ash, and the choking clouds of their death will engulf cities dying of thirst.
But we have to try to save what we can, because there is no other choice.