Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Monday, June 6, 2011

At sunset, a sky made of poison and fire

A little while ago I noticed an eerie yellowish glow coming through every window in the house. It seemed unnatural. So I went outside to look around, looked down the street, and saw this.

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. 


  1. Thanks for posting this. I couldn't get a good shot on my cell phone. It was actually a glowing orange right at about sunset time, at my house. Even my skylights were glowing an intense bright orange. Horribly surreal and eerie.

  2. You are most welcome. We live in a surreal age. When I was a child I had dreams of the end of the world, wherein the sky filled with smoke that looks a lot like the orange you must have seen tonight...

  3. Eegads, that is so disturbing.

  4. It was a little better last night, but the weather forecast says the smoke will stay for at least the next several days. During the daytime the smoke is just a haze, but when the sun goes down the winds change and the haze becomes much thicker. Some of my coworkers have ashes all over their yards. My evening bike rides are pretty much on hold for now.

    But at least I can distract myself with endless news coverage about Anthony Penis's wiener.