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“This is Not Mars”: Indonesian Skies Turn an Unearthly Red as Haze From Fires Blocks Sunlight

The latest imagery coming from Indonesia isn’t just frightening—it’s downright otherworldly.

Elias Marat



Indonesian Skies

(TMU) — As the world continues to burn, from the Amazon rainforest to the frozen Arctic, we’ve become subject to a steady stream of apocalyptic imagery that is very far from normal. But in all likelihood, this apocalyptic imagery be the “new normal” as increasing global temperatures and worsening climate conditions whip up ever more dangerous weather events.

And the latest horrific imagery coming from a province in Indonesia located near the country’s massive forest fires isn’t just frightening—it’s downright otherworldly.

In social media posts shared over the weekend, video and images depict the blood red skies of Jambi, a province in Central Sumatra, where a concentration of toxic haze has given the skies unearthly and Mars-like crimson tones.

The tweets have been accompanied by the hashtag #prayforjambi, along with appeals for the government to implement much stronger measures to finally put out the fires.

In one post, a user comments:

“This afternoon is not night. This is earth not mars planet. This is not in outer space. It’s us who breathe with lungs, not with gills. We humans need clean air, not smoke.”

In a separate post, user Duke of Condet notes:

“All we know about Planet Mars is the reddish planet, also it atmosphere. Well.. I don’t want you have some misunderstanding, so I’ll tell you before; THIS IS NOT MARS! This is Jambi @ Indonesia. The air somehow changed cuz of forest fire.”

As Coconuts Jakarta reports, the disturbing reason why the Jambi region is enveloped in red is due to the extreme concentration of smoke, according to Indonesia’s Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BKMG).

BKMG spokesperson Siswanto explained:

“Other areas on the satellite look brown but in Muaro Jambi they look white, which indicates that the smoke layer is extremely thick. This is likely because of land / forest fires occurring in the area, especially on peatlands.” 

Continuing, the official noted that the skies weren’t red simply because of high temperatures but because of a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering, which has to do with the types of particles present in the air during periods of haze.

Professor Koh Tieh Yong of the Singapore University of Social Sciences told the BBC:

“In the smoke haze, the most abundant particles are around 1 micrometer in size, but these particles do not change the colour of the light we see.

There are also smaller particles, around 0.05 micrometers or less, that don’t make up a lot of the haze but are still somewhat more abundant during a haze period [than a normal non-haze period]… but this is enough to give an extra tendency to scatter red light more in the forward and backward directions than blue light—and that is why would you see more red than blue.”

As is the case in South America, the fires are largely the result of illegal land clearance fires run amok. The slash-and-burn technique is practiced annually by big agribusiness and small-scale farmers eager to clear vegetation for palm oil, pulp and paper plantations.

But this year, the level of pollution and scale of the fires has reached such a deadly level that it has been filtering out some of the sun’s wavelengths, giving it the menacing color seen in the videos.

Not only the people of Indonesia but those in neighboring countries Malaysia, Singapore and Thailandas well as their wildlifehave been forced to bear the brunt of the toxic air.

Many have blamed corruption and a failure of governance for allowing slash-and-burn techniques to open the door to the catastrophe engulfing Indonesia.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |


Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change

Elias Marat



Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.

However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.

The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.

“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”

“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.

Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.” 

“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.

Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.

On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.

“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.

However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.

“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.

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Luxurious Airships Will Soon Be ‘Hopping’ Between Cities, And Could Drastically Cut Flying’s CO2 Emissions

Elias Marat



A revolutionary new startup called Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is hoping to massively reduce the carbon footprint of air travel by replacing commercial airplanes with blimps for short-range flights.

An estimated 2.4 percent of global CO2 emissions come from aviation which, along with the other gases it burns and the water vapor trails produced by aircraft, is estimated to contribute roughly 5 percent of global warming.

However, by slashing the number of planes traveling short distances and instead using airships to hop between cities – think from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or New York to Toronto – HAV could contribute to a drastic cutdown of airliners’ carbon emissions.

At present, about 47 percent of regional airplane flights in Europe connect cities that are less than 230 miles (370km) apart, emitting a massive amount of carbon dioxide in the process.

HAV, which gained early funding from seasoned pilot and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson along with UK government backing, says that its airships only emit around ten percent of the greenhouse gases of a passenger plane – and the number could reduce further as the startup continues to electrify its fleet.

According to HAV chief executive Tom Grundy, the airships are more like a “fast ferry” than an all-out replacement for airplanes. In total, a short-range blimp voyage should take roughly the same amount of time as a short flight when factoring in check-in times, security procedures and the wait at an airport.

“This isn’t a luxury product,” Grundy told The Guardian, “it’s a practical solution to challenges posed by the climate crisis.”

“We’ve got aircraft designed to travel very long distances going very short distances when there is actually a better solution,” Grundy added. “How much longer will we expect to have the luxury of traveling these short distances with such a big carbon footprint?”

The company has already begun discussions with a number of airlines to forge new partnerships to operate the routes.

“It’s an early and quick win for the climate,” Grundy said. “Especially when you use this to get over an obstacle like water or hills.”

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Scientists Horrified as Over 27,000 Leaking Barrels of Toxic DDT Discovered on Seafloor Near LA

Elias Marat



Over 27,000 barrels of the toxic insecticide DDT have been found so far on the seafloor about 12 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, in what could be one of the greatest examples of industrial pollution uncovered in recent memory.

The barrels have been leaking, and researchers fear that there could be up to a few hundred thousand barrels of DDT waste in total. Over 100,000 total objects have been found in the area by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The barrels cover an area roughly spanning double the size of Manhattan and lie off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, which is home to dozens of endemic species that exist nowhere else in the world.

DDT waste has been linked to cancer and widespread disease among humans as well as mass die-off events in the natural world. It is likely that the vast trove of illegally dumped DDT could be linked to the widespread cancer faced by sea lions along the West Coast.

“Unfortunately, the basin offshore Los Angeles has been a dumping ground for industrial waste for several decades, beginning in the 1930s. We found an extensive debris field in the wide area survey,” said Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said in a statement.

Los Angeles Times reports that shipping logs from a disposal company implicate Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, a company that produced DDT, in likely dumping some 2,000 barrels of DDT-laced sludge each month from 1947 to 1961 into a designated dumpsite.

Additionally, logs from other entities show that several other industrial concerns in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act was enacted.

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