Argentina 2, Day 34 – smoke gets in your eyes

The massive agricultural strike ended; meat and milk are back on the shelves. Now the still-grumpy farmers have united in an interesting act of ecoterrorism. Hundreds of farmers synchronized their watches and agreed to all burn their fields at the same time. Traditionally field-burning is done on small scales to clear vestigal remains of harvested materials and return nutrients to the soils, but this (they say) is to clear additional land for cattle grazing now that their old grazing fields have been usurped for soybean production. The areas just happen to be directly upwind of the capital. The result? Smoke on the water, fire in the sky. I feel like I’m back in Southern California in October 2007 when the wildfires drove us indoors. The Buenos Aires airports have cancelled most of their flights today, the massive city bus station has shut down, and the PanAmerican Highway is blocked for great distances. These are pictures from our house at 8 am today, and for more info you can find stories and images from the Inter Press Service, BBC, Time, and NASA. Maternal worry of the day: I hope Eric’s asthma is under control out where he’s camping…

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