Full Album: Singapore Haze Sept 2015 WE1

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Haze in Singapore

There is a time of year in Singapore where everything smells like stale BBQ. Unfortunately it is the spoor that is more associated with deforestation than roasting meat. The annual haze in Southeast Asia is caused by smoke wafting over from forest fires in Indonesia, primarily from areas in Sumatra and Kalimantan. These forest fires are due to slash and burn land clearing techniques during the dry season, both for subsistence agriculture and especially for palm oil plantations. While Singapore has been afflicted by the smoke, with PSI levels rising past the hazardous mark just last weekend, Indonesians are bearing the brunt of the pollution with their levels breaching the 2000 mark in Central Kalimantan. To put things in perspective, the smoke is sufficiently dense that one has a visibility of approximately 10 meters: Truly Silent Hill. 

No end in sight
No end in sight

It is important to note that while humans are complaining of the pollution, it is not the entire story. The plants and animals in the jungles of Indonesia are literally being burned alive in their homes (old but pertinent article from 2012). That told, it is interesting how our globalized world has made it such that demand of a good (palm oil) across the world has led to this devastation in the jungles of Southeast Asia. That in itself should make for a strong case in responsible consumption.

Man carrying his lady #hazehero
Man carrying his lady #hazehero

As part of the ongoing atmospheric condition, I decided to dedicate this album to the ongoing environmental damage. It is a reminder that, while everyone in complaining about the impacted air quality, there are larger things at stake. While terms like sustainable products and green living seem awfully hippy kumbayah, it is that much more real when the visible problem is pretty much in the national backyard.

Of course, one also does not simply turn down a chance to take photos while the #hazefilter is in effect.

Abandoned railway bridge in the smoke
Abandoned railway bridge in the smoke

Full Album: Singapore Haze Sept 2015 WE1

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