Everybody Made ‘Dune’ Jokes After NYC And Other Northeast Cities Were Plagued With Hazardous Air Quality And Orange Haze

For the last week, wildfire smoke from Canada has drifted southward, turning the air of the American northeast increasingly toxic. By Tuesday, New York City had the most toxic air of any major worldwide city. On Wednesday it got worse. Not only did the air quality index in the metropolis soared past 400 — well into the hazardous range — but the sky had turned a dark orange, plunging the city into a thick, dark haze that looked like a dystopian movie. To many on social media, though, it made the nation’s largest city look like Dune.

The scene in arguably America’s greatest city was pretty grim. Events were postponed or cancelled. A Broadway show ended after 10 minutes due to poor air quality. It got dire, as per The New York Times:

By afternoon, Midtown Manhattan was plunged into a deep hazy orange and smoky clouds obscured visibility across the five boroughs and the region, canceling some flights. Earlier in the day, commuters donned masks used amid the Covid-19 pandemic while walking the streets, children stayed indoors at recess, some schools closed and officials warned people against going outside.

The sky-high air control index was the worst since the Environmental Protection Agency began recording such stats in 1999.

It’s very grim news indeed. After all, it’s only early June, and thus just the beginning of wildfire season. It’s also an early taste of the effects of climate change upon the planet’s atmosphere. But as usual, social media tried to combat bad news with gallows humor. Many people had the same joke: that it really looks like Denis Villeneuve’s adaptations of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic.

Others chose another Villeneuve epic: Blade Runner 2049, which also some orange-heavy environs.

Others went with Nicki Minaj jokes.

In the meantime, in there, New Yorkers, and denizens of other cities plunged into dangerous air and blood orange haze. The worst may be over, though a sequel — or, hell, a franchise — may not be that far off.