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.
Check out this almost unbelievable time-lapse of wildfire smoke consuming the World Trade Center and the New York City skyline.
Those vulnerable to poor air quality, including seniors and young children, should limit time outdoors if possible.
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) June 7, 2023
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.
The Dune Part 2 reshoots are getting out of hand… https://t.co/EDg3WdjpAY
— Film Junkee (@DaveePena) June 7, 2023
This Dune viral marketing campaign has gone too far pic.twitter.com/gFawKK2HI9
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) June 7, 2023
this is just like the movie Dune (2021) pic.twitter.com/mfQFXYlGgj
— sophie (@netcapgirl) June 7, 2023
Move the DUNE 2 release date up NOW https://t.co/Tl4tA8pm1f
— wyatt johnson (@wyattdidnt) June 7, 2023
Dune 2 viral marketing is out of control pic.twitter.com/pkyeOe6quA
— Jack Edward, Grand Duke of Val Verde County (@SnackMerritt) June 7, 2023
*hans zimmer dune sounds in the distance* pic.twitter.com/YoP6Su8mEJ
— James (@jamesverse_) June 7, 2023
The marketing department for Dune 2 did not need to go this hard pic.twitter.com/NQ7Yfz6m11
— Ryan James Dee (@RyanJamesDee) June 7, 2023
Others chose another Villeneuve epic: Blade Runner 2049, which also some orange-heavy environs.
— rick (@epiclyrick) June 7, 2023
Blade Runner 2049 = New York 2023 pic.twitter.com/scN4lka4Zz
— Ramin Nasibov (@RaminNasibov) June 7, 2023
— Mattzel89 (@Mattzel89) June 7, 2023
It is LITERALLY Blade Runner 2049 in New York City right now. pic.twitter.com/VWojILQUYk
— kevin l. lee (@Klee_FilmReview) June 7, 2023
Blade Runner 2049 wasn't supposed to be a documentary https://t.co/WAT1DR10M4
— Theo (@tprstly) June 7, 2023
Others went with Nicki Minaj jokes.
🚨 | Nicki Minaj has been spotted in New York City. pic.twitter.com/k6IgU2OwXx
— Rap Alert (@rapalert1O) June 7, 2023
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.