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Buenos Aires Is Burning: Smoke Is Everywhere

Okay, so it’s not quite as dramatic as the subject line would suggest. But it is VERY smoky in Buenos Aires today. Seems that hundreds of thousands of acres of land are being cleared to the West and North of here (primarily along Route 9 (the route we took to Cordoba) from what we can understand with our limited Spanish) to make room for grazing cattle.
The land that was once used for cattle to graze is apparently now being used for Soybean production, so they need to have more land available for use.
Not really sure how all that works, or who controls what happens in the provinces outside of Buenos Aires. There is a 400 year old history of the provinces not really getting along with the city/province of Buenos Aires, so the provinces may not care that much if their smoke is engulfing Buenos Aires. Difficult to say really.
One thing is for sure. Carrie and I don’t smoke, but our apartment smells like someone smokes, and the visibility here is pretty poor at the moment. The smoke got REALLY thick last night, and has done some clearing today, and hopefully the fires will die down so that we can be without smoke once again.
(More interesting news is coming soon from the variety of things we’ve been doing over the past few days, but just thought we’d update you on the latest in Buenos Aires.)

Bloomberg has the only English-language article I’ve been able to find on the smoke in Buenos Aires at this point.

It’s better now, but basically, from what I’ve been able to draw from a translation from the announcement from the Argentina National Weather Service, the smoke will get bad again tonight before getting better tomorrow.

0 thoughts on “Buenos Aires Is Burning: Smoke Is Everywhere

  1. Renee Fields

    Ready for another of my opinions
    This is common ALL OVER SOUTH AMERICA & many countries where the farmers are TOO LAZY to do the work that REALLY SHOULD BE DONE. It’s a common practice for farmers to burn off the old dead crops each year (like dead corn, cotton, etc.)INSTEAD OF PULLING THEM UP like they SHOULD DO!! That requires too much effort, & time, so it’s EASIER to just BURN UP THE DEAD CROPS.
    The BIG PROBLEM IS–in using this method THEY ARE DESTROYING THE GOOD SOIL, & over time the soil will have NO NUTRIENTS FOR THE CROPS, so the crops won’t grow well. It’s A REALLY STUPID THING FOR THEM TO DO, but no matter HOW MANY GOVERNMENTS TRY TO EXPLAIN THIS TO THEM, THEY WILL NOT LISTEN. The governments need to impose HUGE FINES ON THEM AND THEN THEY WOULD STOP THIS PRACTICE!! (not to mention all the old people they kill, & children put in the hospitals from the

  2. Sue Zamora

    Anything decided and dictated to the farmers from the top down (eg an expert, then enforcement approach) will not solve this problem. Neither will any form of punitive “motivation” (eg fines,etc) In my experience people (maybe esp. poor people) only change their behavior w/ economic motiation. If they think they will make more money, even in the short term, by burning last years field or creating “new land” by slashing and burning forest, they will do so. There has to be other economic motivation to survive and succeed besides subsitance farming.
    Anyway, I kind of agree that the smoke is one of the smaller side effect problems of the overall huge problem going on in this part of the world (especially as we’re thinking about Earth Day this week)
    Sue Z

  3. Cherie

    Saludos Carrie y Jonathan,
    From what I understand this is a part of the farmers’ strike which left us with no meat and little produce in the supermarkets: they burned fields of wheat and corn since the Presidenta temporarily stopped the boycott of the highways.
    Whatever you call it, it’s hell for those of us allergic to smoke.
    But all best wishes that you two are NOT allergic, and that you have a fantastic time in Buenos Aires!

  4. J&S

    Carrie and Jonathan – Please keep posting updates about the fires in Buenos Aires. We are scheduled to arive in BA on Thursday and you have the most helpful on the ground updates.

  5. Anonymous

    Hi !!! Your friend from Argentina again.
    Too bad I saw this so late. I still want to make this clear to all of you: This was a problem that happened not because of the farmers. (who actually are the ones that keep this country up)
    There was actually kind of a mini-war going on at that moment between the gov and the farmers (there still is a rivalry) and, what the disgusting gov we had did, was to burn the fields and accuse the farmers, so that they had no support.
    In time, most of the population in Argentina noticed this aberrant act, and the gov lost all of its support. Now, we can’t wait for them to leave. There’s just too much time left. We are desperate !
    Too bad you came here at that horrible moment !!!!
    Im glad you still had a wonderful time, for what I can see ! Hope to have more of you 😉

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