The Horror

As if drought, famine, rising sea level inundating coastal cities and the cancellation of international ski competitions were not enough, my colleague Dan McKay in this morning’s paper catalogues a previously unmentioned and potentially devastating consequence of global warming: It could harm Albuquerque’s famed balloon fiesta, “the world’s most photographed annual event.”

Worrying about the balloon fiesta may sound silly, but City Attorney Bob White said Wednesday that the concern is real, and that global warming could affect the wind conditions that allow ballooning to flourish above Albuquerque.

“As we do damage to our rivers and airshed, the Rio Grande box is something that is very important” that could be harmed as well, White said.

The “box” refers to a pattern of winds that blow in different directions at different altitudes. A pilot can take off from the balloon fiesta field in one direction, rise to a higher altitude and fly back over the field.


  1. That’s pretty amusing as a sort of metaphor. And along with climate change, our industrial development means fewer safe places to land.

  2. I clicked on that hoping against hope to see the hed “Balloon goes up on global warming?” but was disappointed.

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