Dawn of a new age?
Dawn: Jan 1, 2000
Massive urbanization around Cape Town, which lies just North of False Bay, affects the environment in many ways. Despite appearances, the future is not all bright and cheerful. The seawater gets polluted and more visibly, the skies.
New age reality
Smog (Click for larger view)
More and more often the skies around Cape Town show the tell-tale reddish brown tinge of air pollution. especially on wind-free days in winter. This picture, taken in the late afternoon on 14 August 2000 shows the evidence: Smog from Cape Town's traffic spreads lazily across the waters of False Bay.
No Smog (Click for larger view)
Fortunately Cape Town is mostly a windy place, and the smog ends up polluting someone else's skies! In the exact same scene at about the same time but a few days later, a South-Westerly storm is brewing. With a stiff breeze dark clouds move in and cast a shadow over the water. However, the atmosphere is clear of smog and the mountains in the distance are sharply outlined.
Crowded beaches
Unfortunately, part of the problem is overpopulation. On the left, you see the holiday crowd on New Year's Day. On the right, the same beach on a normal working day.

Created: August 2000. Last updated: November 2008