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Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:25 PM

The Amazon Cannot Be Recovered Once It's Gone

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/amazon-fires-are-political/596776/

The fires blazing in Brazil are part of a larger deforestation crisis, accelerated by President Jair Bolsonaro.

ROBINSON MEYER
7:00 AM ET

The Amazon is burning. There have been more than 74,000 fires across Brazil this year, and nearly 40,000 fires across the Amazon, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. That’s the fastest rate of burning since record-keeping began, in 2013. Toxic smoke from the fires is so intense that darkness now falls hours before the sun sets in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital and the largest city in the Western Hemisphere.

The fires have captured the planet’s attention as little else does. The Amazon is the world’s largest and most diverse tract of rainforest, with millions of species and billions of trees. It stores vast amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide and produces 6 percent of the planet’s oxygen. So the Amazonian fires—which have been blazing for weeks and notoriously received less coverage than Notre Dame’s burning roof— seem like a potent symbol of humanity’s indifference to environmental disorder, including climate change.

But climate change is not the primary cause of the wildfires. Unlike, say, most California blazes—which are sparked by accident and then intensified by climate change—the Amazonian fires are not wildfires at all. These fires did not start by lightning strike or power line: They were ignited. And while they largely affect land already cleared for ranching and farming, they can and do spread into old-growth forest.

So the two scariest numbers for understanding the fires are this: There are 80 percent more fires this year than there were last summer, according to the Brazilian government. This surge in burning has accompanied a spike in deforestation in general. More than 1,330 square miles of the Amazon rainforest have been lost since January, a 39 percent increase over the same period last year, according to The New York Times.

Why are these figures so important? Because Brazil’s political leadership has changed in the past year. On January 1, Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has openly pined for his country’s authoritarian past, was sworn in as president. During his campaign, he promised to weaken the Amazon’s environmental protections—which have been effective at reducing deforestation for the past two decades—and open up the rainforest to economic development.
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Reply The Amazon Cannot Be Recovered Once It's Gone (Original post)
smirkymonkey Aug 24 OP
Eliot Rosewater Aug 24 #1
Mike 03 Aug 24 #2
UniteFightBack Aug 24 #3
saidsimplesimon Aug 24 #4

Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:28 PM

1. What is the big deal, so we wont be able to breathe...

Dont you silly liberals know what is really important is a 5'2" Latina woman changing sheets at Days Inn is stealing jobs?

She took that job from some Murican.







We dont deserve to survive if we are still debating whether or not rump and putin should be allowed to be in power.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:39 PM

2. People like Bolsonaro are so cynical...

From the article:

And according to allegations by the global news site OpenDemocracy, leaked documents show that Bolsonaro’s government intends to strategically prevent conservation projects in the Amazon.


We can't trust that he'll make a good effort to extinguish these fires. Even if he does, he's already gotten what he wanted, which is a huge land mass cleared for a couples years' worth of cattle and soybeans. Then we'll see a repeat every year until he's out of office. Hope I'm wrong.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:41 PM

3. I hope this leads to a massive backlash. MASSIVE. nt

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sat Aug 24, 2019, 12:51 PM

4. Suicidal behavior without any

significant intervention from governments or citizens while an extinction event is in progress.

Greed and willful ignorance reigns around the world.

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