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Thread: The Amazon rainforest is burning

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    Canada Avalon Member Fellow Aspirant's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Amazon rainforest is burning

    Well, thanks for your attempts to make me feel less like we are accelerating the burning of our planet, mpennery, (however condescending your tone) but there are too many parts of these events that point to willfull destruction on an unprecedented scale. The sheer number of fires has already outstripped anything in Brazil's history, and with the "fire" season just underway, all signs point to monumental catastrophe by year's end. Yes, I'll admit that my point of view is many kilometres away from the actual devastation, but If one puts out a big enough net for information, I am of the opinion that I can get a fairly accurate handle on it. To begin with, I would not put any credence into the views of a columnist for Breitbart, discredited as they are by their backing of the white supremacist cause. They can be counted on to back whatever strongman is currently attracting negative publicity however, and in this case it's Bosonaro.
    And that's why I am so concerned about this problem - there is too much political impetus behind it. Why, for example, would Bolsonaro ignore the offer by Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau of $15m (CAN) worth of aid? Because dragging his heels helps him to meet his goal, which is to open up and exploit the Amazon for the betterment of his country's farmers who put in ground crops, his ranchers who want grazing land, and his mining interests who want access to the minerals that the jungle sits on, and impedes exploration with its nasty jungle growth. Such were the stated aims of Bolsonaro during his campaign, and now he is delivering on his pledge. For example, he has carved away regulations regarding illegal logging (which had significantly slowed the cutting of trees, to the frustration of the farmers et al.) Brazil, like most developing countries, still uses primitive methods like burning off old crops and downed trees.

    Tragically, it has been demonstrated for many decades that the land the farmers are now burning off, after the clear cutting, has very poor soil (the jungle/forest root systems are shallow because of this, but they have evolved to be able to thrive - most of the life forms in the Amazon forests are in the canopy) and cannot sustain more than two or three seasons of crops, after which the amount of fertilizer required makes farming cost prohibitive, and more forest must be cut and burned.

    And if Bolsonaro was serious about his concern for the fires, why would he reject France's offer of millions of Euros to fund fire fighting? Stalling, again, while he irrationally attacked Macron for his 'colonial' attitude. There is an irony here, in that it is Bolsonaro who has himself adopted the role of the colonialist: the power elites that he fronts for are now forcing the indigenous peoples of the rain forest into a genocidal nightmare. The people of the Amazon are not seen as being Brazilian, but brute impediments to greed. So instead of thanking Macron for his offer, he rejects it and then ups the ante by taking a shot at his wife's appearance, making an unfavourable comparison between their spouses. Is this the behaviour of a rational man? Only if you see him as operating within the boundaries of the machismo that drives the ego of strong men everywhere.

    And this is the crux of the problem: the male ego. More than merely the outcome of bursting hormones, it has established itself as the core of cultures around the globe and throughout history with its aggressive actions and cock sure (pun intended) attitude that might makes right and that nature is everywhere an entity to be conquered and made to submit. Such is the energy that drives the backlash against the evolution of our cultures, so that push back against "political correctness" manifests as protests featuring hordes of angry young men marching with arms raised in the Nazi salute. Its belief system is used to make war and is perverted by marketers who manipulate us with the "You deserve this!" messaging.

    It's time that our culture's reactionaries got over themselves to see that life on this planet does not revolve around them; they are a minor feature of an ecosystem that sustains all of us, one that is threatened by our actions -actions that we perform on a grand scale because they make us feel good.

    Our earth cannot survive at the hands of machismo-enthralled leaders.

    Meanwhile, there are dozens of legitimate journalists covering this Amazon story. For a good overview I recommend the one below.

    link: https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/28/2...alysis-effects

    Everything you need to know about the fires in the Amazon

    Why are the fires burning? And why is it such a big deal?

    By Justine Calma@justcalma Aug 28, 2019, 3:33pm EDT

    Record-breaking fires are ripping through the Amazon — an ecosystem on which the whole world depends. The Verge will update this page with news and analysis on the fires and the effects that could linger once the ash settles.

    Table of Contents:

    Why is the Amazon burning?
    Why is this a big deal?
    Why is this a hot topic politically?
    How are the fires being fought?

    Why is the Amazon burning?

    An unprecedented number of fires have raged throughout Brazil in 2019, intensifying in August. There have been more than 74,000 fires so far this year, the most ever recorded by the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). It’s a roughly 80 percent jump compared to the number of fires the country experienced over the same time period in 2018. More than half of those fires are taking place in the Amazon.

    Experts say deforestation and a practice called slash-and-burn are to blame for most of the flames. People cut down patches of forest, allow the area to dry out, then set the remains ablaze to make room for agriculture or other development. They might also set fires to replenish the soil and encourage the growth of pastures for cattle. Brazil is the world’s top exporter of beef, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

    “There is no doubt that this rise in fire activity is associated with a sharp rise in deforestation”

    “These are intentional fires to clear the forest,” Cathelijne Stoof, coordinator of the Fire Center at Wageningen University (WUR) in the Netherlands, tells The Verge. “People want to get rid of the forest to make agricultural land, for people to eat meat.”

    “There is no doubt that this rise in fire activity is associated with a sharp rise in deforestation,” Paulo Artaxo, an atmospheric physicist at the University of São Paulo, told Science Magazine. He explained that the fires are expanding along the borders of new agricultural development, which is what’s often seen in fires related to forest clearing.

    President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration, which had pledged to open up the Amazon to more development, has sought to shift attention away from deforestation. Bolsonaro initially pointed a finger at NGOs opposing his policies for allegedly intentionally setting fires in protest, without giving any evidence to back his claim. In August, he fired the director of the National Institute for Space Research over a dispute over data it released showing the sharp uptick in deforestation that’s taken place since Bolsonaro took office. On August 20th, Brazil’s Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles tweeted that dry weather, wind, and heat caused the fires to spread so widely. But even during the dry season, large fires aren’t a natural phenomenon in the Amazon’s tropical ecosystem.

    Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, August 2019 CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

    Why is this a big deal?

    Everyone on the planet benefits from the health of the Amazon. As its trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, the Amazon plays a huge role in pulling planet-warming greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Without it, climate change speeds up. But as the world’s largest rainforest is eaten away by logging, mining, and agribusiness, it may not be able to provide the same buffer.

    “The Amazon was buying you some time that it is not going to buy anymore,” Carlos Quesada, a scientist at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research, told Public Radio International in 2018. Scientists warn that the rainforest could reach a tipping point, turning into something more like a savanna when it can no longer sustain itself as a rainforest. That would mean it’s not able to soak up nearly as much carbon as it does now. And if the Amazon as we know it dies, it wouldn’t go quietly. As the trees and plants perish, they would release billions of tons of carbon that has been stored for decades — making it nearly impossible to escape a climate catastrophe.

    Everyone on the planet benefits from the health of the Amazon

    Of course, those nearest to the fires will bear the most immediate effects. Smoke from the fires got so bad, it seemed to turn day into night in São Paulo on August 20th. Residents say the air quality is still making it difficult to breathe. On top of that, a massive global study on air pollution found that among the two dozen countries it observed, Brazil showed one of the sharpest increases in mortality rates whenever there’s more soot in the air.

    And because fire isn’t a natural phenomenon in the region, it can have outsized impacts on local plants and animals. One in ten of all animal species on Earth call the Amazon home, and experts expect that they will be dramatically affected by the fires in the short term. In the Amazon, plants and animals are “exceptionally sensitive” to fire, Jos Barlow, a professor of conservation science at Lancaster University in the UK, said to The Verge in an email. According to Barlow, even low-intensity fires with flames just 30 centimeters tall can kill up to half of the trees burned in a tropical rainforest.

    Why is this a hot topic politically?

    When Jair Bolsonaro was campaigning for office as a far-right candidate, he called for setting aside less land in the Amazon for indigenous tribes and preservation, and instead making it easier for industry to come into the rainforest. Since his election in October 2018, Bolsonaro put the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of the demarcation of indigenous territories instead of the Justice Ministry, essentially “letting the fox take over the chicken coop,” according to one lawmaker. His policies have been politically popular among industry and agricultural interests in Brazil, even as they’ve been condemned by Brazilian environmental groups and opposition lawmakers. Hundreds of indigenous women stormed the country’s capital on August 13th to protest Bolsonaro’s environmental rollbacks and encroachment of development on indigenous lands. The hashtag #PrayforAmazonia blew up on Twitter.

    Indigenous women take part in a protest against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies on August 13th, 2019 Photo by Tuane Fernandes/picture alliance via Getty Images

    About 60 percent of the Amazon can be found within Brazil’s borders, which gives the nation a massive amount of influence over the region. Not surprisingly, the fires have called international attention to the plight of the Amazon and have turned up the heat on Bolsonaro’s environmental policies.

    French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to call for action, pushing for emergency international talks on the Amazon at the G7 summit. On August 26th, the world’s seven largest economies offered Brazil more than $22 million in aid to help it get the fires under control. Bolsonaro promptly turned down the money, accusing Macron on Twitter of treating Brazil like a colony. Some in Brazil, including Bolsonaro, see the international aid as an attack on Brazil’s sovereignty, and its right to decide how to manage the land within its borders.

    “Letting the fox take over the chicken coop”

    President Donald Trump, on the other hand, congratulated Bolsonaro on his handling of the fires. “He is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil,” he tweeted on the 27th.

    Bolsonaro has since said that he’ll reconsider the deal, as long as Macron takes back his “insults” and Brazil has control over how the money is spent. On the 27th, Bolsonaro accepted $12.2 million in aid from the UK

    How are the fires being fought?

    On August 24th, after weeks of international and internal pressure, Bolsonaro deployed the military to help battle the fires, sending 44,000 troops to six states. Reuters reported the next day that warplanes were dousing flames.

    “It’s a complex operation. We have a lot of challenges,” Paulo Barroso tells The Verge. Barroso is the chairman of the national forest fire management committee of the National League of Military Firefighters Corps in Brazil. He has spent three decades fighting fires in Mato Grosso, one of the regions most affected by the ongoing fires. According to Barroso, more than 10,400 firefighters are spread thin across 5.5 million square kilometers in the Amazon and “hotspots” break out in the locations they’re unable to cover.

    “We don’t have an adequate structure to prevent, to control, and to fight the forest fires”

    Barroso contends that they need more equipment and infrastructure to adequately battle the flames. There are 778 municipalities throughout the Amazon, but according to Barroso, only 110 of those have fire departments. “We don’t have an adequate structure to prevent, to control, and to fight the forest fires,” Barroso says. He wants to establish a forest fire protection system in the Amazon that brings together government entities, indigenous peoples, local communities, the military, large companies, NGOs, and education and research centers. “We have to integrate everybody,” Barroso says, adding, “we need money to do this, we have to receive a great investment.”

    Barroso and other experts agree that it’s important to look ahead to prevent fires like we’re seeing now. After all, August is just the beginning of Brazil’s largely manmade fire season, when slashing-and-burning in the country peaks and coincides with drier weather.

    Military firefighters in Brazil, August 2019 Photo credit should read SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images

    Controlled burns are also a popular deforestation technique in other countries where the Amazon is burning, including Bolivia. There, the government brought in a modified Boeing 747 supertanker to douse the flames.

    Using planes to put out wildfires in the Amazon isn’t a typical method of firefighting in tropical forests, and is likely to get expensive, Lancaster University’s Jos Barlow tells The Verge. He says that large-scale fires in areas cleared by deforestation “are best contained with wide firebreaks created with bulldozers — not easy in remote regions.” If the fires enter the forest itself, they require different tactics. “They can normally be contained by clearing narrow fire breaks in the leaf litter and fine fuel,” Barlow says. “But this is labour intensive over large scales, and fires need to be reached soon, before they get too big.”

    Fires that have been intentionally set, as we’re seeing in Brazil, can be even more difficult to control compared to a sudden wildland fire. “They’re designed to be deliberately destructive,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, co-founder and executive director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology and research associate at the University of Oregon. Slashing before burning produces a lot of very dry, very flammable fuel. And at this scale, Ingalsbee calls the fires “an act of global vandalism.”

    Barlow says, “The best fire fighting technique in the Amazon is to prevent them in the first place — by controlling deforestation and managing agricultural activities.”

    WUR’s Cathelijne Stoof agrees: “Fighting the fires is of course important now,” she says. “For the longer term, it is way more important to focus on deforestation.”
    Last edited by Fellow Aspirant; 29th August 2019 at 02:15.
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    UK Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Amazon rainforest is burning

    Amazon fire ‘lies’ are ‘designed to feed climate alarmist movement’

    This is stunning, coming from the lips of a Mainstream Media news anchor himself, Alan Jones, from Sky News Australia. Heroic, honest, and brave reporting in my opinion, not a sliver of whose qualities are anywhere evident in the bought-and-paid-for talking head media whores that fill the cesspit of lies that is the UK MSM. This clip may not last long (unfortunately like Alan Jones's job).

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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    Avalon Member mountain_jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Amazon rainforest is burning


    Speaking of the Climate Alarmist Movement...

    Quote I’m not a ‘climate change denier.’ Climate does change and it has varied widely during the Earth’s long history.

    My objection to the climate change narrative from the left is that it’s not honest. We know scientists can be purchased by the elite to produce whatever dire warnings based on skewed data that is desired.

    In 2007, the global warming hustler Al Gore predicted the north polar ice cap would vanish by 2014. It didn’t. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has given us a few more years, but she’s simply drumming up doom and gloom in the hopes we will destroy our economy and replace it with her ’New Green Deal,’ that includes globalism, socialism.
    I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions. - Robert Anton Wilson

    The present as you think of it, and in practical working terms, is that point at which you select your physical experience from all those events that could be materialized. - Seth (The Nature of Personal Reality - Session 656, Page 293)

    (avatar image: Brocken spectre, a wonderful phenomenon of nature I have experienced and a symbol for my aspirations.) :)

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