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Community amazon s fires  madonna and dicaprio  questions   answers | Upload General

Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers

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by: Joyce Mahler
amazon s fires  madonna and dicaprio  questions   answers | Upload

Fires across the Brazilian Amazon have sparked an international outcry for preservation of the world’s largest rainforest. Here’s a look at the role of the Amazon: climate, ‘the lungs', the artists, the politicians, the misperception.

The International Outcry! Is The World Wrong?

The increase in fires burning in Brazil set off a storm of international outrage last week. Celebrities, environmentalists, and political leaders blame Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, for destroying the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon.

Singers and actors including Madonna and Jaden Smith shared photos on social media that were seen by tens of millions of people. “The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” said actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen,” tweeted soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. “The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen - is on fire,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron.

Fake photo tweet Macron, DiCaprio

And yet the photos weren’t actually of the fires and many weren’t even of the Amazon. The photo Ronaldo shared was taken in southern Brazil, far from the Amazon, in 2013. The photo that DiCaprio and Macron shared is over 20 years old. The photo Madonna and Smith shared is over 30. Some celebrities shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.

Amazons Fires! Did They Increase In 2019?

While the number of fires in 2019 is indeed 80% higher than in 2018, it’s just 7% higher than the average over the last 10 years ago.

One of Brazil’s leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires has been misleading. It was under (Workers Party President) Lula and (Environment Secretary) Marina Silva (2003-2008) that Brazil had the highest incidence of burning, according  L. Coutinho. Neither Lula nor Marina was accused of putting the Amazon at risk.

Coutinho’s perspective was shaped by reporting on the ground in the Amazon for Veja, Brazil’s leading news magazine, for nearly a decade. By contrast, many of the correspondents reporting on the fires have been doing so from the cosmopolitan cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are 2,500 miles and four hours by jet plane away.

What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional, according Coutinho. Take a look at Google web searches search for ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Forest’ over time. Global public opinion was not as interested in the ‘Amazon tragedy’ when the situation was undeniably worse. The present moment does not justify global hysteria. And while fires in Brazil have increased, there is no evidence that Amazon forest fires have. 

Graph forest fires Amazon

World’s Oxygen Supply! Is It At Risk?

No. While it’s commonly said that the Amazon produces 20 percent of the world’s oxygen, climate scientists say that figure is wrong and the oxygen supply is not directly at risk in any case. That’s because forests, including the Amazon, absorb roughly the same amount of oxygen they produce. Plants do produce oxygen through photosynthesis, but they also absorb it to grow, as do animals and microbes. That doesn’t mean the fires aren’t a problem for the planet. The Amazon is a critical absorber of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels, like oil and coal.

Amazon Forrest: Is it ‘The Lungs Of Our Planet’?

The Amazon rainforest is frequently referred to as ‘the lungs of the planet’, but it may not be the most accurate analogy for the forest’s role. Carlos Nobre, a University of São Paulo climate scientist, says a better way to picture the Amazon’s role is as a sink, draining heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Currently, the world is emitting around 40 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. The Amazon absorbs 2 billion tons of CO2 per year (or 5 percent of annual emissions), making it a vital part of preventing climate change.

Fires In The Amazon! What Do They Mean For The World’s Climate?

Fires in the Amazon not only mean the carbon-absorbing forest is disappearing, but the flames themselves are emitting millions of tons of carbon every day. Nobre says we’re close to a 'tipping point' that would turn the thick jungle into a tropical savannah. The rainforest recycles its own water to produce a portion of the region’s rain, so deforestation makes rains less frequent, extending the dry season. Nobre estimates that if 20 percent to 25 percent of the forest is destroyed, the dry season will expand enough that it will no longer be a forest, but a savannah. 'Unfortunately, we are already seeing signs of the Amazon turning into a savannah," he said, citing the increasingly long dry seasons. "It’s not just theoretical anymore, it’s happening already."

Recommended: Climate Change And Its Effects Like Droughts: The Heat Is On

Fires! What Is Causing Them?

The current fires in the Amazon are not wildfires. They are manmade and are mostly set illegally by land-grabbers who are clearing the forest for cattle ranching and crops. Deforesting the Amazon is a long, slow process. People clear the land by cutting down the vegetation during the rainy season, letting the trees dry out and burning them during the dry season. Fully clearing the dense forest for agricultural use can take several years of slashing and burning.
"When I’m talking about 21st-century deforestation, I don’t mean a family headed into the woods with a chainsaw," said Nasa researcher Doug Morton. "I mean tractors connected by large chains. They’re pulling trees out by their roots." He said researchers could see piles of trees months ago in satellite images. "They’re burning an enormous bonfire of Amazon logs that have been piled, drying in the sun for several months."



                                             Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers
                                                 Amazon forest fire: What it tells us about deforestation

 

Deforestation! What Is The Reality?

Few stories in the first wave of media coverage mentioned the dramatic drop in deforestation in Brazil in the 2000s, noted former New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, who wrote a 1990 book, The Burning Season, about the Amazon, and is now Founding Director, Initiative on Communication & Sustainability at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Deforestation declined a whopping 70% from 2004 to 2012. It has risen modestly since then but remains at one-quarter its 2004 peak. And just 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soy farming. 

Recommended: Hurting The Environment: The Palm Oil Paradox

Amazon forest! What Is The Real Threat?

Both Nepstad (leading Amazon forest experts) and Coutinho say the real threat is from accidental forest fires in drought years, which climate change could worsen. "The most serious threat to the Amazon forest is the severe events that make the forests vulnerable to fire. That’s where we can get a downward spiral between fire and drought and more fire." Today, 18 - 20% of the Amazon forest remains at risk of being deforested.
"I don’t like the international narrative right now because it’s polarizing and divisive," said Nepstad. "Bolsonaro has said some ridiculous things and none of them are excusable but there’s also a big consensus against accidental fire and we have to tap into that." 

Macron! Why Is Brazil Angry To Him?

There’s outrage at Macron in Brazil. The Brazilians want to know why California gets all this sympathy for its forest fires and while Brazil gets all this finger-pointing. "I don’t mind the media frenzy as long as it leaves something positive," said Nepstad, but it has instead forced the Brazilian government to over-react. 'Sending in the army is not the way to go because it’s not all illegal actors. People forget that there are legitimate reasons for small farmers to use controlled burns to knock back insects and pests."

Amazon Forrest Protection! What Changed?

What has changed is the political discourse. President Jair Bolsonaro has decreased the power and autonomy of forest protection agencies, which he says get in the way of licensing for developing land and accuses of being ‘fines industries’. The number of fires increasing is because people think law enforcement won’t punish them.

The 'Outcry': What’s More Behind The News?

Agribusiness is 25% of Brazil’s GDP and it’s what got the country through the recession, according Nepstad. When soy farming comes into a landscape, the number of fires goes down. Little towns get money for schools, GDP rises, and inequality declines. This is not a sector to beat up on, it’s one to find common ground with. Nepstad argued that it would be a no-brainer for governments around the world to support Aliança da Terra, a fire detection and prevention network he co-founded which is comprised of 600 volunteers, mostly indigenous people, and farmers.

Farmer, machine and soia beans
Soia beans

For $2 million a year we could control the fires and stop the Amazon die-back, according Nepstad. We have 600 people who have received top-notch training by US fire jumpers but now need trucks with the right gear so they can clear fire breaks through the forest and start a backfire to burn up the fuel in the pathway of the fire. For such pragmatism to take hold among divergent interests, the news media will need to improve its future coverage of the issue.

One of the grand challenges facing newsrooms covering complicated emergent, enduring issues like tropical deforestation, is finding ways to engage readers without histrionics. The alternative is ever more whiplash journalism, which is the recipe for reader disengagement.

Recommended: Smarter Technology In Agriculture Will Feed The Planet

Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day.

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Kurt Steigmann - 10 WEEKS AGO
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In the middle of the forest ,hundreds of miles away from accessibility ,no Human sets fire ,not even the few natives who matbe live there . they know how to use small fires to cook ,to dry and to dance around .It´s Wildfire ,for sure!
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Tibério - 10 WEEKS AGO
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This guy, Don't know nothing about rain forest Amazon. They never came here, they don't know what place is the forest. They need to know that there are thousands of farmers in the Anazon forest. These farmers need to burn their fields every year. If you do not what happens here, do not speak crushes.
SHUT UP!!
Reply

Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers

Fires across the Brazilian Amazon have sparked an international outcry for preservation of the world’s largest rainforest. Here’s a look at the role of the Amazon: climate, ‘the lungs', the artists, the politicians, the misperception. The International Outcry! Is The World Wrong? The increase in fires burning in Brazil set off a storm of international outrage last week. Celebrities, environmentalists, and political leaders blame Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, for destroying the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. Singers and actors including Madonna and Jaden Smith shared photos on social media that were seen by tens of millions of people. “The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” said actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen,” tweeted soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. “The Amazon rain forest - the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen - is on fire,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron. And yet the photos weren’t actually of the fires and many weren’t even of the Amazon. The photo Ronaldo shared was taken in southern Brazil, far from the Amazon, in 2013. The photo that DiCaprio and Macron shared is over 20 years old. The photo Madonna and Smith shared is over 30. Some celebrities shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden. Amazons Fires! Did They Increase In 2019? While the number of fires in 2019 is indeed 80% higher than in 2018, it’s just 7% higher than the average over the last 10 years ago. One of Brazil’s leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires has been misleading. It was under (Workers Party President) Lula and (Environment Secretary) Marina Silva (2003-2008) that Brazil had the highest incidence of burning, according  L. Coutinho. Neither Lula nor Marina was accused of putting the Amazon at risk. Coutinho’s perspective was shaped by reporting on the ground in the Amazon for Veja, Brazil’s leading news magazine, for nearly a decade. By contrast, many of the correspondents reporting on the fires have been doing so from the cosmopolitan cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are 2,500 miles and four hours by jet plane away. What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional, according Coutinho. Take a look at Google web searches search for ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Forest’ over time. Global public opinion was not as interested in the ‘Amazon tragedy’ when the situation was undeniably worse. The present moment does not justify global hysteria. And while fires in Brazil have increased, there is no evidence that Amazon forest fires have.  World’s Oxygen Supply! Is It At Risk? No. While it’s commonly said that the Amazon produces 20 percent of the world’s oxygen, climate scientists say that figure is wrong and the oxygen supply is not directly at risk in any case. That’s because forests, including the Amazon, absorb roughly the same amount of oxygen they produce. Plants do produce oxygen through photosynthesis, but they also absorb it to grow, as do animals and microbes. That doesn’t mean the fires aren’t a problem for the planet. The Amazon is a critical absorber of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels, like oil and coal. Amazon Forrest: Is it ‘The Lungs Of Our Planet’? The Amazon rainforest is frequently referred to as ‘the lungs of the planet’, but it may not be the most accurate analogy for the forest’s role. Carlos Nobre, a University of São Paulo climate scientist, says a better way to picture the Amazon’s role is as a sink, draining heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Currently, the world is emitting around 40 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. The Amazon absorbs 2 billion tons of CO2 per year (or 5 percent of annual emissions), making it a vital part of preventing climate change. Fires In The Amazon! What Do They Mean For The World’s Climate? Fires in the Amazon not only mean the carbon-absorbing forest is disappearing, but the flames themselves are emitting millions of tons of carbon every day. Nobre says we’re close to a 'tipping point' that would turn the thick jungle into a tropical savannah. The rainforest recycles its own water to produce a portion of the region’s rain, so deforestation makes rains less frequent, extending the dry season. Nobre estimates that if 20 percent to 25 percent of the forest is destroyed, the dry season will expand enough that it will no longer be a forest, but a savannah. 'Unfortunately, we are already seeing signs of the Amazon turning into a savannah," he said, citing the increasingly long dry seasons. "It’s not just theoretical anymore, it’s happening already." Recommended:  Climate Change And Its Effects Like Droughts: The Heat Is On Fires! What Is Causing Them? The current fires in the Amazon are not wildfires. They are manmade and are mostly set illegally by land-grabbers who are clearing the forest for cattle ranching and crops. Deforesting the Amazon is a long, slow process. People clear the land by cutting down the vegetation during the rainy season, letting the trees dry out and burning them during the dry season. Fully clearing the dense forest for agricultural use can take several years of slashing and burning. "When I’m talking about 21st-century deforestation, I don’t mean a family headed into the woods with a chainsaw," said Nasa researcher Doug Morton. "I mean tractors connected by large chains. They’re pulling trees out by their roots." He said researchers could see piles of trees months ago in satellite images. "They’re burning an enormous bonfire of Amazon logs that have been piled, drying in the sun for several months." {youtube}                                              Amazon’s Fires, Madonna And DiCaprio: Questions & Answers                                                   Amazon forest fire: What it tells us about deforestation   Deforestation! What Is The Reality? Few stories in the first wave of media coverage mentioned the dramatic drop in deforestation in Brazil in the 2000s, noted former New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, who wrote a 1990 book, The Burning Season, about the Amazon, and is now Founding Director, Initiative on Communication & Sustainability at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Deforestation declined a whopping 70% from 2004 to 2012. It has risen modestly since then but remains at one-quarter its 2004 peak. And just 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soy farming.  Recommended:  Hurting The Environment: The Palm Oil Paradox Amazon forest! What Is The Real Threat? Both Nepstad (leading Amazon forest experts) and Coutinho say the real threat is from accidental forest fires in drought years, which climate change could worsen. "The most serious threat to the Amazon forest is the severe events that make the forests vulnerable to fire. That’s where we can get a downward spiral between fire and drought and more fire." Today, 18 - 20% of the Amazon forest remains at risk of being deforested. "I don’t like the international narrative right now because it’s polarizing and divisive," said Nepstad. "Bolsonaro has said some ridiculous things and none of them are excusable but there’s also a big consensus against accidental fire and we have to tap into that."  Macron! Why Is Brazil Angry To Him? There’s outrage at Macron in Brazil. The Brazilians want to know why California gets all this sympathy for its forest fires and while Brazil gets all this finger-pointing. "I don’t mind the media frenzy as long as it leaves something positive," said Nepstad, but it has instead forced the Brazilian government to over-react. 'Sending in the army is not the way to go because it’s not all illegal actors. People forget that there are legitimate reasons for small farmers to use controlled burns to knock back insects and pests." Amazon Forrest Protection! What Changed? What has changed is the political discourse. President Jair Bolsonaro has decreased the power and autonomy of forest protection agencies, which he says get in the way of licensing for developing land and accuses of being ‘fines industries’. The number of fires increasing is because people think law enforcement won’t punish them. The 'Outcry': What’s More Behind The News? Agribusiness is 25% of Brazil’s GDP and it’s what got the country through the recession, according Nepstad. When soy farming comes into a landscape, the number of fires goes down. Little towns get money for schools, GDP rises, and inequality declines. This is not a sector to beat up on, it’s one to find common ground with. Nepstad argued that it would be a no-brainer for governments around the world to support Aliança da Terra, a fire detection and prevention network he co-founded which is comprised of 600 volunteers, mostly indigenous people, and farmers. Soia beans For $2 million a year we could control the fires and stop the Amazon die-back, according Nepstad. We have 600 people who have received top-notch training by US fire jumpers but now need trucks with the right gear so they can clear fire breaks through the forest and start a backfire to burn up the fuel in the pathway of the fire. For such pragmatism to take hold among divergent interests, the news media will need to improve its future coverage of the issue. One of the grand challenges facing newsrooms covering complicated emergent, enduring issues like tropical deforestation, is finding ways to engage readers without histrionics. The alternative is ever more whiplash journalism, which is the recipe for reader disengagement. Recommended:  Smarter Technology In Agriculture Will Feed The Planet Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day.
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