Remember the Amazon?

 

With the world’s attention turned, Bolsonaro is pushing for ever greater expansion into the Amazon. Worse still, with CV-19 having a potentially devastating effect on the indigenous communities, the Amazon may find itself without its fiercest protectors.

 

Not only does the Amazon capture vast tonnage of carbon (released when it burns) but it’s rooftop reflects heat through the albedo effect, just as the ice cover of Greenland does. Meanwhile, as we drive to extinction the uncountable number of species held within the planet’s richest biosphere, the livestock and mining practices which replace so much of this forest are major polluters.

 

Lovejoy and Nobre (2018) suggest that if deforestation reached 20-25% of the Amazon’s original forest area, the southern, eastern, and central regions will become savannah, with enormous consequences for the water cycle on a global scale causing major climatic disruption. Savannah is itself a stable state and, once established, represents forest that can not be restored.

 

Here’s a short piece on the immense threat Bolsonaro poses to us all:

 

‘Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is devastating indigenous lands, with the world distracted’, Brian Garvey & Mauricio Torres

XR listed as an “extremist” group by UK counter-terrorism police

 

In a speech, in 1952, US diplomat Adlai Stevenson said, “The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the bill of rights, to freedom of the mind, are concealed under the patriotic cloak, of anti-communism”. Well, today, it is the threat of anti-terrorism.

 

This is important. Democracy won’t vanish with a bang, but with a whimper:

 

Vikram Dodd, ‘ Rebellion Extinction Rebellion could sue police over extremist ideology listing’

Facts of the Year #4

 

There are plants in Australia evolved for germinating best in ash and scorched earth.

 

This year, Australia was not immune to the environmental catastrophes happening around the world and caused by the climate change Australia’s government has so adamantly denied exists.

 

While their scale and frequency are purely destructive and a result of the continent drying out, bush fires are a natural occurrence and, indeed, a necessary form of spring cleaning – evidenced by the fact that some Australian plants are designed to germinate in ash. Periodical clearing out of dead and dry wood in small bouts is evidently as necessary for new life as it is for the preservation of old.

 

Indigenous communities have been urging the government to recognise this idiosyncrasy and take a smarter approach to bush maintenance – here’s hoping we listen!