The Amazon - what is happening?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Quantum Quack, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Like many people, what is currently happening in the Amazon rain forest region is of significant passion and concern for me.
    I thought starting a thread may be in order so that members can post their concerns and news and perhaps discuss potential solutions to this vexing global issue.
    Climate change, deforestation, agricultural burning, indigenous rights, national economics etc make for a very complex issue.

    One thing we can be almost certain of, is this issue will effect us all.

    What inspired this particular thread though is a very recent article published in our Australian national media SBS.
    The article discusses the range of dynamics involved in this very special part of the world and how the destruction of this rain forest could becomes:
    • self sustaining,
    • counter productive to limiting climate change,
    • actually driving climate change.
    The article:

    Climate change, along with the fires and other man-made forces, appears to be on the verge of triggering a significant change in the Amazon’s weather system.

    No one knows for sure whether and when this might happen, though some scientists who study the Amazon ecosystem call it imminent. If it does happen, a body of research suggests, the Amazon as a whole would cross a tipping point and begin to self-destruct - a process of self-perpetuating deforestation known as dieback.
    Is there anything we can do as individuals or collectively?
    Care to discuss or post news etc..?
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
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  3. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    huh ?
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Who are you quoting?
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    • According to WWF, if the rate of deforestation of the Amazon continues at the present rate, about 27% of the forest will be gone by 2030.
    • About 20% of the Brazilian rainforest has been cleared since 1970.
    • From 1980-2005, an area almost the size of Belgium was cleared each year (20,000 square kilometers).
    • 2019 had the largest amount of added deforestration in more than a decade.
    • An area about the size of two football fields is currently cleared every minute.
    • The current Brazilian right-wing government has cut budgets and staff in the regulatory agencies that aim to control illegal logging and mining in the forest. The President argues that this kind of regulation impedes Brazil's economic growth.
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    It's a Brazilian political thing over which you have no control, nor should you.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    perhaps you need to reconsider your thoughts...
    If you had a neighbor that enjoyed burning old car/truck tires that blew toxic smoke over your property 24 hours a day 365 days a year what would your opinion be of sovereign rights then?
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  11. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    it certainly would change the landscape if all those billions in donations suddenly had perk tax added to it.
  12. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Most automobiles in Brazil run either on hydrous alcohol (E100) or on gasohol (E25 blend), as the mixture of 25% anhydrous ethanol with gasoline is mandatory in the entire country. Since 2003, dual-fuel ethanol flex vehicles that run on any proportion of hydrous ethanol and gasoline have been gaining popularity.

    The current political leaders see the Amazon as an untapped resource.
    Previous administrations have strengthened environmental safeguards.
    Their voters, their choice.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member


    company's from all around the world, including governments have donated billions of dollars to the amazon rain Forrest.

    where did all the money go ?

    why are they suddenly trying to vilify all those people donating money ?
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    You're correct, of course, that I have no say in Brazilian politics. That's obvious. Mind you, international pressure can influence people and their governments, so an indirect say can contribute to solving problems even if no direct say is available.

    As for whether I ought to have a say in what happens to the Amazon rainforest, I beg to differ. I am obliged to share the same planet with 7 billion other people. The planet has limited resources. The atmosphere in Brazil doesn't stay in Brazil. What happens to it there affects what happens to my bit of the atmosphere over here, and to what happens to your bit of the atmosphere wherever you are. The Amazon rainforest is a significant carbon sink. I have a vested interest in trying to limit as far as possible the impacts of climate change caused by global heating, and not only for selfish reasons.

    Probably you're not personal feeling much impact from climate change yet, especially if you live in a well-off western democracy. But millions of people are suffering from its effects right now. Just because you don't give a damn about them doesn't mean I have to share your disregard.
  15. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    it ain't that I "don't give a damn"
    If the loss of trees bothers you, plant trees.
    I think that the taiga is much more of a carbon sink than the amazon and worry about its loss
    much forest in this country was cleared for the plow
    who are we to decry other's actions when they just mimic our own?
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Who is we? Denialists?
    Btw COP 25 is underway in Madrid.... it will be interesting to read what comes of it...
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It is a Brazilian political thing over which the US has had quite a bit of influence for decades now. That influence has been in many respects malign.
    People who have earned from their mistakes, and even more from their research.
    People who know what they are talking about.
    People who rely on persuasion and argument and political pressure rather than physical coercion.
    Liberals. The libertarian left.

    Or is that a poor description of the "we"?

    Item: Due to its scale, rate, and geography, the current exploitation increase featuring fire-setting and abetting is (among other misfortunate effects) reducing both the sustainable productivity of the Amazon forest it affects
    (tree-based and terra preta agriculture, by far the most economically productive potential of that region over any term longer than about thirty years)

    and a couple of more arcane but potentially even more significant features of this very old ecosystem: especially, genetic biodiversity (drugs, nutrients, new foodstuffs, all manner of raw material for genetic engineering; sources of emergency genetic material in dozens of already discovered and marketed organisms (rubber, coffee, bananas, etc).
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
    James R likes this.

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