For the past decade, we’ve seen normal events become sensationalized to the point of hysteria. Take hurricanes for example.
In order to push climate change as a means for acquiring political power, the left have decided to present every hurricane as proof positive of the vast negative, deadly effects of the earth warming. It doesn’t matter that we are actually seeing less hurricanes in the current decade than the decade before or that 2019 has been incredibly quiet as far as hurricanes go. The moment a storm finally appears this year, it will be bandied about for political reasons.
We are seeing much the same tactics used in regards to the fires currently burning in the Amazon. Celebrities and politicians the world over are shouting on Twitter, sharing photos, and making wild claims about the severity of what is going on.
That’s not to say that the fires are good or that there aren’t more of them this year. It is to say the overall picture being painted is almost wholly false and sowing unnecessary fear to play politics.
Here’s Mike Shellenberger, someone who’s studied this for a long time and lived among the people of the area, writing in Forbes to try to bring some levity to the situation.
The photos you saw weren't of today's fires in Brazil
Amazon isn't the "lungs of the world"
Deforestation is 75% below 2004 peak
*Forest* fires not increasing
Fires 7% more than decadal ave.
Here's why everything they say about the Amazon is wronghttps://t.co/dQIIwv5DRq
— Mike Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) August 26, 2019
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,” saidactor 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.
It should surprise no one that same group of people who are always beating the drum that the earth is on the verge of calamity chose to purposely lie and share fake photos to push their narrative. Their lying, misleading, and misrepresentations are nothing new.
But let’s deal with the actual claims being made.
Is the Amazon really producing 20% of the world’s oxygen and is it the “lungs of the earth?” It sure sounds dire, but in reality it’s a mostly nonsensical claim.
I was curious to hear what one of the world’s leading Amazon forest experts, Dan Nepstad, had to say about the “lungs” claim.
“It’s bullshit,” he said. “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash.”
What about the assertion that the Amazon is burning at an 80% higher rate than 2018? As with many things, context matters and the media are purposely leaving it out.
But the “lungs” myth is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider that CNN ran a long segment with the banner, “Fires Burning at Record Rate in Amazon Forest” while a leading climate reporter claimed, “The current fires are without precedent in the past 20,000 years.”
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, Nepstad said.
One, the idea that anybody could possibly know with any actual authority that these fires haven’t happened for 20,000 years is ludicrous. Secondly, the reason the reason fires are 80% higher this year than last is because last year was an unusually low year for fires. There is no actual existential emergency here.
In fact, there were higher incidences of burning over the course of 2003-2008 than the current five years. The Amazon wasn’t “lost” or destroyed. Amazingly, trees grow back.
What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional,” said 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 fireshave.
Further, deforestation is down 70% from the early 2000s. Over half the Amazon is completely protected from deforestation by law and the increase in fires this year is not from climate change, but rather from farmers needing to burn land for crops and cattle.
In other words, what’s happening is completely preventable. It’s not an uncontrollable, environmental threat to the world due to global warming. You are not going to stop getting oxygen to your lungs because of a 7% increase in Amazon fires over the last decade.
Enough of the lying. It’s incredibly transparent that this is political given the same climate change hysterics who freak out about hurricanes and thunderstorms are latching onto this. Brazil doesn’t owe the rest of the world anything and they need to be allowed to manage the situation without the French president or Hollywood celebrities injecting false information into the debate. It only creates division and makes it harder to work with the farmers in question.
Marcon and others should stay in their lane. This isn’t it.
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