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Why everything they say about the Amazon, including the "lung of the world," is wrong




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Wikipedia

The Increase in the Burning fires in Brazil Last week, a storm of international indignation set in. Celebrities, environmentalists and political leaders accuse Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of destroying the largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon.

Singers and actors such as Madonna and Jaden Smith Sharing photos in social media seen by tens of millions of people "Earth's lungs are on fire," actor Leonardo DiCaprio said. "The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen " tweeted football star Cristiano Ronaldo." The Amazon rainforest – the lung that produces 20% of our planet's oxygen – burns " Tweeted French President Emanuel Mac ron.

Yet the photos were not really of the fires and many were not even The photo shared by Ronaldo was taken in South Brazil far from the Amazon in 2013. The photo shared by DiCaprio and Macron [1965-9014] is over 20 years old Smith has shared over 30. Some celebrities [1965-9016] have shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.

Uncovered to their credit CNN and New York Times [19659020] the photos and other misinformation about the fires. "Deforestation is neither new nor limited to one nation," explained CNN . "These fires were not caused by climate change," noted [19659023] The Times .

However, both publications reiterated the claim that the Amazon was the "lung" of the world. "The Amazon remains a net source of oxygen today," said CNN. "The Amazon is often referred to as the" lungs "of the Earth because its vast forests release oxygen and store carbon dioxide, a gas that primarily causes global warming," the New York Times claimed

I was curious to hear what one of them was world leading Amazon forestry experts Dan Nepstad had to say about the claim "lungs".

"It's nonsense," he said. "There is no science behind it – the Amazon produces a lot of oxygen, but by breathing it uses the same amount of oxygen, so it's a wash."

Plants use respiration to convert nutrients from the soil into energy Photosynthesis to convert light into chemical energy that can later be used for respiration.

What about The New York Times that "If enough rainforest is lost and can not be restored The area is becoming a savanna, storing less carbon, which means a reduction in the planet's 'lung capacity'. "

Neither, Nepstad, lead author of the recent government committee, said on the report on climate change. "The Amazon produces much oxygen, but also soy farms and [cattle] pastures."

Some people will undoubtedly call the myth "lung" Nissenpfl let waving CKEN. The broader point is that there is in Brazil an increase in fires and something should be done about it.

But the lung myth is just the tip of the iceberg. Bear in mind that CNN ran a long segment with the banner "Burning Burns at Record Rates in the Amazon Forest" while a leading climate journalist claimed : "The present fires were unprecedented in the past 20,000 years ,

While the number of fires in 2019 is actually 80% higher than in 2018, it is only 7% higher than the average of the last 10 years, said Nepstad.

INPE

One of Brazil's leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires was misleading. "Under [Workers Party President] Lula and [Environment Secretary] Marina Silva (2003-2008) Brazil had the highest burn rate," Leonardo Coutinho [19659-908] told me by e-mail. "But neither Lula nor Marina were accused of endangering the Amazon."

Coutinho's perspective was marked by coverage of Veja Brazil's leading newsmagazine, over almost a decade. In contrast, many of the correspondents who reported the fires did so from the cosmopolitan cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are 4 km away by jetliner.

"What happens in the Amazon is not exceptional," said Coutinho. "View Google Web Search to look for" Amazon "and" Amazon Forest "over time Global public opinion was not as interested in the" Amazon tragedy "as The current situation does not justify global hysteria. "

And while fires have increased in Brazil, there is no evidence that forest fires occur at Amazon.

"What hurts me most is the very idea of ​​the millions of notre-dames, high cathedrals of terrestrial biodiversity that have burned down ," wrote a Brazilian journalist in the New York Times .

But the tall cathedrals of the Amazon forest do not do that. "I saw the photo on which Macron and Di Caprio tweeted," Nepstad said, "but no one burns like that in the Amazon Forests. "" We do not know if there are more forest fires this year than in previous years, which tells me this is unlikely to happen, "Nepstad said. "I've spent 25 years researching these fires, and our networks [on-the-ground] are pursuing this."

What increased by 7% in 2019 were the fires of dry scrub and trees that favor livestock breeding as a strategy were gaining ownership of land.

Compared to the image of an Amazon forest, which is on the verge of disappearing, a full 80% remain. Half of the Amazon is federally protected against deforestation.

"Few reports in the first wave of coverage mentioned the dramatic decline in deforestation in Brazil in the 2000s," noted former New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, who wrote a book in 1990 . The Burning Season on the Amazon and founding director of the Initiative for Communications and Sustainability at the Earth Institute of Columbia University.

Deforestation decreased by a whopping 70% between 2004 and 2012 . It has risen slightly since then, but remains at a quarter of its peak in 2004. And only 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soybean cultivation.

Both Nepstad and Coutinho claim that the real threat lies in accidental forest fires in drought years that could exacerbate climate change. "The most serious threat to the Amazon forest is the serious events that make forests vulnerable to fires. Here we can achieve a downward spiral between fire and drought and more fire.

Today, 18 to 20% of the Amazon forest is at risk of being cut down.

"I do not like international narrative right now, because it's polarizing and divisive," Nepstad said. "Bolsonaro has said some ridiculous things, and none of that is excusable, but there is also a big consensus against accidental burning, and we need to take advantage of that."

land and then said you can only use 20%, said Nepstad. "There was a decoy and a change and the farmers are really frustrated. These are people who like to hunt and fish, are on land and should be allies, but we have lost them. "

Nepstad said the restrictions have cost farmers $ 10 billion in lost profits and forest restoration. "In 2010, a $ 1 billion Amazon fund was set up by Norwegian and German governments, but none of them ever went to the big and middle peasants," says Nepstad.

Both international pressure and the government have come to an end – Reaction intensified resentment among the people of Brazil that environmentalists must win to save the Amazon: forests and ranchers.

"Macron's tweet had the same influence on Bolsonaro's base as Hillary, who calls Trump's base regrettable," said Nepstad. "Macron in Brazil is outraged, Brazilians want to know why California gets all this compassion for its forest fires, and while Brazil gets all that flair."

"I do not mind media hype as long as he leaves something positive." Instead, Nepstad has forced the Brazilian government to overreact. "Sending in the army is not the way to go because it's not just illegal actors. People forget that there are legitimate reasons for small farmers to repel insects and pests with controlled burns.

The reaction of foreign media, world-famous figures and non-governmental organizations in Brazil stems from a romantic anticapitalism that is widespread among urban elites. say Nepstad and Coutinho. "There is a lot of hatred against the agricultural industry," said Nepstad. "I let colleagues say," Soybeans are not food. "I said," What is your child eating? Milk, chicken, eggs? This is all soy protein that is fed to poultry. "

Others may have political motives. "Brazilian farmers want to extend the EU-Mercosur [the free trade agreement] but Macron is inclined to close it because the French agricultural sector does not want more Brazilian food coming into the country," Nepstad said.

Despite climate change, deforestation and widespread and misleading coverage of the situation, Nepstad has not given up hope. The Amazon emergency should encourage conservationists to re-establish their relationship with farmers and seek more pragmatic solutions.

"The agribusiness accounts for 25% of Brazil's GDP and has brought the country through the recession," Nepstad said. "When soybean crops enter a landscape, the number of fires drops. Small cities get money for schools, GDP rises and inequality decreases. This is not a sector that should be surpassed, but one with which you have something in common. "

Nepstad argued that it was no problem for governments around the world to support the Earth Alliance (Aliança da Terra), a fire detection and prevention network that he co-founded, consisting of 600 volunteers, mostly indigenous and farmers composed.

"For $ 2 million a year, we could control the fires and stop the Amazon from dying," Nepstad said. "We have 600 people who received first-rate training from US firefighters, but now need trucks with the right equipment to clear fire breaks through the forest and trigger a misfire to burn the fuel on the fire path."

For such pragmatism to prevail over divergent interests, news media must improve their future coverage of the topic.

" One of the big challenges for newsrooms dealing with complicated emerging, enduring issues such as tropical deforestation," said Revkin, "is finding ways to attract readers without histrionics. The alternative is more and more whiplash journalism – this is the recipe for the engagement of the reader . "

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Wikipedia

The increase in fires burning in Brazil solved In the past week, a storm of international indignation: celebrities, environmentalists and political leaders make Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responsible for the destruction of the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon, of which they say he is the "lungs of the world".

Singers and actors, including Madonna and Jaden Smith, exchanged photos in social media watched by tens of millions of people, said actor Leonardo DiCaprio. "The Amazon Rainforest produces more as 20% of the world's oxygen ", tweeted football star Cristiano Ronaldo." The Amazon Rainforest – the lungs consuming 20% ​​of our planet's oxygen – it burns, "tweeted French President Emanuel Macron. And yet the photos were not really of the fires and many even not of the Amazon. The photo, shared by Ronaldo, was taken in 2013 in Southern Brazil far from the Amazon. The photo shared by DiCaprio and Macron is over 20 years old. The photo shared by Madonna and Smith is over 30. Some celebrities [1965-9016] shared photos from Montana, India, and Sweden.

CNN and New York Times unmask the photos and other misinformation about the fires. "Deforestation is neither new nor limited to one nation," declared CNN . "These fires were not caused by climate change," noted The Times .

However, both publications reiterated the claim that the Amazon was the "lung" of the world. "The Amazon remains a net source of oxygen today," said CNN. "The Amazon is often referred to as the" lungs "of the Earth because its vast forests release oxygen and store carbon dioxide, a gas that causes global warming," the New York Times claimed

I was curious to hear what one of world leading Amazon forestry experts Dan Nepstad had to say about the claim "lungs".

"It's nonsense," he said. "There is no science behind it – the Amazon produces a lot of oxygen, but by breathing it uses the same amount of oxygen, so it's a wash."

Plants use respiration to convert nutrients from the soil into energy Photosynthesis to convert light into chemical energy that can later be used for respiration.

What about The New York Times that "If enough rainforest is lost and can not be restored The area is becoming a savanna, storing less carbon, which means a reduction in the planet's 'lung capacity'. "

Neither, Nepstad, lead author of the recent government committee, said on the report on climate change. "The Amazon produces much oxygen, but also soy farms and [cattle] pastures."

Some people will undoubtedly call the myth "lung" Nissenpfl let waving CKEN. The broader point is that there is in Brazil an increase in fires and something should be done about it.

But the lung myth is just the tip of the iceberg. Bear in mind that CNN ran a long segment with the banner "Burning Burns at Record Rates in the Amazon Forest" while a leading climate journalist claimed : "The present fires were unprecedented in the past 20,000 years ,

While the number of fires in 2019 is actually 80% higher than in 2018, it is only 7% higher than the average of the last 10 years, said Nepstad.

INPE

One of the leading Brazilian environmental journalists agrees with these media The reporting on the fires was misleading. "Under [Workers Party President] Lula and [Environment Secretary] Marina Silva (2003-2008) Brazil had the highest burn rate," Leonardo Coutinho [19659-908] told me by e-mail. "But neither Lula nor Marina were accused of endangering the Amazon." In contrast, many of the correspondents who reported the fires did so from the cosmopolitan cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are 4 km away by jetliner.

"What happens in the Amazon is not exceptional," said Coutinho. "View Google Web Search to look for" Amazon "and" Amazon Forest "over time Global public opinion was not as interested in the" Amazon tragedy "as The current situation does not justify global hysteria. "

And while fires have increased in Brazil, there is no evidence that forest fires occur at Amazon.

"What hurts me most is the very idea of ​​the millions of notre-dames, high cathedrals of terrestrial biodiversity that have burned down ," wrote a Brazilian journalist in the New York Times .

But the tall cathedrals of the Amazon forest do not do that. "I saw the photo on which Macron and Di Caprio tweeted," Nepstad said, "but no one burns like that in the Amazon Forests. "" We do not know if there are more forest fires this year than in previous years, which tells me this is unlikely to happen, "Nepstad said. "I've spent 25 years researching these fires, and our networks [on-the-ground] are pursuing this."

What increased by 7% in 2019 were the fires of dry scrub and trees that favor livestock breeding as a strategy were gaining ownership of land.

Compared to the image of an Amazon forest, which is on the verge of disappearing, a full 80% remain. Half of the Amazon is federally protected against deforestation.

"Few reports in the first wave of coverage mentioned the dramatic decline in deforestation in Brazil in the 2000s," noted former New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, who wrote a book in 1990 . The Burning Season on the Amazon and founding director of the Initiative for Communications and Sustainability at the Earth Institute of Columbia University.

Deforestation decreased by a whopping 70% between 2004 and 2012 . It has risen slightly since then, but remains at a quarter of its peak in 2004. And only 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soybean cultivation.

Both Nepstad and Coutinho claim that the real threat lies in accidental forest fires in drought years that could exacerbate climate change. "The most serious threat to the Amazon forest is the serious events that make forests vulnerable to fires. Here we can achieve a downward spiral between fire and drought and more fire.

Today, 18 to 20% of the Amazon forest is at risk of being cut down.

"I do not like international narrative right now, because it's polarizing and divisive," Nepstad said. "Bolsonaro has said some ridiculous things, and none of that is excusable, but there is also a big consensus against accidental burning, and we need to take advantage of that."

land and then said you can only use 20%, said Nepstad. "There was a decoy and a change and the farmers are really frustrated. These are people who like to hunt and fish, are on land and should be allies, but we have lost them. "

Nepstad said the restrictions have cost farmers $ 10 billion in lost profits and forest restoration. "In 2010, a $ 1 billion Amazon fund was set up by Norwegian and German governments, but none of them ever went to the big and middle peasants," says Nepstad.

Both international pressure and the government have come to an end – Reaction intensified resentment among the people of Brazil that environmentalists must win to save the Amazon: forests and ranchers.

"Macron's tweet had the same influence on Bolsonaro's base as Hillary, who calls Trump's base regrettable," said Nepstad. "Macron in Brazil is outraged, Brazilians want to know why California gets all this compassion for its forest fires, and while Brazil gets all that tact."

Instead, it forced the Brazilian government to overreact. "Sending in the army is not the right way, because it is not just about illegal actors. People forget that there are legitimate reasons for small farmers to repel insects and pests with controlled burns.

The reaction of foreign media, world-famous figures and non-governmental organizations in Brazil stems from a romantic anticapitalism that is widespread among urban elites. say Nepstad and Coutinho. "There is a lot of hatred against the agricultural industry," said Nepstad. "I let colleagues say," Soybeans are not food. "I said," What is your child eating? Milk, chicken, eggs? This is all soy protein that is fed to poultry. "

Others may have political motives. "Brazilian farmers want to extend the EU-Mercosur [the free trade agreement] but Macron is inclined to close it because the French agricultural sector does not want more Brazilian food coming into the country," Nepstad said.

Despite climate change, deforestation and widespread and misleading coverage of the situation, Nepstad has not given up hope. The Amazon emergency should encourage conservationists to re-establish their relationship with farmers and seek more pragmatic solutions.

"The agribusiness accounts for 25% of Brazil's GDP and has brought the country through the recession," Nepstad said. "When soybean crops enter a landscape, the number of fires drops. Small cities get money for schools, GDP rises and inequality decreases. This is not a sector that should be surpassed, but one with which you have something in common. "

Nepstad argued that it was no problem for governments around the world to support the Earth Alliance (Aliança da Terra), a fire detection and prevention network that he co-founded, consisting of 600 volunteers, mostly indigenous and farmers composed.

"For $ 2 million a year, we could control the fires and stop the Amazon from dying," Nepstad said. "We have 600 people who received first-rate training from US firefighters, but now need trucks with the right equipment to clear fire breaks through the forest and trigger a misfire to burn the fuel on the fire path."

For such pragmatism to prevail over divergent interests, news media must improve their future coverage of the topic.

"The journalist Revkin said," finds ways to attract readers without histrionics. The Alternative is More and More Whiplash Journalism – This is the recipe for the reader Dis commitment.


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