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linders
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When we homeschooled we spent a lot of time on various rainforest units - it was DS19's very favorite science-related topic. He still posters of "Layers of the Rainforest" and a sloth (his favorite animal) in his room.

I'm crying as I look at photos of the devastation in Brazil, and angry that the world's leaders can't come together on this.

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8 minutes ago, linders said:

When we homeschooled we spent a lot of time on various rainforest units - it was DS19's very favorite science-related topic. He still posters of "Layers of the Rainforest" and a sloth (his favorite animal) in his room.

I'm crying as I look at photos of the devastation in Brazil, and angry that the world's leaders can't come together on this.

It’s not “ the worlds leaders”. Allowing it to burn is a calculated, political move by Brazil’s president. 

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I don’t have time at the moment to find articles, but honestly he’s made no secret about ridding the country of indigenous lands and people; if I’m not mistaken it was a campaign promise. 

In addition, there’s a huge demand in Brazil for cleared land to grow soy for China. The government doesn’t have any incentive to stop the fires and every reason—to them— to ensure their devastation. 

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It's sad. My understanding is that a lot of it is about reaching a tipping point more than the actual amount of forest burning. We're seeing the same thing with the heat in Alaska and the fires in the Arctic.

There have been a lot of fake photos and junk science about it. We don't really know what the end result is or where the line after which ecosystems can't come back from these sorts of levels of destruction. Or how bad the continued destruction will be for climate change - whether it'll just be another blip or whether it'll precipitate bigger change. Like, we're entering new territory in some ways.

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The Fox piece seemed to be straight reporting. There does seem to have been a lot of over the top rhetoric - like, this might turn out to have been a bad tipping point, but it also isn't likely to lead to no one being able to breathe next year. Though Bolsonaro has been a big, fat liar all the way through and any observer right and left would acknowledge that. My problem with the Forbes piece above is that they're wrong that the climate won't be altered. We know that it's already being altered in the places that have been radically deforested. It's getting drier. So that's already been demonstrated. There's a hubris among people who think we can't screw up our land. We really can. Anyone read Collapse? Intensely clearing your forests and farming your land leads bad stuff. Just ask the Mayans, the people of Iceland, the folks from Chaco Canyon... and so on. And maybe our world is big enough and technologically advanced enough that we'll find ways around it. Maybe. But we're also at it on a scale never before seen. And acting like it's not a big deal is not going to lead to us fixing it. We're in the sixth extinction.

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

 

There have been a lot of fake photos and junk science about it. We don't really know what the end result is or where the line after which ecosystems can't come back from these sorts of levels of destruction. Or how bad the continued destruction will be for climate change - whether it'll just be another blip or whether it'll precipitate bigger change. Like, we're entering new territory in some ways.

In some sense I think this is true because there haven't ever been this many humans on the planet before so we don't know what that will look like in the future. However, when I look at a place like Chernobyl, nature renews itself and even thrives at really amazing rate after humans are forced out due to their own incompetence. The planet itself has been through mass extinctions -- natural disasters on a level that humans would have to try really hard to even come close to creating, and yet the Amazon grew after those things. Even now, our output dwarfs something like one good volcanic eruption or naturally occurring forest fire. 

The biggest problem I'm seeing is disaster fatigue. It's the same as that guy who kept predicting the end of the world (Camping?). No one listens after awhile and shrugs it all off -- even the real, actual problems and solutions that would be tenable.

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6 minutes ago, EmseB said:

In some sense I think this is true because there haven't ever been this many humans on the planet before so we don't know what that will look like in the future. However, when I look at a place like Chernobyl, nature renews itself and even thrives at really amazing rate after humans are forced out due to their own incompetence. The planet itself has been through mass extinctions -- natural disasters on a level that humans would have to try really hard to even come close to creating, and yet the Amazon grew after those things. Even now, our output dwarfs something like one good volcanic eruption or naturally occurring forest fire. 

The biggest problem I'm seeing is disaster fatigue. It's the same as that guy who kept predicting the end of the world (Camping?). No one listens after awhile and shrugs it all off -- even the real, actual problems and solutions that would be tenable.

Right, the planet itself survives these things, but plenty of species do NOT survive these things. Humans can go extinct too. 

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57 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Right, the planet itself survives these things, but plenty of species do NOT survive these things. Humans can go extinct too. 

Of course! Not really what I was getting at, I guess, or at least I wasn't denying something like that could happen (I think my post kind of implied the opposite?). Anyway, thus my mention of mass extinction events in earth's past. I'm not assuming humans would be exempt from something like that, or even, really that we could prevent something on that scale from happening even if we wanted to.

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Hank's video does a great job. Scishow for the win.

The planet is just in an untenable position. We're entering unknown territory in terms of the level of destruction we're keeping up. But there's no monetary gain to be had in stopping. Just like with how much plastic we're using - there's no economic force to make corporations stop using so much. Quite the opposite. And nations are at a disadvantage if they introduce limitations. And poorer nations who didn't have "time" to deplete their lands the way we already did before we understood the consequences, are rightly ticked that they can't then just go ahead and do that. After all, we can't magically go back a century and undeplete our lands in the US and give up that money and growth that we built the nation we have today on. It's unfair. But this trajectory ends in potential human extinction, which is scary as all get out.

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