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Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 09:45 PM Aug 2016

The "Lungs of the Planet" are rapidly collapsing

Brazil's New Government May Be Less Likely To Protect the Amazon, Critics Say
May 22, 2016
Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff
Washington Post

Signs of a rightward turn by Brazil's new government have alarmed conservationists and climate-change activists, who fear a rollback of environmental laws that could accelerate deforestation in the Amazon basin.

With Brazil's economy in its worst slump since the 1930s, new leader Michel Temer took power this month promising a more business-friendly agenda to spur growth. Temer named a conservative-leaning cabinet whose members include figures with close ties to powerful landowners and agribusiness companies.

Temer takes control of South America's largest nation – and the world's biggest rain forest – at a time when Brazilian lawmakers are considering a major overhaul of environmental laws. This includes a controversial constitutional amendment known as PEC 65 that would reduce licensing requirements for development projects and limit judicial oversight of their impact.

The amendment has been stalled, but it won a key Senate commission vote last month, where it was sponsored by Senator Blairo Maggi, a farming tycoon nicknamed the "King of Soy." Temer has made Maggi the country's agriculture minister, a powerful post in the world's second-largest food exporter, giving him significant leverage to promote the amendment. http://amazonwatch.org/news/2016/0522-brazils-new-government-may-be-less-likely-to-protect-the-amazon-critics-say




What Brazil’s New President Means For Its Environmental Laws

As it is now customary in multiple countries, Brazil requires environmental assessments prior to construction projects. But the Senate is now considering a bill that would give fast-track status to projects like roads, dams or ports deemed in the national interest by the president. That would allow developers to move forward simply by saying an environmental impact study is in the works, but bar agencies from halting the project once construction begins. Moreover, there is a proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate environmental licensing altogether...

For environmentalists, these proposals are ludicrous, as Brazil is still grappling with the aftermath of the collapse of an iron ore dam that caused the largest environmental disaster in Brazilian history. https://thinkprogress.org/what-brazils-new-president-means-for-its-environmental-laws-1e950f258269#.s30n8p27n




Many scientist call the Amazon River Basin the Lungs of the Planet.

Amazon: Lungs of the planet

The Amazon in South America is the largest, most diverse tropical rainforest on Earth, covering an area of five and a half million square kilometres (2.1 million sq mi).

It accounts for more than half of the planet’s remaining rainforest and is home to more than half the world's species of plants and animals.

But over the last 40 years, this great verdant tract has been increasingly threatened by deforestation. Clearing of the forest began in the 1960s and reached a peak in the 90s when an area the size of Spain was cleared, primarily to make space for cattle and soybean production.

But the soil exposed by this clearing is only productive for a short period of time, meaning that farmers must continue to clear more land to keep their businesses viable. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130226-amazon-lungs-of-the-planet

36 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The "Lungs of the Planet" are rapidly collapsing (Original Post) Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 OP
"Homo stupidius" isn't very long for the planet, methinks. nt villager Aug 2016 #1
We are the cancer of the planet. Simple as that. n/t dixiegrrrrl Aug 2016 #2
Where's Richmond Valentine when you need him? Initech Aug 2016 #8
Agent Smith said we are a virus. eom fleabiscuit Aug 2016 #16
Sister Sledge said we are family. calendargirl Aug 2016 #21
In The Matrix agent Smith offers valid comparisons between viruses and humans Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #25
And unlike a virus, we're not really killing the planet. Frank Cannon Aug 2016 #26
The planet might last; but most life forms will vanish Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #34
so very true. niyad Aug 2016 #5
"It's Nature's way of telling you something's wrong." Listen to this and believe... Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #35
thank you, that is beautiful. niyad Aug 2016 #36
The thing is, we're not stupid The2ndWheel Aug 2016 #22
We just spend way too much time believing our own PR hatrack Aug 2016 #29
We don't accept limits The2ndWheel Aug 2016 #30
For years, the oil companies said the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest was for corn crops. tonyt53 Aug 2016 #3
Changes in Brazilian laws on deforestation are new and increasingly detramental. reread this: Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #24
The deforestation has slowed because the need for more farming land has slowed. tonyt53 Aug 2016 #28
You do a great job of defending deforestation in Brazil, without presenting any links Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #31
One would think the people and government could make Volaris Aug 2016 #4
It could be a result of aristocratic inbreeding, to keep money in a wealthy family Jeffersons Ghost Aug 2016 #33
I'm NOT happy with the deforestation there, but I think... Buckeye_Democrat Aug 2016 #6
Yup. 50-85 % of the planets oxygen comes karadax Aug 2016 #12
Deforestation has been blamed for Brazil's drought Auggie Aug 2016 #17
Well, the oceans aren't in very good shape. Avalux Aug 2016 #23
Capitalism demands constant growth undergroundpanther Aug 2016 #7
Yep. Buckeye_Democrat Aug 2016 #11
true G_j Aug 2016 #19
Civilization demands constant growth The2ndWheel Aug 2016 #20
That's ok, we're ruining our supply of fresh drinking water fast as well. NightWatcher Aug 2016 #9
But what are we going to do about ISIS and radical Islam? tenderfoot Aug 2016 #10
This... Buckeye_Democrat Aug 2016 #14
Ancient cord of coexistence, Hacked by parasitic greedhead scam Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #13
Stop eating meat. Or limit it. flvegan Aug 2016 #15
The dramatic dot video of population growth. A world map beginning in 1 A.D. with 1 dot = 1 million progree Aug 2016 #18
In happier news, the anus of the planet is also collapsing Orrex Aug 2016 #27
Only wish I could live to see MFM008 Aug 2016 #32

Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
25. In The Matrix agent Smith offers valid comparisons between viruses and humans
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 11:21 AM
Aug 2016

Although I like the Sister Sledge song, the singers simply repeat the hook phrase, like most hit songs do. At the very least, Agent Smith comparisons are pseudoscience.

Frank Cannon

(7,570 posts)
26. And unlike a virus, we're not really killing the planet.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 11:28 AM
Aug 2016

The planet will continue to exist for another 4 billion or so years, regardless of what we do. Even life in some fashion will probably still be around, though I highly doubt humans will still be.

We're probably better compared to a bout of food poisoning that goes away after a couple of sessions of diarrhea.

Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
34. The planet might last; but most life forms will vanish
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 07:38 PM
Aug 2016

Not only humans but also most mammals will become extinct. Some humans might create some artificial, air-tight bubbles and survive in a self-made prison.

The2ndWheel

(7,947 posts)
22. The thing is, we're not stupid
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 10:04 AM
Aug 2016

We've been very good at getting around every limit that gets in our way. Medical limits? We get around them. Food limits? We get around them. The physical limitations of the human body? We get around them.

If anything, we're too smart, too clever, too dominant.

The2ndWheel

(7,947 posts)
30. We don't accept limits
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:31 PM
Aug 2016

I doubt any form of life does or would accept them, but we've gotten to the point where we can attempt to control external forces. The lion and zebra battle it out, and whoever is faster wins a particular fight, but it's still an ongoing struggle between the two. We have domesticated certain species, fenced them in, try and control their DNA, strictly for our benefit.

If the zebras could build a wall to keep the lions away, they probably would. If the lions could built a fence to keep all the zebras inside for much easier access, they probably would.

Everything has a cost. We try our best to essentially privatize the profits of the planet for ourselves, and socialize the costs to the rest of life, but it comes at a cost. If we dropped everything, and all went back to hunting and gathering, giving up some control, it would come at a cost.

Our imagination is basically limitless, but we exist in a limited physical reality. We can do quite a bit, but not without some kind of reaction to our action. It's a tough combination. Especially when we try to account for everything. It's not just humans having all that we want, but we also want to save the polar bear, and the whale, and this ecosystem, and that other species, but eradicate this other one, save that other ecosystem, etc, etc,. We want the best of all worlds, but not the downside of any of them.

 

tonyt53

(5,737 posts)
3. For years, the oil companies said the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest was for corn crops.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:21 PM
Aug 2016

Brazil has been a huge user of corn ethanol for several years. Then Petrobas, supported by the largest oil companies in the world, got the Brazilian government to back off corn ethanol. But the deforestation continued. This time is was being turned into pastureland for raising cattle. The cattle were going primarily to Asia and Brazilians got nothing in return, but some people got very wealthy. Again, according to the Petrobas propaganda. Then the deforestation continued, but this time it was for raising soybeans for use in making biodiesel. Petrobas attacked again. The fact is, the US is producing far more soybeans than the rest of the world. Nothing done in Brazil will do anything to change that. Petrobas again. I do question the reason for the article. This is nothing new.

Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
24. Changes in Brazilian laws on deforestation are new and increasingly detramental. reread this:
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 10:52 AM
Aug 2016

Brazil's New Government May Be Less Likely To Protect the Amazon, Critics Say
May 22, 2016
Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff
Washington Post

Signs of a rightward turn by Brazil's new government have alarmed conservationists and climate-change activists, who fear a rollback of environmental laws that could accelerate deforestation in the Amazon basin.

Some laws have been changed to suit large companies and wealthy farmers. "Conservationists" anticipate more changes in Brazilian law, which will decimate the rainforest in years, instead of decades.

 

tonyt53

(5,737 posts)
28. The deforestation has slowed because the need for more farming land has slowed.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 11:36 AM
Aug 2016

Again, I question the basis of this article as it relates to current situations in Brazil. Those words "who fear a rollback" actually have no basis in reality. The deforestation of the rain forests of the Amazon were definitely a huge problem for several years. But current situations have changed the need for further need of additional farm land. To me anyway, it is like crying "wolf" when the wolves are locked up in a zoo.

Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
31. You do a great job of defending deforestation in Brazil, without presenting any links
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:34 PM
Aug 2016

Do you have ANY support, which indicates that new, relaxed laws in Brazil are not going to dramatically increase deforestation? Do you know the percentage of plant and animal species, which exist only in the Amazon River Basin and surrounding areas? How about some satellite imagery that shows rainforest in Brazil are resilient enough to quickly recover; can you present evidence to support your claims?

This photograph is called "DROUGHT SPEEDS UP DEFORESTATION."
http://thewe.cc/thewe_/images_5/--/environment/amazon-rainforest-deforestation.jpe
Ancient trees, which are integral componants of any rainforest, cannot be replaced.

Volaris

(10,295 posts)
4. One would think the people and government could make
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:22 PM
Aug 2016

As much income or more from a healthy, safely-invested rain forest than they ever could from cutting it down for...whatever. there's a ton of ways to make money on a natural resource of that magnitude, without destroying it.

Jeffersons Ghost

(15,235 posts)
33. It could be a result of aristocratic inbreeding, to keep money in a wealthy family
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 03:49 PM
Aug 2016

Ultra-wealthy people simply lack the aptitude and imagination to find new ways to make money. Instead, corporations run by inbreed idiots continue to block anything that competes with revenues from mineral rights their ancestors stole from Native Americans, pioneers and early American settlers.

Buckeye_Democrat

(14,864 posts)
6. I'm NOT happy with the deforestation there, but I think...
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:27 PM
Aug 2016

... the planet gets more oxygen from the phytoplankton in oceans.

I'm not sure how Earth's big heat sink, the oceans, will affect them with rising temps. I sure hope THEY don't die off!

karadax

(284 posts)
12. Yup. 50-85 % of the planets oxygen comes
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 11:16 PM
Aug 2016

From our oceans.

Humans are especially adept at screwing things up before they make them better. The oceans are a work in progress. Just give it some time.

Avalux

(35,015 posts)
23. Well, the oceans aren't in very good shape.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 10:10 AM
Aug 2016

I get tired of everyone saying "save the planet" though. Earth will survive this infestation of humans and be here long after we disappear. Geology shows us that the earth adapts and regenerates; what was ocean thousands and thousands of years ago is now desert.

What we really ought to be saying is "save the humans". It's about us being able to live on and with the Earth in a way that will continue to sustain human life.

undergroundpanther

(11,925 posts)
7. Capitalism demands constant growth
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:46 PM
Aug 2016

It is a Cancer we invented and we can stop playing along with capitalism too. We can walk away and do things without rich people or profit imperatives or senseless growth. Humanity just is scared to try scared it can't imagine anything better.

Buckeye_Democrat

(14,864 posts)
11. Yep.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:59 PM
Aug 2016

Unless my view of economics is far too simplistic (and it's possible since I'm not an economist), aggregate profit growth has been closely linked to growth of real GDP. I'm not talking about an individual company's profits, but the aggregate. I saw a chart a few years ago that showed real aggregate profits and real GDP growth increasing hand in hand.

Real GDP is a measure of "stuff" that we produce, all of which require resources... even service jobs since the service providers need resources too.

Thus, it seems to me, that continuous growth must mean continuously higher production and continuously higher usage of resources.

An economist is free to correct my thinking if I'm wrong!



G_j

(40,372 posts)
19. true
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 01:15 AM
Aug 2016

Though many Do imagine a better way, and always will. Let's imagine a critical mass of imagining humans in the our future. The real crux, is that it may be too late.

The2ndWheel

(7,947 posts)
20. Civilization demands constant growth
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 01:54 AM
Aug 2016

What economic system doesn't demand growth? Shouldn't humans be able to chase all their dreams and desires? That's progress. Progress demands growth.

We don't want to just pick a berry and maybe kill a rabbit. We want to explore the stars. That's going to demand a lot of growth. Large scale government demands growth to function. You can't provide for so many people if money isn't coming in. Business, even the small ones, need customers.

We call it capitalism, or socialism, or whatever system we come up with, but they all exist within the civilized project. Civilization is the resource concentration mechanism, and our economic systems are dealing with those concentrated resources.

Progress might be the fundamental issue. Our abstract imagination might be the fundamental issue. Humans can't fly. Humans can't travel at 60mph. Humans can't communicate over large distances instantaneously. Well we'll build planes, cars, and computers to do it for us. That's growth. That's resources. That's profit. We'll come up with new ways of keeping people alive with medicine and technology. That's constant growth. We'll confine both plant and non-human animal(i.e civilization) for easier access to food. That's growth.

If it was just about capitalism, it would all be damn fucking easy. If it was just about oil and coal, it would be easy. However, if we live on a finite planet, nothing we do is going to be easy. Any choice we make will also have a downside, and the scope of the downside, in some form or fashion, will be equal to the scope of the upside.

flvegan

(64,431 posts)
15. Stop eating meat. Or limit it.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:17 AM
Aug 2016

I'll leave it to you to figure out why.

If you can't? I wish you the best. Suffering fools gladly is no longer my forte.

progree

(10,973 posts)
18. The dramatic dot video of population growth. A world map beginning in 1 A.D. with 1 dot = 1 million
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:58 AM
Aug 2016


It is about 6 1/2 minutes long but you can skip the first 2 minutes -- the actual dot stuff begins at 2:00 and ends at 5:42. At 5:00 have reached about 1600 A.D. while the population is still quite modest outside of India and China. (So if you are in a time bind, you can start at 5:00 and watch just the last 42 seconds) "As the film neared present day and the dots started flying onto the screen, there were audible gasps, wide staring eyes, and mumblings of "no way" and "I knew we were growing but not THAT much."

Credit: PopulationConnection.org
[hr]

And as world population grows by 1 billion every 12 years or so, the pressure on the environment is only going to increase. On top of that, growing per capita meat consumption.

By the way, Brazil has fortunately stabilized its population. Its fertility rate is 1.81 births per woman, slightly less than the U.S. at 1.88 births per woman. (Brazil's was 4 births per woman as recently as 1980).

(I know I know, if the fertility rate continues below about 2.1, and without net immigration, the population will ultimately decline)

As for the demographic transition to lower fertility rates, which has been dramatic in the developed countries and much of Latin America (e.g. Brazil among many) and East Asia, is occurring at a much slower rate in much of the rest of the world than expected. This has caused the U.N. to raise its 2050 and 2100 population forecasts in recent years.
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