The Amazon is Burning

At UPHE we try hard to focus on state and local issues, and our number one priority is air quality. The important theme this week has been what air pollution does to our lungs. But we simply can’t avoid commenting on what is right now happening to “the lungs of the planet,” the Amazon Rainforest, because it is THE critical defense against the climate crisis, normally absorbing massive amounts of CO2.

The planet’s lungs are on fire like never before, nearly 100% more than last year. It’s going to get worse, it’s all caused by humans, and it has implications for every human on earth. This is a global disaster.

One of the worst tragedies in human history is Brazil electing Jair Bolsonaro as their President, someone who is perhaps even worse for environmental protection than Donald Trump.

“The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle. The practice is on the rise, encouraged by Bolsonaro, who is backed by the country’s so-called ‘beef caucus.’

“While this may be business as usual for Brazil’s beef farmers, the rest of the world is looking on in horror.

“So, for those wondering how they could help save the rainforest, known as “the planet’s lungs” for producing about 20% of the world’s oxygen, the answer may be simple. Eat less meat,” especially beef. Read more from Fox 13 here.

“The implications are global. The Amazon is one of the best defenses against climate change: It accounts for a quarter of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the world’s forests. The mutually reinforcing cycle of deforestation and fire, researchers warn, will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to hold global warming below destabilizing levels.” Read more form the Washington Post here.

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