By now, Legal Insurrection readers have learned about the ‘climate crisis’-infused stories related to the three weeks of wildfires within South America’s Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon is known to produce moisture and humidity, making it relatively resistant to wildfires, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Instead, it seems that a combination of droughts, and ranchers and farmers taking advantage of the dry season to burn and clear land for cattle, are to blame.
…Droughts caused both by climate change and deforestation are also part of the problem, according to Greenpeace. The forest fires are contributing to higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, which lead to global temperatures rising. As these temperatures rise, major droughts become more frequent and can extend the forest’s dry season.
Of course, the political elites have used the wildfires to virtue signal and promote more liberty-crushing rules and taxes.
Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
However, a more detailed and rational review of the situation shows the story behind the Amazon fires is the perfect trifecta of eco-drama, political virtue-signaling, and #FakeNews.
Some celebrities have tried to raise awareness are shared false or misleading images of other fires.
For example, actor and musician Jaden Smith shared an image on Instagram showing a large swath of the forest on fire with smoke billowing out.
“The AMAZON Rain FOREST IS ON FIRE THIS IS TERRIBLE IT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST CARBON SINKS IN THE WORLD, Spread The Word. #theamazonrainforest,” he wrote.
.. The image of the Amazon burning was posted by The Guardian in 2007 and notes it was taken in 1989.
Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been sharing several images and posts on Instagram meant to raise awareness of the fires and instruct people on what they can do to help. Unfortunately, one of the many images he shared can be found on the Carbon Brief organization’s website dated from 2018.
Next, scientists studying satellite image data from the fires indicate that most of the blazes are burning on agricultural land where the forest had already cleared out.
The majority of the agricultural land currently in use in Brazil’s Amazon region was created through years of deforestation.
“Most of this is land use that have replaced rain forest,” said Matthew Hansen, who is a co-leader of the Global Land Analysis and Discovery laboratory at the University of Maryland.
“Brazil has turned certain states like Mato Grosso into Iowa,” said Mr. Hanson, referring to the Brazilian state on the southern edge of the Amazon region. “You’ve got rain forest, and then there’s just an ocean of soybean.”
Finally, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration indicates that the number of fires in that region is right around the average, as calculated from the last 15 years of data.
As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years. (The Amazon spreads across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and parts of other countries.) Though activity appears to be above average in the states of Amazonas and Rondônia, it has so far appeared below average in Mato Grosso and Pará, according to estimates from the Global Fire Emissions Database, a research project that compiles and analyzes NASA data.
I believe Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is the real target. He ran on a small-government approach usually not taken in South American and with policies that are clearly out of line with globalist thinking.
It’s Bolsonaro’s fault!
This is a crucial moment. The Amazon is not just burning. Bolsonaro is stoking the fires, motivating farmers to clear the land while arguing that commodifying the forest is the best way of… protecting it. Sign the petition https://t.co/495PZVwnLU #diem25 #PrayforAmazonia
— Yanis Varoufakis (@yanisvaroufakis) August 23, 2019
The elites blame less-restrictive environmental policies for the fires.
In a televised address Friday night, [Bolsonaro] said the government would take a “zero tolerance” approach to environmental crimes, and that Brazilians in the Amazon region must be provided with broader opportunities to make a decent living.
“I have a profound love and respect for the Amazon,” he said in a rare scripted message. “Protecting the rain forest is our duty.”
He provided no details about what assets the military would bring to bear in areas where fires are spreading.
But it was unlikely that his plan could address the underlying crisis without a fundamental shift in his environmental policies, which have emboldened miners, loggers and farmers to strip and burn protected areas with a sense of impunity.
I hope the authorities quickly contain the wildfires, the firefighters and emergency crews stay safe, and that Bolsonaro doesn’t fall victim to climate crisis eco-stunts.DONATE
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