Friday, 23 August 2019

Changing the Climate of the Amazon Rainforest

Last week I was going to write about climate change, but the weather was so awful I struggled to do anything at all, let alone put on my wellingtons for the lengthy walk (aka 5 yards) to my office to write a blog entry.

So this week, I am still going to write about climate change, but with a lightly stronger sense of urgency and focus.

The Amazon Rainforest is on fire.

Ok, not *all* of it, though frankly the maps suggest rather a lot. But these are fires that a) are largely man-made in origin, and b) have been burning for over a month.

I know that some forest fires are good for the forest. The redwoods in Yosemite, for example, appreciate a good burn of ground cover occasionally so that the light can get in and the seeds can germinate.

But this is different. This is the planet's lungs, effectively, being destroyed in the name of greed. (Read this article for some in-depth info that will shock you.) The European media have finally noticed too.

We rely on the Amazon rainforest for more than just an interesting range of flora and fauna. The amount of carbon dioxide stored in all those plants is remarkable. And for those who can't remember how the carbon dioxide cycle works, if it's released from plants into the atmosphere, it helps create that Greenhouse Effect that non-scientists don't believe in. It needs to be stored, and we need *lots* of trees to store enough to stop the Greenhouse Effect wreaking havoc.

Nature had reached a reasonable balance between the amount of CO2 we breathed out and the amount the plants could absorb. And now we are wrecking it. How long before we reach a point of no return?

It's no longer a case of remembering to sort your rubbish into the different recycling bins. If this planet is to remain habitable for our children's children, we need to start behaving differently in the first place. Even the politicians have finally realised.

All of which puts my complaint about the August rain that stopped me mowing our 'lawn' last week rather in the shade.

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