Fit hitting the shan in the Amazon

So…problems in the Amazon. Trees take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, right? A lot of really big trees do a lot of this process, right? We’ve got a lot of really big trees doing this in the Amazon, right, and those are here to stay, yeah? Well…

There are some people, motivated by totally righteous financial and economic reasons, who grow crops and livestock, and some who harvest timber for you to build your house and other stuff with. Some of these people live, work, or order around people who work, in South America. Where are there a lot of trees to harvest in South America? The Amazon rainforest. And those other people don’t mind the deforestation either; they use the land for growing crops and keeping livestock. Sometimes they don’t even wait for the trees to be cut down, and they just burn them.

Now, there are a lot of things these days that are making it hotter, and in some parts of the world, things that are making it drier. El Nino. Climate change. Burning trees (that makes smoke). These things all make the Amazon Basin hotter and drier. What happens when a rainforest is faced with unparalleled drought? Well, it just so happens that the good people at Wood’s Hole Research Center have been studying just that. Their findings aren’t fun. Basically, after 3 years or so, all those big trees that help us so much with our CO2 and oxygen, those trees start to die. And when the biggest ones die, they expose the smaller ones to more sunlight, and thus more heat and drying. So it’s an accelerating process, is what that means. So, they start dying en masse after about 3 years? Guess how long there’s been a drought in the Amazon now? I hear about 2 years.

Of course, it’s a big place, and it isn’t the same everywhere, but still. That such acceleration-prone forces are in place at all, that this is just going on as it has been, seems to me somewhat disrespectful. Disrespectful to ourselves, each other, and most of all to our children. And their children, etc.

Oh, another thing. The “savannization” that would occur if a lot of these trees died actually does happen, it would reduce unthinkable amount of carbon into the atmosphere. We’re talking the equivalent of several years of worldwide emissions. That’s enough to speed global warming by 50%, according to whoever Hugged this link.

So as I said, the fit is hitting the shan. And what are you doing about that?

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