Soy cultivation can expand in Brazil, by one third without cutting down another tree – by taking over unused grazing land

There is a constant tug of war, between developed countries which are encouraging developing countries to continue to protect their wildernesses, and the developing countries wish to be able to develop – to lift their citizens out of poverty.

In one shot: soy farming at the front, rainforest behind and you can see cattle grazing areas at the back

In one shot: Soy cultivation at the front, standing rainforest is next and in the back you can see areas of cattle grazing
Continue reading “Soy cultivation can expand in Brazil, by one third without cutting down another tree – by taking over unused grazing land”

Large thriving network of settlements thrived in Columbian Amazon before European settlers

Both the Amazon and the Congo have been given the status of totally virgin rainforest, without any human impact. What is becoming increasingly clear is that this is not the case.

Instead it is the case, that the communities which lived here -sometimes in large numbers, lived in balance with the environment.

Pre Columbian settlement evidence in the Amazon

Archaeologists have found vast network of settlements in the Columbian Amazon, spanning hundreds or even thousands of square km, consisting of a main settlement with huge platforms, and smaller settlements spread out around. All are linked by causeways, and canals and reservoirs dotted the land to make agriculture possible.

To be sure, these settlements were low density, but they successfully lived in harmony with the rainforest for centuries.

Oddly, while these communities prospered for 1000 years, they disappeared before Columbus arrived, and it is not clear why.

How should this impact work these days? I am not sure. There are no large groups of modern people who have learnt to live in harmony with their environment, but clearly bush people have. Perhaps we need to follow their example – though the current indigenous people of the Amazon do not live in settlements of large size, otherwise we would have know about these centuries ago,

Much of the Amazon deforestation will cause destruction of the land that is being taken

In much of the Amazon rainforest destruction is in order to increase the amount of land that can be farmed.

There is not mass starvation in Brazil, in fact to the contrary most of the crops grown will be sold abroad. Never-the-less if is irrelevant as the land will not be usable for crops for very long. The area will rapidly switch to desert

Great areas are being deforested in order to grow crops.

The problem is, that the rainfall is largely caused by the rainforest. Therefore, by cutting down the rainforest you remove this rainfall.

Not only is rainforest destruction a dangerous thing for the community, but the land will be worthless within a short time of it being deforested.

Academics fear that if Bolsonaro is re-elected in October, the Amazon rainforest will collapse during his second term

The signs of collapse are getting more and more clear. Fires droughts and land clearances are all pushing the Amazon towards collapse. Yet Jair Bolsonaro is not interested having put his head in the sand. Instead he is busy placating powerful agribusiness lobby and trying to get the global economy to reward his bad behaviour.

Could this become increasingly what Brazil looks like? If it does, how will it feed its growing population?

The blows to forest protection have come fast in the last year. It is unclear how much of the Brazilian population understands how big the threat is that Bolsonaro is ignoring.

Continue reading “Academics fear that if Bolsonaro is re-elected in October, the Amazon rainforest will collapse during his second term”

Land speculators are moving into Camps Amazonicos National park

Deforestation has leapt 37% over the last 5 years. Large numbers of people have been moving into this park in the hope that Bolsonaro will loosen its protection, and then their land claims will become legal.

Deforestation in this reserve has accelerated dramatically

This is unfortunately the effect that often occurs when a new administration doesn’t care about conservation.

In various moves, the current Brazilian government has encouraged these land seizures by not punishing or indeed legalizing the seizure.

Unsurprisingly, Brazil leads the Amazon in deforestation this year

Over 2 million acres of forest was lost from the Amazon this year, with 76% of this falling within the boundaries of Brazil.

Nearly 95% of deforestation is found within a small distance of roads or rivers. As a result, Bolsonaro and similar politicians can claim to build roads to help with developments, when actually their primary aim, is deforestation so that the land can then be used for more valuable purposes.

Most areas that have been deforested have then been burned, which gives way for grazing pasture.

If something is not done fast, it will not matter what Jair Bolsonaros replacement wishes to do, as there will be little rainforest left to protect.

Has Jair Bolsonaro just ruled out his second term?

Despite the absurdly poor behaviour, the ridiculous name-calling, one of the worst ways of handling covered in the world and a determined attack on on the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that live there, it may well be his attack on the supreme court that ends the horror show show of the Bolsonaro presidency.

Jair Bolsonaro is the current president of Brazil. He has been terrible for his country, but the damage he has done to the Amazon rainforest is likely to have impacts far beyond the Brazilian border

For any regular readers of this blog, you will have noticed that I have followed the presidential moves of Jair Bolsonaro over the last few years. 

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Parts of the Amazon rainforest (as with the Congo and others around the world) are no longer carbon sinks

For as long as people have studied the carbon cycle, forests are considered essential carbon sinks. Unfortunately as we damage them, their ability to absorb carbon reduces.

A new study has confirmed, that large parts of the Amazon rainforest have crossed this line.

For many, it is hard to believe that humans could impact such a huge ecosystem, but we have, and without action this ecosystem will cease to exist
Continue reading “Parts of the Amazon rainforest (as with the Congo and others around the world) are no longer carbon sinks”

Amazon rainforest: can it survive Bolsonaro?

I have been writing about Jair Bolsonaro for quite some time. Indeed, those who have been reading this blog for years will know that I became concerned in the run up to the election.

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest is hugely damaging. It is likely to effect the climate worldwide as well as carbon dioxide levels

He has a quite bizarre approach to many things. Indeed, his ruling style is very like Donald Trump. He doesn’t care about Brazil, merely that “his” people do well out of his presidency.

It is quite something, that academics and activists have come together to warn that with the increased attacks on the environmental protections, the Brazilian rainforest would not survive a second Bolsonaro term.

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