The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

About the Amazon Burning: It’s Worse than You Think

The Amazon goes, we go. This map doesn’t make it seem like it’s in danger, though it’s bad, but…

The Intercept has an excellent article on what the Amazon does, and what its loss would mean, but the simple facts are two:

  • Loss of another fifth of the Amazon, many scientists believe, would trigger a “dieback” causing the rest to die quickly.
  • Loss of the Amazon would release as much carbon into the atmosphere as all human activity since 1880.

What this means is a doomsday scenario. There are scenarios where not only humans, but all higher life dies, and this stands a good chance of being one of them: an uncontrollable increase of ten degrees Celsius or more.

We don’t survive that.

There are claims, which I find credible, that most of these fires were set deliberately by ranchers.

The Amazon is being deforested to create ranches, to sell beef to the rest of the world.

The obvious solution is for the rest of the world to simply pay Brazil more than the meat is worth to stop deforesting and to reforest. Any such treaty must have teeth– independent verification by auditors, NASA, and so on. And if the treaty is broken, not only does the money stop, but severe punishment is levied on Brazil. I hate that, but I don’t see a way around it. This sort of thing must stop. At the very extreme end, if we’re going to go to war over anything, this would be it, but despite what I wrote earlier, that wouldn’t be necessary: serious threats from the US and China would make Bolsonaro crumble. They could destroy Brazil’s economy tomorrow.

The general problem is larger, very difficult, and everyone’s problem. There have been such huge fires in the Pacific Northwest the last couple years that people had to stay indoors for weeks. Those fires weren’t deliberately set (though some were caused by human carelessness), but the problem is bigger: The southern part of those rainforests are no longer viable as rainforests. They’re going to go.

In general, we need to be re-greening.

We also need to do it smart, as too much replanting happens under conditions that amount to plantations: Monocultures which don’t have the full benefit of proper forests. (A good book to read for background is The Hidden Lives of Trees.

To further emphasize the issue, more long term…

Some parts of this problem are genuinely difficult but others aren’t. We can certainly re-green, and even re-green relatively quickly. Some things, like the temperate rain forest of the Pacific Northwest may not be saveable, but re-greening is.

The second thing we need to do is to help the oceans. We need alternatives to fished seafood, and we need them now, and we need to get after bad actors hard (like, but not exclusively, Japan). The key issue here is phytoplankton, which are responsible for perhaps 50 percent of the world’s oxygen, and which are in sharp decline.

This is a truly difficult problem and I won’t pretend it isn’t. But we must do what we can and treat it as the emergency it is.

As I wrote yesterday, we have a ton of problems, we have a ton of money which can’t find anything to do, and somehow we aren’t putting that money to use doing what needs to be done.

This is a question of political will, and so far, we don’t have any. Bolsonaro wants to do the exact wrong thing and reduce the Amazon faster. Obama bragged about increasing fracking massively. We aren’t, as a species or world society, taking these problems seriously, and they are potentially existential problems. Even if they aren’t existential (and I’d rather not risk it, thanks), they will certainly kill billions.

Perhaps we should do something.


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  1. Gunther Behn

    America and China aren’t going to do anything. If revolutions occurred in each nation with a single purpose — to save the species — perhaps both governments would be forced to act. But this won’t happen. I think we’re done.

    We will have to endure watching the Trumps and Bolsonaros and Salvinis and Orbans and LePens and Farages as they caper and preen themselves before the cameras, denying everything we can see going on outside our windows. And we’ll have to endure knowing that the .001% will live in air-conditioned comfort wile we, and everyone we care about, dies.

    Will the last surviving group please say a small prayer for everyone who passed on before them? Thanks.

  2. Eric Anderson

    Perhaps there is a little hidden part in all of us that thinks billions do need to die. While simultaneously being evolutionarily predisposed to think it won’t happen “me.”

    The Dunning/Krueger effect lifts it’s ugly head once more.

  3. Stirling S Newberry

    Again, we can lose about 1 billion people. Then things get serious. People mind other people being hurt, but not themselves.

    Where nowhere near there. Australia and Brazil confirm this.

  4. Herman

    @Gunther Behn,

    It is not only the leadership but also the ordinary people. For example, on the subject of destroying the Amazon to make way for ranchers, Americans are as much a part of the problem as the Brazilians are since we consume so much meat. In fact, Americans are eating more meat than ever as are the Chinese. Frequent meat consumption is one of the perks of living in a developed economy and I don’t see people giving these perks up en masse without some sort of catastrophe forcing them to change. The same goes for other aspects of our consumerist lifestyle. Individuals and subcultures cannot do it on their own because there is too much pressure to live a consumerist lifestyle.

    For example, it is difficult for individuals to give up the use of automobiles, even though they are environmentally destructive, because in our competitive society having a car is often required for social and professional life so even if somebody hates car culture and its destructive impact on the environment, the pressure to give in is too strong for most people to withstand.

    I don’t think significant change will happen until some catastrophe happens, one that is so bad that it hurts even affluent people in the rich countries. For all of their talk about green this and sustainable that, rich Westerners have the most environmentally destructive lifestyles on the planet. I always laugh when I see rich liberals go on about the environment and castigate some working-class person for eating a cheeseburger while they take frequent international vacations and live in big McMansions. In order to save the environment, everyone’s ox is going to have to be gored which means that rich people will have to take a haircut too.

  5. Hugh

    That picture of the Amazon burning is one of the most sickeningly scary things I have seen. It underlines something that people have a hard time getting their head around. In our neoliberal kleptocracy, our rich and elites, the looters, are like locusts. They will consume everything until there is nothing left and then they will die. There is no Plan B. Those of us who are not looters have the tendency to view the real looters as if they were like us, rational but just much more rapacious. We would put in a backdoor if things really went south. But our looting overclass isn’t rational. They will go to the wall until the lights don’t come on and the water doesn’t come out of the taps. And most of them will wonder what’s up with that and get out their smart phones to give someone hell, except the phone don’t work either. The “savvier” ones will be those who bought luxury condos in abandoned missile silos in Kansas. Most of them won’t get there. The few who do will be surprised and no doubt upset when they find the help living in their digs and refusing to let them in. Who coudanode?

  6. Dan Lynch

    I doubt that an acre of forest in Brazil is that much more productive than an acre of forest in other warm, humid parts of the world like say, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi, so why must we worry about Brazil’s deforestation but not the deforestation of Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi? (which used to be wall-to-wall forest but now are wall-to-wall row crop other than a few parks and swamps)

    The implication is that it’s OK for Americans to develop by cutting down their forests but it’s not OK for Brazilians to do the same.

    Instead of paying Brazil to not cut down its forest, why not buy out American farmers and allow American farms to revert back to nature?

    Of course we might starve, and our economy might crash, but that’s the thing — there is no solution to climate change that can support our current population and our current lifestyles. Certainly not the GND’s, which would actually increase emissions and don’t want to talk about rationing or population control.

  7. I don’t see any reference for the Brazil red fire dots picture. I find it hard to believe that that much of Brazil is currently undergoing a fire. Or even, fires so far this year. Perhaps in the last 40 years…..

    References are a good thing, from a rationalist, scientific point of view. From a propaganda POV, they less desirable, or undesirable.

    Re a loss of greening – this is news, to me. However, the exposition/logic listed seems like more CO2 catastrophist baloney. It’s quite true that increased CO2 is not the only factor affecting plant growth. They are claiming a water deficit in the atmosphere, but hotter air holds more water vapor, not less. No explanation given of why increased CO2 did not increase water vapor. (In fact, it’s known even to laymen like me that CO2 catastrophists’ models ‘reveal’ more heating from water vapor, over and above the modest increase in temperature from just direct CO2 greenhouse gas effect. I.e., the famous “positive feedback”.) Or, maybe it did, but some magic number fiddling turns a positive figure into a negative one, because THAT makes for a more convincing political narrative.

    Assuming it’s true that there’s a net browning of the planet, my guess is it’s due to things like deliberate green land destruction – e.g., burning Brazilian rainforests – and has nothing to do with AGW.

    IMNSHO, a rational assessment of greening/browning vs. anthropogenic CO2 HAS to account for deliberate green land destruction.

  8. Dan Lynch

    We can certainly re-green, and even re-green relatively quickly.

    Where, exactly?

    There was an article circulating recently claiming that America had millions and millions of idle land just sitting around waiting for us to plant trees on it. That article was complete bullshit, and like a lot of green bullshit it was dangerous because it lulls us into believing we can address climate change without having to change our lifestyles or make difficult sacrifices. Just plant trees and we can live happily ever after!

    Two problems with the tree-planting theory: 1) no one has identified a single acre of idle land that is sitting around waiting to be greened. Oh, sure, you can see land on satellite images that doesn’t have houses or row crops, but that land is not actually idle. Someone owns it and someone is using it for something. In the Eastern half of the U.S., trees quickly re-seed themselves (without any Green New Dealers planting trees, thank you very much) unless the land is constantly mowed or grazed, so if you see non-forested Eastern land, it’s because someone is mowing or grazing the land. They may be mowing it for aesthetic reasons or they may be haying it for livestock. Perhaps mowing should be outlawed, but that brings us to problem number 2) the grass or bushes or weeds or whatever is growing there now is already functioning as a carbon sink, as long as you don’t let animals graze it (in which case the animals convert some of the growth to greenhouse gases). Grass and bushes and weeds are not what cause global warming, OK? People cause global warming.

    There probably is no viable solution to climate change, but if we wanted to get serious about trying to solve it we should start with rationing, regulation, and population control. The surest way to reduce gasoline consumption to “X” is to issue only “X” amount of ration cards. The surest way to reduce emissions from airplanes is to ban all airplanes — no one NEEDS to fly, OK? Humans survived for thousands and thousands of years without flying. The surest way to reduce emissions from manufacturing concrete is to ration concrete. The surest way to reduce emissions from manufacturing steel is to ration steel. The surest way to reduce electricity consumption is to ration electricity. And so on.

    Since all consumption has an environmental impact, and since the working class consume all their income and then some, the surest way to reduce consumption is to reduce people’s incomes.

    So who wants to reduce their income, reduce their consumption, stop flying, stop driving, stop using steel and concrete, stop using electricity, stop eating most foods, stop having children, and generally live the life of a monk? You won’t hear any of the Green New Delusions talk about that because they know it’s a non-starter.

  9. Hugh

    3, 2, 1 … Cue the flat-earther climate change denying nutcases.

    “According to a statement from the Brazilian research center the National Institute for Space Research (known as INPE), rainforest fire rates in the Amazon are at an all-time high. In total, there have been more than 72,000 forest fires in Brazil this year alone, with more than half of these concentrated in the Amazon. That’s an 80% increase from the number of fires recorded in the country last year, and it’s the highest number to date since the INPE started recording forest fires in 2013.”

    A rainforest has multiple layers and more vigorous growth so its ability to recycle CO2 is a lot higher than a savanna or temperate forest.

    So hotter air can hold more water, so see, so see, this is why the Sahara Desert is so humid. This is why the American Southwest is burning up too. It’s so wet. See, it’s all there before your eyes, losers! /s

  10. Hugh

    Also from the Rolling Stone article:

    “Protecting the Amazon is also crucial to curbing the spread of global warming, as the region supplies nearly 20% of the oxygen in the world’s atmosphere.”

  11. S Brennan

    or…we [USA] could stop effing Argentina with high beef tariffs when they elect a non neoliberal leader.

  12. Ché Pasa

    Forest fires are burning all over, bigger and badder than ever, and there’s apparently no stopping them. Much of the Amazon was cleared and burned for farms, ranches, and settlements for the poor of Brazil — even for Brasilia the capital — 40 and more years ago, and now it’s being cleared and burned again for ranches and farms and settlements for the poor. Bolsonaro appears to be cheering it on.

    The sub-Arctic forests are burning like never before. We’ve seen gargantuan firestorms rip through forests in Canada, California and much of the West; more and bigger fires are likely in the short term.

    The clue is there’s nothing stopping these fires. They’re burning out of control, while leaders like Bolsonaro shrug and blame “environmentalists.” It’s their fault for whatever happens to the forests, or to the air, or to the water. Global warming in general will ultimately be their fault too.

    We seem to be trapped in a no-win situation. We’re past the the time that we could stop or reverse climate change. The question now is how quickly and how far it will proceed, and influential global leaders clearly want it to go faster and spread farther. Ignore their denials. They know what’s happening. And they like it. They’re fine with it. And not all of them are bunkered up in Kansas missile silos, either.

    Most are carrying on like they haven’t a care in the world. As if everything’s going according to plan.

  13. different clue

    Here’s a little video from the reddit showing a little bit of the “how and why” of current fires in the Amazon region.

    Trump believes in Bolsonaro and Bolsonaro believes in burning the Amazon. So no initiative will come from the USgov in the next two years.

    China wants to buy all the beef and soybeans that Bolsonarians can grow in the Amazon.
    The China government’s Great Han Lebensraum Prime Directive is ” Two, Three, many Tibets.”
    China will support Bolsonaro. Its all part of the One Ball One Chain China Prosperity Sphere to the ChinaGov.

    Unhappy individuals around the world figure out which Brazilian products “might” come from the burned-over Amazon and boycott those products. Beef, soybeans, etc. They might also try identifying which products come from the functioning-as-is rain forest and make a point of buying those products to get money ( and maybe a trace of power) into the hands of Brazilians who make a living from rain forest products which require a viable rain forest to produce. Products like Brazil nuts.

    And those people who think politics and movements and stuff could work can certainly give it a whirl.

  14. @hugh

    Tell us: are you troubled, at all, that your rollingstone article doesn’t show the dramatic red dot picture that heads this blog? If not, why not? What is your best guess as to why it doesn’t show this picture?

    Your rollingstone article links to

    This page shows a somewhat more dramatic picture, in the that the red swathe is even wider than any similar area in Ian’s picture. However, further reading it says, “Produced by @CopernicusEU’s atmosphere monitoring service, it shows the SMOKE reaching the Atlantic coast and São Paulo” (emphasis mine) The red almost certainly means more intense smoke, and not fire, per se.

    Just eyeballing, I’ll guesstimate that the red swathe is 10% of the land area of Brazil. According to Wikipedia, Brazil comprises 8,515,767.049 km 2 (3,287,956 sq mi).

    So, 10% of that is 851,567 km 2.

    Now, the CNN article also says, “According to INPE, more than 1-1/2 soccer fields of Amazon rainforest are being destroyed every minute of every day.”

    according to there are 140 soccer fields in 1 square kilometer

    In a day there’s 1,440 minutes. So, every day we are seeing 2160 soccer fields burn. So, we’re looking at 2160 / 140 = 54 square kilometers burning, per day.

    At that rate, it would take 851,567 / 54 = 15,769 days = 43 years to create a burning swathe the size of 10% of Brazil’s land mass.

    A naive reader might look at CNN’s picture, and think 10% of Brazil is on fire, when it’s actually more like 10% / (43 years * 52 weeks / year) = .004%, assuming a forest fire, in any given area, will last a week.

    Of course, if CNN ran a headline “.004% OF BRAZIL IS ON FIRE!” , it wouldn’t get much attention, now, would it?

    Hopefully, with your excellent googling skills, you will soon provide us with a reference for Ian’s graph.

    It’s nice to know what you’re looking at…

  15. Z

    The danger of making physical fictions intellectual fact: you don’t pay for your intellectual fallacies until they become a physical fact.

    We live in a world where are rulers suffer no consequences for their actions, often due to the corporate shield which they use as legal protection and also loot behind. All profit and no pain. When they suffer no consequences they get so separated from reality that they think they are smarter and bigger than the planet and will listen to nothing. Consequences do not apply to them.

    Our rulers have made it so that corporations are people too, they just don’t require oxygen, food, and water to survive like human people do. And what is the driving force behind the destruction of the Amazon? The physical destruction of the world? Corporations like Monsanto clearing land to make more money. Corporations who don’t need oxygen, food, or water to survive but only for fuel to further enrich themselves.

    We live in a finite world whose driving economic force, corporations and the human people who hide and profit behind them, have no concept of its limitations due to the insatiability and infinity of their greed.

    The only cure for greed is fear. Neither the corporations or the people behind them have any fear and they are leading the human species, all life on earth, to physical destruction.



    At that rate, it would take 851,567 / 54 = 15,769 days = 43 years to create a burning swathe the size of 10% of Brazil’s land mass.

    Thanks for making the case for even more fires so that rate can be increased dramatically. Bolsonaro and his cronies aren’t meeting expectations. That rate is pathetic. Come on, Bolsonaro, don’t be a pussy, burn that son-of-a-bitch to the ground. 43 years is too long.

    Considering fish stocks in the oceans are in significant, existential decline, the world has turned to farmed fish as a replacement. Farmed fish are so nutritious. What’s not to like?

    Farmed Norwegian Salmon World’s Most Toxic Food

    The video reveals that in studies on rats. the rats fed toxic salmon became obese and contracted diabetes. Think about the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America. It’s in large part due to a highly toxic diet.

    We’re farmed too. Plato’s cave isn’t a cave at all, it’s a fish farm but instead of fish, it’s humans and most humans, nearly all humans, are just fine with this reality.

    Are we really worth saving?

    God’s special creatures. These people, it’s no mystery where they come from. You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it could split atoms with its desire, you build egos the size of cathedrals, fiberopticly connect the world to every-eager-impulse, grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green gold-plated fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor! Becomes his own God! Where can you go from there? And as for scrambling from one deal to the next, who’s got his eye on the planet? As the air thickens, the water sours, even the bees honey takes on the metallic taste of radioactivity. And it just keeps coming! Faster and faster! There’s no chance to think, to prepare, it’s `buy futures, sell futures’ when there is no future!! We’ve got a runaway train, boy!! We’ve got a billion Donald Trumps all jogging into the future. Every one of them reading to fist-fuck God’s ex-planet, lick their fingers clean as they reach out with their pristine cybernetic keyboards to total up their billable hours!! And then it hits home! It’s a little late in the game to buy out now!! Your belly’s too full, your dick is sore, your eyes are bloodshot, and you’re screaming for someone to help!! But guess what? There’s no one there!! You’re all alone, Donald!! You’re God’s special little creature!! Maybe it’s true. Maybe God threw the dice once too often. Maybe He let us all down.

  17. Hugh

    Instead of playing meaningless numbers games, metamars, you might want to check out mongabay which presents the INPE data very clearly. Brazilian Amazonia comprises about 60% of Amazonia. In 1970, the forest cover of Brazilian Amazonia was estimated to be 4.1 million sq. km. It has decreased by 19.3% since then, or down 792,051 sq. km. Annual deforestation was actually significantly (as in 2 to 3 1/2 times) higher up to 2004-2005 when it began to trend down to a low of 4,571 sq. km. in 2012.

    What is disturbing now is the sheer increase in the number of fires and the size of the area burned. In July 2019, last month, 2,092 sq. km. were lost, or 45.7% of the 2012 total. August looks like it will be considerably worse. We shouldn’t be losing any Amazonian forest cover, and now it looks like we are heading back to the bad old days. And let’s be clear. The Amazonian rain forest is not like a bucket of sand where half a bucket is just as good as a whole bucket, only half as much. We are talking about one of the most complicated ecosystems on the planet. Reduce it by half and the other half is damaged and might not survive. And even if you get some reforestation, it will lack much of the carrying and recycling capacity of the original rain forest. We are at any number of tipping points and this idea that we can play numbers games and continue business as usual are suicidal. And if you want to be a suicidal flat earther, do it on your own time, not mine.



  18. A recent post at (which has no comments as I write this) claims that looking at MODIS data from NASA, the claim about # of fires in the Amazon being at “record levels right now” is a “BLATANT LIE (emphasis mine)”.

    In fact, he also claims that “It is obvious there is a reducing trend in emissions” but that he’s not sure it’s (statistically?) significant.

    Note that the NASA MODIS data began in 2003, while Brazil’s INPE has only been tracking the burning since 2013.

    Note, also, that the NASA MODIS page linked to lists 6 specific places in Brazil. Apparently, the WUWT author is extrapolating a nationwide aggregate from these 6 locations. I don’t know how valid this is, but eyeballing them quickly, 2019 estimated data seems far below the max in ALL 6 locations.

    While I can understand why 2019 data must be estimated in the NASA MODIS plots, I don’t understand why 2016 – 2018 data is also estimated. What could possibly be holding things up?

    It looks like ALL of the Brazilian locations show LOWER 2019 estimates than 2018 estimates. This would be consistent with the Brazilian President’s claim that the INPE claims are “lies”…… , however we can imagine a short term spike in fires that won’t affect the yearly figure. Contradicting this notion is Fig. 2 of the WUWT author, who plots daily data from 2019 against other years. (The location is not specified, suggesting it may be an average of the 6 Brazilian locations.)

    There is absolutely nothing extraordinary, that I can see, about the 2019 data in Fig. 2.

    So….. it looks like more climate BS to me. Amplified by Fake News, such as CNN (who not so mysteriously completely failed to provide the context that WUWT points to), with a starring role being played by globalist Macron (

    If Trump weren’t such a maroon*, and in bed with globalists, himself, he’d jump on this as a teaching opportunity. The fans of CO2 catastrophism should rejoice at how politically inept and/or corrupted Trump is. Just hold on a few more years, boys, and you’ll surely get carbon taxation! Woo, hoo! Indeed, I can easily see Trump losing to a morally motivated Greta Thunberg vote. So, we may be talking all of 3 years until carbon tax ‘nirvana’ arrives in the US. Once the government gets addicted to a carbon tax revenue stream (sure to be a regressive one), it will become just as dependent on it as it is on the IRS revenue stream.


  19. Hugh

    Using that google thingy, from its wiki:

    “Watts Up With That? is a blog promoting climate change denial that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.”

  20. Ché Pasa

    Well, clearly, that makes it (WUWT) authoritative. So we shouldn’t quibble. /s

    There’s a widespread cottage industry set up specifically to argue *endlessly* the finer points of climate change and the various looming catastrophes that ensue — catastrophes that are currently being experienced or shortly will be — often solely for the sake of argument and little else.

    Nevertheless, the science underpinning dire warnings is solid, the experiential reality of those most affected is demonstrable. The problem with science and experience is that none of it is infallible. There will always be a counter-argument, a certain level of dissent, and plenty of whataboutery because that’s the nature of the exploration underway. Ordinarily, it’s a good thing leading to productive areas of thought and discovery (I lived through the Uniformitarian vs Catastrophist geological and cosmological brawls, and the resolution, though far from perfect, was and is a far better fit with reality than the previous consensus.)

    But we’re well beyond the initial “thought and discovery” phase of climate change science and not yet near a “reconsideration” phase. We’re in the midst of a catastrophic and proto-catastrophic reality. Right now we’re living within the long predicted consequences of greenhouse warming due to uncontrolled CO₂ and other greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. That is actually happening; the quibbling is largely over how much, how fast, and what sort of negative effects — if any — are likely or are currently happening. Much of the argument is utterly sterile, useless, and in many ways tragic. Contrarianism for the sake of it. Or in many cases Contrarianism to prevent any collective action which might be taken to mitigate the catastrophic effects of global warming.

    Why would anybody or any government stand in the way of collective action to mitigate the effects of climate change? What’s in it for them? I can only speculate, but from appearances, the urge to deny reality and prevent collective action by the lower orders is pretty straightforward. So long as the lesser people can do nothing substantive — except argue and call on their betters to “DO SOMETHING!!!” — so much longer will the People Who Matter be able to a) control the Rabble, and b) make double-damn-sure of their own futures come what may.

    In this struggle, our betters (ha!) have no utility whatever. And they know it. They laugh about it.


  21. @ Che Pasa

    “Well, clearly, that makes it (WUWT) authoritative. So we shouldn’t quibble. /s”

    The WUWT article ultimately references NASA data. Not that I trust NASA, completely, either. See, e.g., Tim Ball and Tony Heller’s presentations given to the Australian parliament. NASA fudges historical data. IMNSHO, people should probably go to jail for doing this type of stuff, without disclaimers and full explanations; and definitely go to jail if they ever destroy the raw data.

    Even if Trump couldn’t properly clean up NASA, because of Civil Service restraints, he could AT LEAST have exposed their climate fanaticism, and used the entitlements of his office to educate the American public. His 3rd grade reading level tweets don’t impress me. But even on that score, he could do so much better, even at a 3rd grade level.

    So, e.g., if Trump isn’t bright enough to give national addresses and invite the likes of Tim Ball and Tony Heller to give similar presentations, he could of at least tweeted:

    “Tony Heller and Tim Ball set the record on climate change straight, to the Australian Senate.
    Situation is messed up! Sad!”

    But NO – Trump won’t even do a 3rd grade tweet, like that! He’s a maroon, but a maroon RUNNING A PINT LOW. And the globalists he’s surrounded himself must be quite happy to have curbed his better instincts on this matter. After all, why should they and their class have to pay carbon taxes, when they can get us little people to do it?

    If Trump loses due to a Greta Thunberg vote, I will shed no tears for him.

    “Why would anybody or any government stand in the way of collective action to mitigate the effects of climate change? What’s in it for them?”

    Your problem is that you believe everything you wrote. However, I still have a better question. And that is, why is there not a push by catastrophists for solution that don’t involve globalist government and carbon taxation? (OK, some CO2 catastrophists will push for nuclear energy, e.g. I think James Hanson is in this category. But, AFAIK, he won’t push for thorium reactors, but will settle for the current technology, which STILL haven’t solved the nuclear waste issue.)

    The WUWT article now has a bunch of comments, some of them interesting. One links to

    Perhaps the most interesting section of this webpage is “RANCHING COULD BE MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE WITH JUST THE EXISTING LAND”

    “The sad thing is that no forest would need to be burnt for deforestation, if Brazil’s cattle ranching was just a bit more efficient.

    In this pilot study then farms were able to increase productivity by 30–490%

    This required an initial investment of US$410–2180/hectare with a payback time of 2.5 to 8.5 years.”

    I almost included, in my previous comment, how suspicious it was, to me, that NGO’s have withdrawn support from Brazil. If we assume that NGOs know about how to boost productivity, their withdrawal seems even more mysterious.

    Your sadness over climate change seems sincere. Why are you not saddened by the lack of focus on dense alternative energy sources (like thorium) and tree planting and land management?

    Deng Xiaoping famously said “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat.”

    If thorium reactors and land management save us from an anthropogenic CO2 catastrophe, is that not a good thing?

  22. Gunther Behn

    @ Herman : When I say, “we’re done”, I mean all of us. The Proles — you and I and everyone who isn’t an Oligarch or their chattel — will go. But, so will they — though they believe themselves to be so special and clever that they’ll be spared.

  23. celebrities posted old pictures of fires in the Amazon. I’d like to know exactly how they obtained these photos…..

  24. Anon

    I love my meat and seafood but the destruction of the rainforest and oceans does make a good case to become vegetarian. I probably won’t but I’ll try to decrease my consumption of meat.

  25. different clue

    Here is an article from Reddit offering some more fine-grained information about particular drivers of ongoing Amazon deforestation. I have skimmed it and so far it appears to be saying that
    most of the forest clearance is directly for cattle pasture. Part of the drive for cattle pasture deeper into the Amazon is the turning of prior cattle pasture NOT in the Amazon . . . into soybean plantations, thereby erasing current pasture and driving ranchers to deforest more Amazon for pasture.

    Most governments will not address this. The US gov and the China gov actively support this. If political magic got Sanders elected the US gov might reduce its support for burning down the Amazon. But the China gov would increase its support for burning down the Amazon to make up for reduced US gov support.

    So people who believe in getting government to do something can go ahead and give it a whirl.
    People who believe in government action will do their best work towards getting government action, so they should not be dissuaded from trying to get government action.

    People who believe in “living their witness” can analyze what Brazilian products come from where and go where, and can decline to use those products which require deforesting the Amazon. Some detailed study might be useful, in that some soy comes from Brazil and some does not, and little good is achieved by boycotting the “wrong soy” or the “wrong beef”. It is like shooting the wrong target.

    That last consideration might be even more important to people who think they can move beyond “living their personal witness” to inspiring and organizing massed hundreds of millions of people like themselves to “buy this” and “boycott that” in order to create so much diffuse pain for anti-Amazon products from Brazil that the economic pain becomes too much for the anti-Amazon economic actors to bear. Torturecott the Amazon arsonists into either dead-stopping their Amazon arson, or extermicott them into going extinct and taking their Amazon arson into extinction with themselves.

    Anyway, here is a link to that article.


    Some meat systems eMIT carbon. Other meat systems CAPture carbon and seQUESTer it.
    Here is an example of a farmer in America who claims to be CAPturing and seQUESTering carbon into the soil underneath his cattles’ feet and his crops’ roots. He says he welcomes ag scientists onto his operation to study what he does. I have not seen any debunking or refutation of his reported carbon-capturing yet so far. He has many different You Tube videos up for viewing. Here is one of the very shortest ones.

    He has longer videos up in case you get interested.

    His carbon-capture beef sells for $20.00 a pound. And people will pay $20.00 a pound for his carbon-capture beef. Paying $20.00 a pound will naturally limit the amount of beef you eat by limiting the amount of beef your “beef-money budget” will buy. So if you can find strictly pasture/range-fed carbon-capture beef where you shop, you will naturally be eating less beef by spending your beef-money on much costlier beef.

    But MORE importantly, if you buy carbon-capture beef, you are paying the farmer involved to capture more carbon than he emits by using cattle as part of a soil-restoration carbon-capture system. That goes beyond “follow the money”. That becomes “lead the money around by the nose”.

    In a perfect world, if everybody who eats beef were to eat zero Brazilian beef, and ALSO eat ZERO soy-fed beef from any source whatsoever, that organized everybody could exterminate beef and soybeans from the Brazilian economy completely and totally.

    Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat. If enough people were to live that reality, they could move from “living their witness” to exterminating Brazilian beef and Brazilian
    soybeans from the face of the earth. Totally exterminating those two sectors from the Brazilian economy would exterminate two of the Amazon’s most powerful enemies.

    Since China will never ever boycott Brazilian beef and soy, a desperate and fearful world would have to boycott China back into a level of poverty so deep that not one single Chinese could afford a single Brazilian soybean or Brazilian burger. That is harsh, but failure to achieve that goal means failure to stop China from supporting the Bolsonarians in burning the whole Amazon to the ground.

  26. DMC

    The only Brazilian beef I can ever recall having seen in the US was the tinned “corned beef” stuff, so it should be easy enough to avoid. But here again we find that beef ranching is the root of all evil. Just look at the crew that took over the Malheur ranger station. Self entitled cattle ranchers to a man. Or try to get wolves re-introduced into their native range, and guess who will fight you every step of the way. I’ve known some altogether fine people in ranching but as a class, they tend to be myopically focused on what they perceive as good for their bottom line.

  27. different clue


    Everyone focuses on their own bottom line, most especially those operating on narrow margins and at some risk for their own survival in bussiness.

    So if we give people a better bottom line to focus on, and torture and punish them for the worse bottom line they still choose to focus on instead, we can begin moving more people over to the better bottom line.

    There are a few ranchers ( so few that the super-knowledgeable can name each and every one of them by name) who consider re-carbonizing the soil under their cattles’ feet to be a part of their mission. But they have to be paid to carry out that mission if they are to carry out that mission. That means that if their beef is indeed “carbon-capture” and “eco-diversity restoring” . . . enough people will have to be willing to buy their beef to keep them in the business of recarbonizing their soil and re-eco-diversitising their pasture and range land. And those same people will have to figure out how to extermicott the type of subsidy-coddled Welfare Ranchers some of whom invaded the Malheur Refuge because they felt they weren’t being quite coddled enough.

    Here is a group devoted to Carbon Capture Conservation Ranching and how to make it work for real in the eco-bio real world, and how to spread the concept and then the practice thereof.

    This is one example. The Gabe Brown example I offered above is about Carbon Capture Livestock in Farming ( even though Gabe Brown calls his operation a “ranch” , probably for North Dakotacentric cultural reasons). Every time someone buys some of Gabe Brown’s carbon-capture meat, they pay Gabe Brown to capture some more carbon.

  28. different clue

    I remember hearing years ago Canada referred to as ” the Brazil of the North” when MacMillan-Blodell was mass-stripmining old growth forest as fast as they could in Pacific Coastal Canada.

    This article would make it seem as if that sort of thing is still going on in Canada to a disturbing degree. If this is true-as-reported, perhaps this is an opportunity for the Canada-gov to make a lets-keep-eachother-honest offer to the Brazil-gov. The Canada-gov could say “we will ban this strip-logging here in BC if you ban that burning and strip-logging there in Amazonia.”

    Here is the link.

  29. different clue

    The “Chiquitanos tropical dry forest” of mostly Bolivia is supposed to be highly ecologically unique and supposed to contain some species found only there-in.

    And it too is burning very fast from deliberate broad-scale arson

    Supposedly, Evo Morales supports this arson with a near-Bolsonarian intensity and persistence.
    Here is an article about all that, from .

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