I posted this in January 2021. Since then we have had almost two years of further destruction. Will Lula be able to make a difference? We, in the rest of the world can only hope and wait.
The poster child if you like for trees is the Amazon rainforest. It’s the one that everyone remembers and roughly knows where it is but it is being decimated effectively so that the burgeoning global human population and their waistlines can eat cheap beef burgers. Like many countries in South America, Brazil’s population continues to grow. The Brazilians are mostly descendants of Europeans that have only been there for five or so centuries yet the numbers today are so many that they are destroying the country like locusts in a field of crops. Studies have shown that once enough of the forest has been cut down precipitation will change and the forest will stop producing enough rain to sustain itself. How long before this happens is as usual open to debate and many think that it will be in the 2030s to 2040s. In 2019, an economist called Monica de Bolle, suggested that this might happen early on in the 2020s, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/23/amazon-rainforest-close-to-irreversible-tipping-point. What is known is that the Amazon, a forest of 16,000 different tree species is drying out, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00508-4. It is thought that in the last 100 years that the temperature in the forest has increased between 1 and 1.5oC and that in parts the dry season has increased from 4 to almost 5 months in the last 50 years. In addition there has been three severe droughts between 2005 and 2020 and it is thought that some species of trees are thriving at the expense of those that are dying due to the less moist conditions. At the time of writing even the pandemic appeared not to be able to slow the rate of deforestation in the Amazon.
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