August 31, 2019

More Argument over Amazon Fires

Timothy Birdnow

See part tw0 here and part I here.



The fight continues:

Dylan Weil

Timothy Birdnow Dude...colonoscopies are a form of preventative healthcare (at least that’s what they’re supposed to be)...you get them every so often passes a certain age so you can spot signs of trouble early on and cut them out right there. Like polyps that may very well not be cancerous, but also might become cancerous.



"Does that mean these fires are all slash and burn? That contradicts everything everyone has been saying.” What? No, what everyone has been saying IS that fires of this intensity are most likely caused by human activities such as deforestation. If we’re seeing canopy burn, the fire is most likely caused by human activity, and that IS what we’re seeing. Even your CNN article explicitly states most of these fires are being caused by human activity, mostly increasing deforestation practices by loggers and ranchers!

My Reuters article shares quotes from the INPE that precipitation was only slightly below average this year.

No ones denying fires are normal this time of year.....but the fire count increased by over 80% since last year, and the intensity of many of these fires can only have been caused by human activity.

Here’s the thing Tim - if it is true most of these manmade fires are caused by farmers that already own ranches removing large amounts of deadwood, we still wouldn’t be seeing these kinds of increases in deforestation and fires. This increase is only be ranchers and loggers clearing MORE jungle, not fire-managing ranches that already exist (although one of the articles I shared above explains that fire-managed ranches can spark uncontrolled wildfires as well, especially as more forest gets cleared over time).

Another thing - with the trajectory we’ve started on, eventually we will reach a point where fires that were sparked naturally WILL be able to burn canopy on their own and spread much farther. This is because Amazon plant life is actually directly responsible for regulating humidity and rainy seasons, as opposed to other geographic factors that normally regulate tropical climate: https:// climate.nasa.gov /news/2608/ new-study-shows- the-amazon-make s-its-own-rainy -season/

As vegetation is cleared by loggers, ranchers, and other other land developers, the Amazon will gradually lose this capability, precipitation patterns will change, and dry seasons will get more severe. Droughts will also increase as well, compounded by the more general effects of manmade climate.

None of this is "alarmist,” this is literally how science is supposed to be used in making decisions. Again, take it from someone with an actual scientific background, good science is supposed to be PREDICTIVE. When designing and enacting policy based in science, the goal is to be proactive, not reactive. We don’t simply wait to see where trends take us, we study the datasets we’ve already been able to accumulate, identify trends within those datasets and determine how various factors influence those trends. Then, when we see those factors begin manifesting again, we know to say "hey, we’ve seen this before, we can predict where this will take us, let’s stop this now.”

Dylan Weil

Also, authoritarian leaders aren’t necessarily literal Hitler or Stalin Tim. Bolsonaro is an authoritarian leader, but that doesn’t mean he kills everyone who opposes him. Silencing opposition through de-platforming and disenfranchisem ent is a textbook authoritarian tactic as well.

Timothy Birdnow

Dylan Weil you say:

"No, natural fires can still occur in humid environments, they are just limited in how far they can spread and how intense they can become, with these limitations being a function of the actual level of humidity"

How is a fire started by man any different there? What is the limiting factor? In fact, if these are fires that started naturally or from campfires or were the result of slash and burn it doesn't matter; they all amount to the same thing when the forest starts burning. You seem to think that somehow fires are different once they get out of human control. Remember, the slash and burn fires are being done with care to avoid this, so it's not like the farmers are flying in thermite and dropping it all over the forest. You can say whatever you like, but in the end you still have to find a way to differerntiate between human and non-human fires. You say human fires are over a larger area. Well, maybe so, but how does that make any difference in the HEAT of the fires and how it catches the canopy? Your argument here is absolutely illogical.

I know what my CNN article says. You will find that same approach with every major media article, because they have an agenda and also because they are getting most of their information from environmental activists. Journalists generally aren't overly bright, and even less diligent.

Dylan, science is supposed to be predictive, but first it must be factual and gather data in an impartial manner. None of that is applying here; most of this discussion stems from the environmentalis t lobby.

The New York Times disagrees with your assessment that this burn is all forest: https:// www.nytimes.com/ 2019/08/23/ world/americas/ amazon-fire-braz il-bolsonaro.ht ml

'\"Natural fires in the Amazon are rare, and the majority of these fires were set by farmers preparing Amazon-adjacent farmland for next year's crops and pasture," ... "Much of the land that is burning was not old-growth rain forest, but land that had already been cleared of trees and set for agricultural use."

END QUOTE.

Now,the New York Times isn't worth the paper it's printed on They - a very rabid progressive lobby - seem to disagree with your point that this is all old growth forest. It should be pointed out too that the Brazilian forestry department has not been maintaining controlled burns. https:// www.reuters.com/ article/ us-global-wildfi re-climatechang e/ fight-fires-with -indigenous-kno wledge-research ers-say-idUSKBN 1KY0XP That point only bolsters my case.

And bear in mind this was an El Nino year.

Fire is natural in most rainforest regions, and is indeed beneficial. http:// www.fao.org/ tempref/docrep/ fao/004/y3582e/ y3582e05.pdf

As to your last point, you apparently don't understand the difference between a democratic republic and a dictatorship. The President of Brazil was democratically elected, and as head of the executive branch he has a right to hire and fire people. What YOU are suggesting is an oligarchy run by the bureaucracy, not a republic, not a democracy. Guys like the head of the space bureau serve at the pleasure of the President, not the other way around. YOU are proposing to thwart the public will. Bolsonaro isn't the one here with dictatorial tendencies.

Nobody has told the head of the space agency he couldn't speak out publicly, btw. And nobody has pulled a Google or a Facebook and shadow banned the man. He was just sacked by his boss, and for cause.

We aren't' going to agree on this. You seem absolutely convinced that there is no way these fires are natural, and I am convinced that this is mostly a function of over prptection in recent years coupled with a ten year drought cycle. It is certainly true in North America, where California has been subject to massive wildfires in recent years because they won't allow logging or even removal of deadwood. Now, the Amazon isn't California by a long shot, but I don't think you can dismiss the possibility that large amounts of deadwood coupled with drought can and will lead to fires. If nothing else, it means more fuel for human caused fires - a point you seem unwilling to concede.

Angola and the Congo both had greater fires than the Amazon this year, and they are also rainforest territory https:// www.aljazeera.co m/ajimpact/ fires-burning-an gola-congo-amaz on-maps-1908270 12619287.htmlac cording to Nasa. Was that from land clearing too? Just asking.

At any rate, this has been a rather enjoyable if somewhat heated discussion. I wish I had more time to indulge it, but I've already spent more time than I could afford on it. If you wish the last word be my guest.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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