CLIMATE CHANGE provides space for lengthy pieces which elaborate IMAGINATIVE ACTION

 

AUTUMN 2020

Dear Readers,

We are changing the focus of this page from TALES to CLIMATE CHANGE.

Whilst important and loved as are the longer stories in Tales, the urgent priority is getting ALL our heads around NOW ACTION.

So, each month we’ll jot down examples of ‘The Imagination Acts’ belief ….that, you and me can DO something when we leap with the parachute of our IMAGINATIONS on our backs.

 

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The vast Amazon rainforest is experiencing a repeat of last year’s devastating fires and critics say Bolsonaro bears ultimate responsibility

Fire and deforestation scar the Iriri national forest reserve near Novo Progresso in the Brazilian Amazon. ‘This story that the Amazon is going up in flames is a lie,’ according to President Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro smiles down from a propaganda billboard at the entrance to this scruffy Amazon outpost, welcoming travellers to his “route to development”.

But 20 months into Bolsonaro’s presidency – and a year after a devastating outbreak of Amazon fires caused global outrage – the fires are back, and many fear Brazil’s leader is instead steering his country towards environmental ruin.

During a two-hour monitoring flight through the skies around Novo Progresso the Guardian saw giant columns of white and grey smoke rising from supposedly protected forests below.

Elsewhere, illegal goldmines could be seen within the Baú indigenous territory – a chaotic tapestry of muddy pools and makeshift encampments where pristine forest once stood. Newly deforested areas of fallen and charred trees were visible within the Iriri forest reserve.

“The Amazon is condemned to destruction,” despaired one former top official at Brazil’s enfeebled environmental agency, Ibama, accusing the far-right populist of overseeing a wholesale “demolition” of protection efforts.

“Under this government there will be no combating [of rainforest destruction],” the ex-official said. “The future looks dark.”

READ MORE HERE – Amazon fires in Brazil rainforest

by Lucas Landau in Novo Progresso and Tom Phillips

Photograph – Lucas Landau/The Guardian

Wed 2 Sep 2020 Guardian

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Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands fires started by humans and worsened by drought

The Brazilian Pantanal is experiencing the worst wildfires in its registered history. More than 12%, or 16.500 sq km, has already been burned 

Fires that have devastated a Brazilian tropical wetlands region famed for its wildlife were started by humans and exacerbated by its worst drought in nearly 50 years, according to Brazilian authorities, firefighters and environmentalist groups.

Images of cremated snakes, tapirs cooked to death, and jaguars with bandaged, burnt paws in the Pantanal region in Brazil’s centre-west have horrified Brazilians at a time when fires are also razing forests in the Amazon. A dark cloud of soot from fires is heading towards São Paulo.

Since record numbers of fires began in July, nearly a fifth of this unique biome has been destroyed. Local authorities have vowed to catch those responsible.

Pantanal farmers say that controlled fire used to be applied during rainy season to reduce organic matter.

 

Since this was banned, dried organic matter built up and fires can burn underground. “We had predicted this could happen,” said Arlindo Moraes, president of the farming union in Poconé, noting that little rain had fallen since 2018.

 

Carlos Nobre, a leading climate change scientist, said global warming intensified by deforestation in the Cerrado region surrounding the Pantanal meant the region failed to flood between October and May as it usually does. “We should expect more droughts in the future,” he said.

 

 

 

READ MORE HERE – Brazilian wetlands fires started by humans and worsened by drought

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Fires in Oregon, Washington and California have killed more than 30, burned millions of acres and enveloped region in smoke

Fire advances along Western Divide Highway during the SQF Complex Fire on 14 September 2020 near Camp Nelson, California

Firefighters on the US west coast reported more progress in the battle against wildfires that have killed more than 30 people and destroyed entire communities. But much of the region is enveloped in a thick layer of smoke that has now affected large swaths of the country.

While forest management and fire suppression are a part of the problem, scientists say it is clear that global heating is playing a role in the fire disasters, with drier, hotter atmospheric conditions having left landscapes across the west more prone to burning.

READ MORE HERE – West Coast US wildfires

Vivian Ho (Oakland) and Sam Levine (Los Angeles)

Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

Wed 16 Sep 2020 Guardian

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California governor warns about climate crisis as new wildfire evacuations ordered north-east of Los Angeles

 

Smoke rises from the Bobcat fire burning in the San Gabriel mountains above Monrovia, California, on 16 September

As wildfires continued to burn across the US west coast, with smoke reaching as far as Europe, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, issued a stark warning on climate, saying: “The facts are the facts.”

During a briefing on Wednesday, Newsom described the fires as a “human activity-induced, climate-induced wildfire season” and called on government officials at every level to take action in tackling the issues behind the unprecedented infernos that have burned 5m acres from southern California to northern Washington state.

Average temperatures between June and September in California, which is currently battling 25 different fires in which at least 25 people have died, have risen roughly 3F in four decades, he said.

“You see that trend-line? That is not going in the right direction. That only underscores our urgency to address head on the issue of climate and climate change, and to double down on our efforts here in the state of California.”

He added: “We need to reconcile that the fact there are no Democrat thermometers and there are no Republican thermometers, there’s fact and there’s reality as well as observed evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s an acknowledgement. The facts are the facts.”

He said he made it “crystal clear” to Donald Trump and to the Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris, in their visits to California earlier this week, that everybody needs to take “mutual responsibility”.

READ MORE HERE – US Wildfires – California 

Miranda Bryant, New York

Photograph: Ringo Chiu/AFP/Getty Images

Fri 18 Sept 2020 Guardian

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