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  • Flames.

  • Licking the coats of koalas, melting trees straight to ash.

  • Hell on earth.

  • Australia is on fire.

  • Footage of the raging bushfires seems to be taken right out of a disaster movie.

  • Except this time there's no magical happy ending.

  • I sit and scroll through videos of the wreckage and feel fear and helplessness.

  • I can't help but ask how did we get to this point?

  • Why is Australia on fire?

  • And what about the fires in the Congo Basin and Amazon Rainforest that seem to have been

  • pushed to the side as we zoom in on the consequences of an Australia on fire?

  • The devastation of Australian bushfires is extensive.

  • Evacuees have fled to wetter, safer grounds, as one professor estimates that more than

  • half a billion animals have already died in the raging infernos.

  • These bushfires, which at times reached 70 meters tall, have scorched every state in

  • Australia, but primarily continue to decimate two regions in the southeast: New South Wales

  • and Victoria.

  • And since the beginning of the dry season in September, these fires burned an estimated

  • 7.3 to 10 million hectares of land, reducing towns like Balmoral to ash.

  • As I write this, at least 28 people have died from the deadly inferno.

  • This apocalyptic destruction is the result of a perfect storm of conditions.

  • 2019 was both Australia's hottest and driest year on record.

  • Combined with strong winds, the 2019-2020 bushfire season was primed to be a destructive

  • one, and indeed, the number of fires skyrocketed in November, and continue to be a problem

  • as the Australian dry season drags on.

  • The record temperatures and lack of rain, are, as climate experts assert, a prime example

  • of how climate change exacerbates natural disasters.

  • And as these fires burn they push the world further towards the precipice by releasing

  • almost 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

  • But Australia is not the only place experiencing an uptick in devastating wildfires.

  • Bushfires are a global phenomenon.

  • They pepper Indonesia and scorch Siberia.

  • Today, though, we are going to focus on the ones that burned swaths of the Amazon rainforest,

  • as well as the flames that engulf Central Africa.

  • Months ago, the world was in an uproar about the fate of the Amazon rainforest.

  • It was hurting, and hurting badly.

  • The result of clearcutting and burning strategies enacted to open up space for cropland, and

  • more specifically, animal agriculture.

  • And despite the lack of headlines these days, the Amazon continues to burn.

  • In 2019, human-caused and out-of-control fires burned 976,200 hectares of the Amazon rainforest.

  • That's the third-highest increase in the rate of deforestation in the Amazon's history,

  • at a 30% jump from the prior year, second only to 1995, which was 95% and 1998 which

  • was 31%.

  • The Amazon represents a hub of biodiversity and tackles the essential task of sequestering

  • millions of pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

  • Essentially it is the green lung of the earth, and as regulations loosened in Brazil, loggers

  • and intensive ranchers set fire to the edges of the rainforest to make way for industrial

  • endeavors.

  • The Amazon has experienced devastating deforestation before, but as the effects of destroying forest

  • by fire accumulate, the Amazon shrinks, and smaller amounts of deforestation have a greater

  • impact.

  • To top it all off, climate change once again makes these fires worse, as hotter temperatures

  • and drier landscapes make these tree-clearing burns much harder to maintain.

  • If you scroll across the world on the wildfire tracking app, Windy, it seems like all of

  • Central Africa is engulfed in flames.

  • A region decidedly larger than the Amazon.

  • But there's a difference between Amazonian fires and those in the Congo Basin.

  • The fires in Central African countries like Angola are primarily seasonal and situated

  • on savanna and grasslands.

  • They lick at the edges of the Congo Rainforest but have yet to encroach as much onto the

  • forest's core.

  • In part, this is due to the way grasslands react to fire, as well as how fires are used.

  • Farmers and Ranchers in Central Africa have implemented controlled burns on grasslands

  • for centuries.

  • They set fire to dried grasses before the wet season to use ash as fertilizer and purge

  • disease and pests from the lands, this is a much different process than in Brazil, where

  • fires are used indiscriminately as a tool to clear old-growth rainforest out of the

  • way for large, high-carbon animal agriculture businesses.

  • Indeed, the Central African savanna might not even exist without continuously controlled

  • burns.

  • After the fire season, savanna often grows back quickly and vibrantly.

  • So, many of these fires are seasonal, small, agricultural burns in the resilient savanna,

  • as opposed to the highly destructive Brazilian practices of setting fire to swaths of rainforest

  • that can take over 30 years to grow back.

  • But if left unchecked, unregulated fires reaching into the Congo Rainforest could mean a real

  • problem its ecosystem.

  • And as climate change heats the planet, and inevitably makes these regions drier, the

  • Congo Rainforest becomes much more susceptible to out-of-control fires.

  • Senior Forest Manager with Greenpeace Africa, Irène Wabiwa Betoko, told French public radio

  • service, RFI “[they're] very worried that the forests in the Congo Basin are more and

  • more exposed, more vulnerable to fire because these forests are threatened by an increase

  • in the pace of deforestation.”

  • Activists like Vanessa Nakate are taking action to raise consciousness, but it will require

  • large cultural and agricultural shifts across several Central African countries to prevent

  • the encroaching pace of deforestation of the Congo Rainforest

  • At the end of the day, it comes down to regulation.

  • Some of these fires are inevitable and natural.

  • Or tied to long-held agricultural traditions that are essential to healthy grasslands.

  • But the increased intensities of the infernos we are seeing recently are in part caused

  • by the dismantling of environmental regulations in favor of neoliberal free market policies

  • that allow large corporations to harm people and land with impunity.

  • So, let's travel back to Australia for a moment, and talk about Prime Minister Scott

  • Morrison.

  • In December, while the country was battling raging infernos, its leader was safely tucked

  • away on vacation in Hawaii.

  • This speaks volumes to how Morrison has ignored the issue and consequences of climate change

  • in favor of more profitable and comfortable avenues.

  • The Prime Minister is a champion of Australia's $70 billion coal industry.

  • In 2015, as treasurer, he brought a piece of coal to the parliament floor and told us

  • all not to be afraid.

  • While the country he works for continues to burn, he still stands behind the coal industry.

  • An industry that undoubtedly gave rise to the climate change that is now intensifying

  • the tragedies of Australian bushfires.

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has taken a similar approach.

  • He slashed Brazil's environmental enforcement agency by $23 million, penned an executive

  • order handing the control of certifying indigenous lands over to the Agriculture administration,

  • and nominated an environmental minister convicted of fudging environmental protection plan maps

  • to aid mining companies.

  • Leaders like Morrison and Bolsonaro, are thus partly to blame for the fires their country's

  • face.

  • They have the power and influence to regulate and transition their societies towards an

  • emissions-free, just world.

  • One that would mean less climate-change and ultimately more manageable fires.

  • And yet, in the face of this clear, but difficult path, they refuse to do anything of the sort.

  • Instead, they fight tooth and nail to give for-profit industries ever more power at the

  • expense of the health of the land and the safety of their countries, all in exchange

  • for personal gain.

  • If you're exhausted of hearing my voice and are looking for some really great nature-related

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  • And If you're interested learning more about the Amazonian fires, I'd highly recommend

  • the episode from Bright Now called Amazon Burning.

  • It investigates the intersection of drought, fires, and climate change in the Amazon.

  • It's definitely worth a watch if you have the time.

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  • Hey everyone!

  • Charlie here.

  • Thanks so much for watching.

  • I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to everyone who supports on Patreon.

  • They are an essential part of the channel and have given me the consistency and courage

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B2 中高級 美國腔

为什么气候变化会使野火变得更糟?(Why does climate change make wildfires worse?)

  • 11 3
    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 12 日
影片單字