字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 This video is sponsored by CuriosityStream. Get access to my streaming video service, Nebula, when you sign up for CuriosityStream using the link in the description. 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. 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With short, easily consumable original series like Working Titles, which delves into the title sequences of iconic tv shows, Nebula is the perfect complement to CuriosityStream. So if you want access to thousands of top-tier documentaries AND you want to support and watch your favorite creators like me head over to curiositystream.com/occ and plug in the offer code OCC to sign up for a year of CuriosityStream for as low 2.99 a month. And because CuriosityStream loves supporting independent creators, that yearly membership comes with an all access pass to Nebula for free. 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 to make this channel my full time job. So thank you! And I will see you all in two weeks.