31.07.19 The ‘Lungs of the Planet’ Amazon are in Danger of Reaching a Tipping Point .
In July 2019, the total amount of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest broke its previous one-month record, according to data from Brazilian satellites.
About three football fields’ worth of rainforest per minute are being lost, primarily to infrastructure projects, logging, mining, and farming – much of which is not legally permitted.
Scientists warn that if the deforestation passes a certain threshold, the Amazon may never recover. In that case, it could become a savannah.
In the month of July 2019, the Amazon has lost 519 square miles (1,345 square kilometers) of rainforest. That’s an area more than twice the size of Tokyo. It’s a record for the most deforestation in the Amazon in a single month, The Guardian reported. Data from Brazilian satellites indicates that about three football fields’ worth of Amazonian trees are falling every minute. The total area of deforestation is up 39% from July 2019. As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon plays a crucial role in keeping our planet’s carbon-dioxide levels in check. Plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air in their process of photosynthesis. This is why the Amazon, which covers 2.1 million square miles, is often referred to as the “lungs of the planet.” It’s also the reason that the Amazon’s health is so important in the face of climate change. What’s more, at least 400 indigenous tribeslive in the rainforest, and their cultures and livelihoods are intimately linked with the state of the Amazon. Brazil controls a lion’s share of the Amazon. However, its president, Jair Bolsonaro, has indicated that protecting the rainforest is not one of his top priorities – Bolsonaro supports development projects like a highway and hydroelectric dam in the Amazon. What’s more, between January and May of this year, the Brazilian government lowered the number of fines it levied for illegal deforestation and mining (down 34% from the same period in 2018) and decreased its monitoring of illegal activity in the rainforest. Seizures of illegally harvested timber have also dropped: Under the previous administration, 883,000 cubic feet of illegal timber was seized in 2018. As of May 15, Bolsonaro’s government agencies had only seized 1,410 cubic feet,
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.