Conservationist On Amazon Wildfires: ‘This Is Not An Isolated Problem’ | NBC News Now

Conservationist On Amazon Wildfires: ‘This Is Not An Isolated Problem’ | NBC News Now


START TO REALLY PUT A DENT IN THE NUMBER OF ROBOCALLS WE ALL THE NUMBER OF ROBOCALLS WE ALL GET. GET.>>>RECORD FIRES ARE ARE BLAZING>>>RECORD FIRES ARE ARE BLAZING THE AMAZON RAISING CONCERNS. THE AMAZON RAISING CONCERNS. MORE THAN 74,000 FIRES HAVE MORE THAN 74,000 FIRES HAVE BURNED IN BRAZIL THIS YEAR, MORE BURNED IN BRAZIL THIS YEAR, MORE THAN DOUBLE THE TOTAL FROM 2018. THAN DOUBLE THE TOTAL FROM 2018. THE BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT HAS THE BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT HAS ROLLED BACK ENVIRONMENTAL ROLLED BACK ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS BUT HE’S DEFLECTING PROTECTIONS BUT HE’S DEFLECTING BLAME FOR THE MASSIVE FIRES. BLAME FOR THE MASSIVE FIRES. PAUL IS A CONSERVATIONIST WHO’S PAUL IS A CONSERVATIONIST WHO’S TRAVELLED TO THE AMAZON TRAVELLED TO THE AMAZON REGULARLY FOR 13 YEARS. REGULARLY FOR 13 YEARS. HE’S HERE WITH US NOW. HE’S HERE WITH US NOW. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHY THIS CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHY THIS ISN’T JUST AN ISOLATED PROBLEM ISN’T JUST AN ISOLATED PROBLEM IN THE AMAZON AND THE ROLE IT IN THE AMAZON AND THE ROLE IT PLAYS IN OUR WORLD ECOSYSTEM? PLAYS IN OUR WORLD ECOSYSTEM?>>THERE’S NOTHING ABOUT THIS>>THERE’S NOTHING ABOUT THIS THAT’S ISOLATED. THAT’S ISOLATED. THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH AS A PLANET NOW. AS A PLANET NOW. WE’VE BEEN WATCHING WE’VE BEEN WATCHING DEFORESTATION HAPPEN FOR THE DEFORESTATION HAPPEN FOR THE LAST FEW DECADES. LAST FEW DECADES. THIS YEAR THE FIRE IS SO BIG THIS YEAR THE FIRE IS SO BIG EVERYONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO EVERYONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO IT. IT. THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED PROBLEM. THIS IS NOT AN ISOLATED PROBLEM. WE’RE LOSING FORESTS ALL OVER WE’RE LOSING FORESTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE WORLD. RAIN FORESTS COVER 75% OF OUR RAIN FORESTS COVER 75% OF OUR LAND MASS. LAND MASS. WE’RE LOSING THEM SO QUICKLY. WE’RE LOSING THEM SO QUICKLY. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO KEEP LETTING WE CANNOT AFFORD TO KEEP LETTING THIS HAPPEN YEAR AFTER YEAR. THIS HAPPEN YEAR AFTER YEAR.>>FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T>>FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND OR KNOW HOW THEY UNDERSTAND OR KNOW HOW THEY CONTRIBUTE TO OUR ECOSYSTEM, CONTRIBUTE TO OUR ECOSYSTEM, WHAT DOES THE AMAZON DO AND WHAT WHAT DOES THE AMAZON DO AND WHAT DOES THE WIPING OUT OF IT TAKE DOES THE WIPING OUT OF IT TAKE AWAY FROM OUR PLANET? AWAY FROM OUR PLANET?>>THE AMAZON DOESN’T TAKE>>THE AMAZON DOESN’T TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM OUR PLANET. ANYTHING AWAY FROM OUR PLANET. THE AMAZON PRODUCES. THE AMAZON PRODUCES. IT’S LIKE AN ENGINE THAT GIVES IT’S LIKE AN ENGINE THAT GIVES US LIFE. US LIFE. IT’S PRODUCING A FIFTH OF OUR IT’S PRODUCING A FIFTH OF OUR CLEAN WATER, IT’S PRODUCING A CLEAN WATER, IT’S PRODUCING A FIFTH OF THE OXYGEN WE HAVE. FIFTH OF THE OXYGEN WE HAVE. THIS BIODIVERSITY IN TERMS OF THIS BIODIVERSITY IN TERMS OF SPECIES, RESOURCES, MEDICINES, SPECIES, RESOURCES, MEDICINES, THIS IS THE THING THAT ALLOWS US THIS IS THE THING THAT ALLOWS US TO LIVE ON THIS PLANET. TO LIVE ON THIS PLANET. YOU RIP THE AMAZON OUT OF PLANET YOU RIP THE AMAZON OUT OF PLANET EARTH AND YOUR LIFE HERE WOULD EARTH AND YOUR LIFE HERE WOULD BE UNRECOGNIZABLE. BE UNRECOGNIZABLE. NOT TO MENTION THAT A TENTH OF NOT TO MENTION THAT A TENTH OF OUR GLOBAL EMISSIONS COME FROM OUR GLOBAL EMISSIONS COME FROM DEFORESTATION. DEFORESTATION. SO JUST STOPPING CUTTING DOWN SO JUST STOPPING CUTTING DOWN THE TREES WOULD HELP US SO MUCH THE TREES WOULD HELP US SO MUCH IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. SINCE 1970, WE’VE LOST 50% OF SINCE 1970, WE’VE LOST 50% OF THE WILDLIFE ON THIS PLANET. THE WILDLIFE ON THIS PLANET. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND.>>WOW.>>WOW.>>CARS ARE GOING TO STOP IN THE>>CARS ARE GOING TO STOP IN THE STREET, NEWSCASTERS ARE GOING TO STREET, NEWSCASTERS ARE GOING TO TAKE THEIR EAR PIECES OUT. TAKE THEIR EAR PIECES OUT. I THOUGHT EVERYTHING WOULD STOP I THOUGHT EVERYTHING WOULD STOP AND NOTHING STOPPED. AND NOTHING STOPPED. WE’VE LOST 50% OF THE WILDLIFE WE’VE LOST 50% OF THE WILDLIFE ON THIS PLANET. ON THIS PLANET. WE’RE ALL TALKING ABOUT HOW DOES WE’RE ALL TALKING ABOUT HOW DOES THE AMAZON BENEFIT THE PLANET’S THE AMAZON BENEFIT THE PLANET’S CLIMATE. CLIMATE. WE’RE LOSING SO MANY ANIMALS, WE’RE LOSING SO MANY ANIMALS, ONES NOT EVEN DESCRIBED TO ONES NOT EVEN DESCRIBED TO SKIENS SKIENS SCIENCE YET. SCIENCE YET. THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IT IS START THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IT IS START PROTECTING THE INTACT AMAZON PROTECTING THE INTACT AMAZON BECAUSE IT’S A CLOSED LOOP. BECAUSE IT’S A CLOSED LOOP. IT’S A MOISTURE CYCLE. IT’S A MOISTURE CYCLE. THE AMAZON PRODUCES THE RAIN THE AMAZON PRODUCES THE RAIN THAT WATERS IT AND THAT’S HOW THAT WATERS IT AND THAT’S HOW THE WHOLE SYSTEM WORKS. THE WHOLE SYSTEM WORKS. WE HAVE TO SAFEGUARD THAT IF WE WE HAVE TO SAFEGUARD THAT IF WE HAVE ANY CHANCE OF REMAINING HAVE ANY CHANCE OF REMAINING ALIVE. ALIVE.>>PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE IMAGES>>PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE IMAGES OF THESE FIRES. OF THESE FIRES. LET’S TALK FOR A SECOND ABOUT LET’S TALK FOR A SECOND ABOUT HOW WE GOT HERE TO, YOU KNOW, A HOW WE GOT HERE TO, YOU KNOW, A RECORD NUMBER OF FIRES IN THE RECORD NUMBER OF FIRES IN THE AMAZON. AMAZON. WHAT CAUSED ALL OF THIS? WHAT CAUSED ALL OF THIS?>>AGAIN, THIS IS JUST DECADES>>AGAIN, THIS IS JUST DECADES OF APATHY ON EVERYONE’S PART. OF APATHY ON EVERYONE’S PART. THAT’S THE THING. THAT’S THE THING. WE THINK ABOUT IT AS AN ISOLATED WE THINK ABOUT IT AS AN ISOLATED ISSUE. ISSUE. BRAZIL SAYS THIS IS OUR FOREST BRAZIL SAYS THIS IS OUR FOREST AND PERU SAYS THIS IS OUR FOREST AND PERU SAYS THIS IS OUR FOREST AND EACH COUNTRY DOES THAT. AND EACH COUNTRY DOES THAT. 60% OF THE AMAZON DOES HAPPEN TO 60% OF THE AMAZON DOES HAPPEN TO BE IN BRAZIL BUT THIS IS A BE IN BRAZIL BUT THIS IS A GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT ECOSYSTEM. GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT ECOSYSTEM. WE ALL HAVE TO HAVE A SAY IN WE ALL HAVE TO HAVE A SAY IN THIS. THIS. WHAT YOU’LL HEAR IS LOCAL PEOPLE WHAT YOU’LL HEAR IS LOCAL PEOPLE IN THESE COUNTRIES OR LEADERS IN THESE COUNTRIES OR LEADERS SAYING, NO, YOU GUYS ALREADY SAYING, NO, YOU GUYS ALREADY TOOK DOWN YOUR FORESTS IN THE TOOK DOWN YOUR FORESTS IN THE U.S., YOU DON’T GET TO TELL US U.S., YOU DON’T GET TO TELL US WHAT TO DO WITH OUR FORESTS. WHAT TO DO WITH OUR FORESTS. THAT DOESN’T WORK. THAT DOESN’T WORK. THE FACT THAT PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW THE FACT THAT PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW THESE THINGS 200 YEARS AGO THESE THINGS 200 YEARS AGO DOESN’T MEAN WE GET TO MAKE THE DOESN’T MEAN WE GET TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES NOW. SAME MISTAKES NOW. WE’RE JUST SHOOTING OURSELVES IN WE’RE JUST SHOOTING OURSELVES IN BOTH FEET. BOTH FEET. THE CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT IS THE CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT IS IN A BAD ENOUGH STATE WE HAVE TO IN A BAD ENOUGH STATE WE HAVE TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THESE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THESE THINGS ARE INTERCONNECTED. THINGS ARE INTERCONNECTED. WE NEED OUR OCEANS. WE NEED OUR OCEANS. 3 BILLION PEOPLE STILL GET THEIR 3 BILLION PEOPLE STILL GET THEIR PROTEIN DIRECTLY FROM THE PROTEIN DIRECTLY FROM THE OCEANS. OCEANS. WE NEED OUR FORESTS. WE NEED OUR FORESTS. US ALLOWING THERE TO BE CATTLE US ALLOWING THERE TO BE CATTLE FARMING AND ROAD DEVELOPMENT IN FARMING AND ROAD DEVELOPMENT IN THE RAIN FOREST, WE KNOW THAT THE RAIN FOREST, WE KNOW THAT ROADS — THIS IS LIKE ROADS — THIS IS LIKE CONSERVATION 101. CONSERVATION 101. YOU BUILD A ROAD, THE RAIN YOU BUILD A ROAD, THE RAIN FOREST DIES. FOREST DIES. YOU CLEAR IT, YOU CUT DOWN MEL YOU CLEAR IT, YOU CUT DOWN MEL LEN LEN MILLENNIUM TREES AND PUT CATTLE. MILLENNIUM TREES AND PUT CATTLE.>>YOU CAN SEE THE FIRES FROM>>YOU CAN SEE THE FIRES FROM SPACE. SPACE. IT’S ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS. IT’S ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS. WE TALKED ABOUT THE CAUSE. WE TALKED ABOUT THE CAUSE. MY GOODNESS, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE MY GOODNESS, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY STOP HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY STOP THIS. THIS. IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE IT’S BEYOND IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE IT’S BEYOND CONTROL. CONTROL.>>IT IS OUT OF CONTROL.>>IT IS OUT OF CONTROL. THAT VIDEO THAT I PUT UP, I MEAN THAT VIDEO THAT I PUT UP, I MEAN I’VE BEEN IN THESE FIRES. I’VE BEEN IN THESE FIRES. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR THE I’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR THE LAST 13 YEARS. LAST 13 YEARS. WHEN YOU COME UP TO A FIRE WHEN YOU COME UP TO A FIRE THAT’S 200 FEET TALL THAT’S THAT’S 200 FEET TALL THAT’S BURNING A 500-YEAR-OLD FOREST, BURNING A 500-YEAR-OLD FOREST, THERE’S ANIMALS RUNNING FOR THERE’S ANIMALS RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES, THERE’S TROOPS OF THEIR LIVES, THERE’S TROOPS OF MONKEYS AND MOST OF THEM ARE NOT MONKEYS AND MOST OF THEM ARE NOT MAKING IT OUT. MAKING IT OUT. IT’S APOCALYPTIC. IT’S APOCALYPTIC. WATER IS EXPANDING INSIDE OF WATER IS EXPANDING INSIDE OF TREES AND EXPLODING. TREES AND EXPLODING. THE SUN GETS BLOTTED OUT. THE SUN GETS BLOTTED OUT. EVERYONE ASKS ME HOW CAN WE PUT EVERYONE ASKS ME HOW CAN WE PUT OUT THESE FIRES. OUT THESE FIRES. YOU CAN’T PUT OUT THESE FIRES. YOU CAN’T PUT OUT THESE FIRES. WE DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES OR WE DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES OR TECHNOLOGY TO PUT OUT THESE TECHNOLOGY TO PUT OUT THESE FIRES. FIRES. THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS THE ONLY THING WE CAN DO IS START ACTING LIKE RESPONSIBLE START ACTING LIKE RESPONSIBLE CREATURES THAT DON’T KILL THE CREATURES THAT DON’T KILL THE THING THAT KEEPS US ALIVE. THING THAT KEEPS US ALIVE. IT’S REALLY, REALLY SIMPLE. IT’S REALLY, REALLY SIMPLE. WE JUST HAVE TO STOP CUTTING WE JUST HAVE TO STOP CUTTING DOWN THE AMAZON AND WE’LL BE DOWN THE AMAZON AND WE’LL BE FINE. FINE.>>IT’S SUCH A DEPRESSING THING>>IT’S SUCH A DEPRESSING THING TO TALK ABOUT, TO THINK ABOUT, TO TALK ABOUT, TO THINK ABOUT, TO LOOK AT ALL THOSE IMAGES. TO LOOK AT ALL THOSE IMAGES. ANY CAUSE FOR HOPE OR ANYTHING ANY CAUSE FOR HOPE OR ANYTHING THAT YOU SEE THAT WE’RE MOVING THAT YOU SEE THAT WE’RE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION? IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?>>THERE’S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT>>THERE’S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF HOPE OUT THERE RIGHT NOW. OF HOPE OUT THERE RIGHT NOW. THAT’S WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT’S WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO TELL EVERYONE. TO TELL EVERYONE. YES IT’S REALLY SCARY. YES IT’S REALLY SCARY. YES WE’RE LOSING TONS OF THE YES WE’RE LOSING TONS OF THE AMAZON. AMAZON. TIGERS ARE SUPER ENDANGERED BUT TIGERS ARE SUPER ENDANGERED BUT INDIA JUST DOUBLED THEIR INDIA JUST DOUBLED THEIR POPULATION OF TIGERS. POPULATION OF TIGERS. DECADES AGO HUMPBACK WHALES WERE DECADES AGO HUMPBACK WHALES WERE ALMOST GONE. ALMOST GONE. NATURE IS INCREDIBLY RESILIENT NATURE IS INCREDIBLY RESILIENT BUT YOU HAVE TO ALLOW IT TO BUT YOU HAVE TO ALLOW IT TO BOUNCE BACK. BOUNCE BACK. IF WE KEEP CUTTING BACK THE IF WE KEEP CUTTING BACK THE AMAZON AND PUSH IT PAST THAT AMAZON AND PUSH IT PAST THAT TIPPING POINT, WE’RE GOING TO TIPPING POINT, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE POINT WHERE THE MAKE IT TO THE POINT WHERE THE AMAZON COLLAPSES AND WE DON’T AMAZON COLLAPSES AND WE DON’T HAVE IT ANYMORE AND WE’RE LIVING HAVE IT ANYMORE AND WE’RE LIVING IN A POST APOCALYPTIC MOVIE AND IN A POST APOCALYPTIC MOVIE AND NO ONE WANTS TO DO THAT. NO ONE WANTS TO DO THAT. THERE’S TONS OF HOPE. THERE’S TONS OF HOPE. THE FACT THAT EVERYONE IS THE FACT THAT EVERYONE IS SHARING THIS STUFF. SHARING THIS STUFF. THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE CELEBRITIES LIKE LEONARDO CELEBRITIES LIKE LEONARDO DICAPRIO USING HIS POWER TO GET DICAPRIO USING HIS POWER TO GET THIS OUT THERE. THIS OUT THERE. TO REALIZE THAT WE HAVE TO ELECT TO REALIZE THAT WE HAVE TO ELECT LEADERS THAT UNDERSTAND SCIENCE LEADERS THAT UNDERSTAND SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY AND THE FACT THAT WE AND BIOLOGY AND THE FACT THAT WE DEPEND ON OTHER ORGANISMS TO DEPEND ON OTHER ORGANISMS TO LIVE, THESE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT LIVE, THESE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS AND THESE ARE COMING TO THINGS AND THESE ARE COMING TO THE FOREFRONT OF EVERYBODY’S AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVERYBODY’S AT ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION. ATTENTION. THE RESPONSIBILITY IS TO THE RESPONSIBILITY IS TO MAINTAIN THAT AWARENESS. MAINTAIN THAT AWARENESS. WE HAVE TO PROTECT THESE WE HAVE TO PROTECT THESE ECOSYSTEMS WITH THE SIZE OF OUR ECOSYSTEMS WITH THE SIZE OF OUR GLOBAL POPULATION, WITH THE GLOBAL POPULATION, WITH THE SCALE OF OUR EMISSIONS RIGHT SCALE OF OUR EMISSIONS RIGHT NOW, WITH THE LOSS OF NOW, WITH THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY. BIODIVERSITY. PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THAT PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THAT ANIMALS HAVE CREATED THE ANIMALS HAVE CREATED THE ECOSYSTEMS THAT WE LIVE OFF OF. ECOSYSTEMS THAT WE LIVE OFF OF. CARL SAGAN HAD THAT GREAT LINE CARL SAGAN HAD THAT GREAT LINE LIKE NOTHING THAT YOU’RE LIKE NOTHING THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN IS GOING TO HAPPEN INTERESTED IN IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF YOU CAN’T BREATHE THE AIR AND IF YOU CAN’T BREATHE THE AIR AND DRINK THE WATER. DRINK THE WATER. IT’S BAD FOR BUSINESS IF YOU IT’S BAD FOR BUSINESS IF YOU LOSE THESE NATURAL SYSTEMS. LOSE THESE NATURAL SYSTEMS.>>WHO CARES ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE>>WHO CARES ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE IF WE CAN’T BREATHE, RIGHT? IF WE CAN’T BREATHE, RIGHT?>>I CERTAINLY DON’T.

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