The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned

The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned

good morning John so I’ve seen a bunch of tweets for the last few days I’m pretty angry which you know makes it exactly like every other few days in the last few years but in this specific case it was tweets like these the Amazon rainforest is seeing a record number of wildfires large swaths of the Amazon rainforest are burning fires are raging the Amazon region is burning now mostly this comes down to like a problem I have with reality which is that there’s just too much of it and thus it is very hard to be aware of all of it and so we end up with things that are incomplete making their way into our brains but if there’s anything we should be aware of it’s this cuz you know future of the planet at stake and stuff like that so why do I not like these tweets well because here in America where I live usually if there’s a wildfire it was an accident and sometimes fires are okay because fires are a normal part of our ecosystems in America and sometimes they were done on purpose by like criminals who the government wants to arrest so when you read these headlines as an American you think oh no a fire happened I hope someone’s trying to put it out but in the Amazon fire is not a natural part of the ecosystem and because of that many trees in the rain forest can’t survive what we would in the u.s. consider a trivial burn these fires are not natural they are intentional this isn’t intentional like it’s arson it’s intentional like this land is more economically productive when we graze cattle on it than when it’s the rain forest so the headline here shouldn’t be large swaths of the Amazon are burning it should be large swaths of the Amazon are being burned now sometimes in the dry season which we’re in right now there are natural wildfires in the Amazon and in fact the number of natural wildfires appears to be increasing because here’s a thing about the Amazon and other rainforests with plenty of water and plenty of sunlight the ecosystem is really good at using everything that comes its way that means that most of the water that falls is immediately released back into the atmosphere by this tremendous amount of vegetation photosynthesis gets done when water evaporates out of plants a single tree can evaporate more than 50 thousand gallons of water per year and once that water is back in the atmosphere it falls again rainforests don’t just thrive on rain they make rain so when there’s less rainforest there’s less rain and more fires that’s not the real reason there’s so many more fires this year it’s not hotter than normal it’s not drier than normal the thing that changed in Brazil is who the President did the moment he was elected I air Belson ro rolled back environmental protections in Brazil earlier this month he fired the head of Brazil’s national space and Research Institute after he defended data showing that deforestation had grown 40 percent in the last year Bolson ro says that figure is wrong and the deforestation is down that’s a lie when asked why there are so many fires this year bull Sonora said that maybe environmental organizations are setting them to make him look bad that is also a lie but this isn’t just like pure malice and like love of destruction there’s an ideology here there’s the economic part of it which is just that there’s a lot of value in the rainforest and no one’s making any money off of it if it’s just being rainforests and then there’s sort of an ideological thing of like the civilizing interest of man we must bring our superior way of life to this wild jungle racist manifest destiny kind of stuff so to make the money you encourage legal logging and farming you reduce inspections reduce regulations and you ignore illegal land grabs where forest is slashed and burned and then seeded with grass and sold the ranchers there’s also another piece of the ideology here that I think is really interesting reality is that most of the good that the Amazon does is for everyone it produces oxygen for everyone it traps co2 for everyone it preserves biodiversity for the whole world but Brazil isn’t getting paid for any of that stuff far-right perspectives ultra nationalist perspectives don’t really allow for stuff that helps everyone it goes against this ideology that the nation is for the nation only and here’s where this gets super wild the fact that the rest of the world cares so much about the Amazon rainforest isn’t perceived as a reason to protect it it’s perceived by these people as a threat it’s like a claim on their sovereignty it’s it’s thought of as internationalisation after all like legitimately what right do i as an American I have to tell Brazil what to do with its rainforests in America we have DeForest did everything we can so our interest in protecting it actually becomes a reason for some people to want to destroy if you live in a world where everything is a zero-sum game why should anyone else benefit from our property and then there’s the reality that the Amazon is not as we sometimes imagine it empty there are many indigenous people other people who live and work in the forest and who rely on the forest for their livelihoods but those people are often not seen as real Brazilians by these nationalists nationalism is an inherently exclusionary ideology and that’s why fascism nationalism and racism so often walk together here’s the thing of course if the if the Amazon rainforest was a hundred percent pasture land and soybeans that would not just be a disaster for the whole world it would be even more of a disaster for Brazil itself see how hot it is in northern Africa that’s actually farther away from the equator than Brazil is Brazil receives more solar energy than Saudi Arabia but because of the rain forest it is much more cool this is the effect of that evapotranspiration the rain forest makes rain if there is less of it it is clear that it would be hotter and drier and these man-made fires or even the natural ones will spread on their own leading to a feedback loop that could end the Amazon and 70% of the GDP of South America is made in places where Amazon rainforest rain falls even here in America again internationalization for you much of the rain that falls here is a vapo transpired in the Amazon rainforest and an important note when I talk about rain falling really what I’m talking about is agriculture I’m talking about food we eat that rain there’s a lot of talk about tipping points and I think it’s important to note that there are always many tipping points along the path to something being completely destroyed but yes there is a time when less and less water falls in the rain forests and fires happen more and more often and there is a time where we lose most if not all of the Amazon that’s a terrifying prospect considering that it produces 20% of the oxygen that we breathe and it’s why we have science to warn us about stuff like this so that we can take action and it’s why we have human rights to protect people whose land is their land whose life is their light but it is all too easy to deny stuff like this when you have more of an allegiance to your ideology than you do to the truth and that is something that I like to try and say to myself constant it’s why we need to call a lie a lie no matter who says it it’s why we need to say that the rainforest is not burning it is being burned John I’ll see you on Tuesday obviously this is a big and complicated thing and this is a short video so I’ve linked to a bunch of other resources the article in the intercept from a few months ago that basically predicted all of this was my favorite resource for this but there are lots of other smart people talking about it and it seems like people are having a better idea of what exactly is going on and why it’s happening so and I guess thanks for caring about this because because that’s a big deal and it is the only way we have slowed this in the past


100 thoughts on “The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned”

  • CORRECTIONS (Because of course)
    1. I just said the widely-shared fact that the Amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen without checking. This is not correct, and I should have checked it. The question of where the oxygen comes from is a complicated and interesting one and, frankly, I'd like to make a whole video about it. A good estimate is that the Amazon produces about 6% of the world's oxygen. Which still seems like an important amount.

    2. The cat I show in the video is a jaguarundi, that's not a correction…just something lot of people asked about.

    3. There's a lack of clarity in statistics right now, this isn't because scientists are bad, it's because the dry season is on-going and there are more fires every day and existing fires grow. So when we say "there are 88% more fires than last year* that doesn't necessarily mean "88% more land has been burned" nor is that number set in stone. Figuring out exact numbers from this year's fire season will take a long time because, like, the Amazon is very big and humans have to draw shapes on satellite maps.

  • It started as a good review, then it turns out your are a socialist ( fake – liberal ). Sure, I felt that these fires are started by criminals, but the reasons are not fascists, nationalists. The big boys pushing global socialist dictatorship based on climate change fear, imposing trillions in carbon taxes on nations, they are behind it. 🙂

  • As the Amazonian rainforest in Brazil burns , people neglect the burning rainforests in the Democratic Republic of Congo & Angola despite they are very important in Central Africa.

  • Turns out, this is fake news. This was confirmed by satellite imaginary. The land being burned is already farm land. It's what you do if you want crops to grow there. The people of Brazil need to eat.

  • Samuel Bulletproof says:

    The Amazon is a gift and I wish it all burns to the ground so we are cursed and then with regret those whom are responsible for this will have to deal with what's next

  • Felipe Teixeira says:

    Great video, thank you for being another voice for this problem, I'm a Brazilian who lives in Manaus, a city in the middle of the amazon rainforest, it makes me sad seeing all of those news about this criminals, basically suported by this insane president.
    As you said. people who have more allegiance to their ideology than the truth. Wost of all if you fig half to one meter in the amazon soil you reach a orange clay, that is very acidic, so farming wont last. I hope, with international pressure, this goverment change and we can save the amazon. Sorry about my english and again thank you for adressing this matter.

    Um grito que é um mix de raiva e desespero. Por favor não deixem esse homem tirar nosso país da gente

  • This is so important an I couldn't be more ashamed for having this guy "rule my country". This needs to be addressed and this needs to be stopped!

  • Piezoelectricity π says:

    As a Brazilian and sort of a scientist, I am very disappointed that you (a scientist) have not checked the statistics and let yourself be affected by the post truth…

  • You are right, it is none of your business, sissy. Also a forest isn't a race; I understand you hate people, who seek to improve their livelihood on expense of others, understandable, but calling trivial opportunism a racism… nationalism? Nationalism secured identity of all those tiny nations you rich bourgeois and champagne socialist muricans visit in Europe. Go invade Brasil if you must or pay them the price for keeping bunch of wood erect.

  • Hmmm…kinda like how Santa Rosa and Paradise, CA were incinerated (along with 1000s of residents) to make way for a wild lands project for agenda 2030? Because yeah, that's what happened. It's a crime against humanity and nature itself.

  • What a bunch of lies.
    Forst of all Brazil preserved 66% of it’s native vegetation while the U ited States preserved only 14% – mind ypur own business.
    Secondly, all those people “wprried” about the forest want the natural resources provided by it. Lula, the second to last president Brazil had said so waaaay back in the day, this isn’t just a “Bolsonaro narrative”.
    Thirdly, if you know anything about Brazil and the Amazon you know burning and deforestation are common in a country that has no money or resources to control it’s borders, let alone the imense Amzon rainforest.
    Fourtly, burning is a common place among dumbasses, no serious farmer uses it – the serious farmes are increasing the production with new techniques.
    Fifth: destroying the forest is a crime in Brazil. Period.
    Sixth: where were all of those people when in 2004 and 2005 we reached a record of forest burning? Nobody was criticizing the leftist government.

  • Those fores happen every single year, but somehow nobody cared during the leftist governments but now everything is Bolsonaro’s fault? What about the 70% cut on the anti deforestation budget carried dilma roussef and her ministry who won the golden chainsaw award from greenpeace?

  • 4:53 Nationalist, racist, fascist,… you forgot homophobe, xenophobe, islamophobe, transphobe and all the other buzzwords in the democrat playbook. Also your fake outrage is ridiculous. Tim Pool debunked your political propaganda.

  • The Amazon is being destroyed every single day for decades and this sotuation os derivative of practices that started well before Bolsonaro’s government.

  • Peter Aliferis says:

    Political and financial agendas pushing climate change are 100% responsible for deliberately setting these fires! Shame on those who push their greedy agendas with complete disregard to humanity!

  • Find "Xavier Andres D Mosquera" on Facebook, there a video of helicopter throwing some "fire shit" into the forrest..

  • Jeffrey Hughes says:

    Well mother Earth will wipe us out just like I just did after my morning bm… And I thought the Amazon was in it's wet season, it being in the southern hemisphere and all…

  • Thanas Stefanis V says:

    And its being burned to make way for grazing cattle or to grow crops to feed to cattle. Be vegan, fight amazon destruction.

  • McNolan McNolan says:

    it's like the devil is hard at work! I say keep burning it down get rid of it all! then proceed to drop every single nuke ever made on the people responsible!

  • You know what else is more economically valuable? Breathing. You know where a decent chunk of our oxygen comes from? Trees. Like. The trees in the rainforest that make oxygen and absorb pollution.

  • Hi there, Im from Brazil. Let’s keep it simple. The ABSOLUTE MAIN REASON is BEEF PRODUCTION. So we need to start making the connection, because this is only happening because there is a DEMAND for it. There are CONSUMERS for it.

  • Spooksville Scoob says:

    The articles that I am reading about things being greener than they were a hundred years ago. Is that all just bulshit propaganda? (speaking specifically about your comment about America deforesting everything it can)

  • This unprecedented:SurreaL what idiot(s) will have a Genius idea to burn anything in the rain forest, I thought that was against the law.

  • Thanks for clarifying. I was worried and the animals more than the plants because i thought they would regrow so now i know better. Also yeah its nice to know the larger picture.

  • Hi, (brazilian guy here), interesting video there, but it seems thou ist missing the point here. The international interest in this Brazilian amazon rainforest, is NOT due to oxygen, is due to plants for pharmacy industry and the amount of Niobium that is concentrated there.

    There is more to be talked about and I miss the good old YouTube feature named "video response" (it used to work like a adding a comment in the form of a video) because watching thy video, truly made me feeel like getting involved. I will record a video and try to let thee know some how; hopefully thou wilt receive my message. Thanks for now.

  • Henrique Guarnieri says:

    you know nothing, It's not like you said, you have to study more about the situation in Brazil !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’m not telling you’re wrong, but I don’t agree with “fire is natural here in America, but not in Brazil” thing. Did you check the data (mon how many fires were in each year in Brazil? It is the worst year in the decade, but not in history. There were far more fires in 2003-2005, 2007 and 2010.
    But I agree, that in present political situation these fires ARE fishy.

  • One of the solutions:
    Cut out beef from our diets = not needing to burn space for their farming = less water, less soy = more amazon.
    We can thrive without meat intake – watch 'What the Health' on Netflix for more information

  • My God when does this greed end killing the forest to make money at the expense of the entire planet that's the same thing happening even in Congo Personally I fully blame this in capitalism society the need to always make money and produce junk what for we live in planet with finite resources we can't keep consuming indefinitely there consequences

  • One in the same, regardless trees be falling yo and what do ya feel when you see your life slowly getting taken away jbc it's hot, furthermore tell the guv to stop allow all the ukus that's being caused with the air , treating thee atmos like a chemistry set they can buy over and over again cough* cal! Ama! Pole! We guna need a coat 8 weeks on any given quarter aaaaaaaand we just hit mark our own team ….. WHY HACK?

  • Im completely with you, but hey, capitalists arent fascists or far right… They have been like this since always, like, you know, the USA, who's done worse for the same reason, money.

  • You know more sitting at home in some western country 😂 😂 😂 😂 and listening to your fake news and leftist propogandists on social media

  • Donald J. Trump says:

    Everyone who‘s consuming animal products is an active supporter of what is happening with the amazon rainforest. Change my mind!?

  • 3:56 i was buting into this… Then you started blaming it on the far right. Like… Yeah, the nazis are burning down the rain forest. Cuz trump… Or something…
    And why would they burn it? If they're trying to capitalize off of it… Wouldnt they cut the trees down for lumbar?

  • Can you explain where you get your data on fascism, nationalism, racism are perceived as the same? No offense intended. Just trtrying to understand Globalist outrage on Individual sovereignty. You can understand agenda 21 or 2030 with falls under Human Rights, yet Global Governance couldn't be further from the Truth. This is the great deception of word linguistics trickery. I just stumbled upon your channel and you strike me as very intelligent. So have you ever taken the time to watch Rosa Korie's YouTube video on the Agenda 21 Global Governance? If you can understand it. And possible go to her blog. After researching it. Please tell me your thoughts. Is this a land grab attempt from farmers or from the UN diversity or sustainability commission of the UN?? Either opinion you may have I'm interested in hearing it, because we really should be on board for saving the planets lungs, don'tcha think?

  • carlos rodriguez says:

    If the oxygen is so valuable to other countries, eg as valuable as oil or any other commodities, then maybe we SHOULD consider paying Brazil for it? Paying the owners of that jungle land, or, say, the federal government of Brazil, for their O2 may incentivize them to stop burning it since, apparently, they don’t believe that it will hurt their own economic outlook in the future. Let the bidding begin!

  • philomena phanthagia says:

    You seem to be showing Brazil as a really bad guy here. Doesn't everyone on Earth not know that fire and massive deforestation is a bad idea for the local climate??

  • aswinvijji ayyagari says:

    Just commenting is not enough, action is needed. Amazon is being cut for creating space for beef cattle farms. Stop eating beef and pork. Most of the soya bean is going to feed pigs. The cows and pigs release huge amounts of methane which causes global warming.

  • There is so much more to it than just replanting trees. The forest is an entire ecosystem unto itself. Trees are the circuitry through which everything connects on this earth. People need to read and comprehend The Overstory by Richard Powers.

  • The news of the fires in the amazon are half truths. The fires have been set by farmers and ranchers for at least the past 20 years, it's nothing new that's going on. Also, this years fires aren't even the most that have been set. 2003, 2010, 2013, and 2017 all saw many more fires than what this year has. That being said, it is awful and the set fires and all forms of deforestation need to be stopped before the tipping point is reached. The sad thing is that this, like all other viral outrage, will probably only last a few weeks before its forgotten or some other story goes viral.

  • Most of humanity will remain ignorant about the decreasing oxygenation, deforestation, and pollution of this toxic garbage island we call planet earth but it is a serious matter and the trees will be the beginning of the end of this human civilization. Technically the Amazon rainforest is burning because it is being burned, not natural burning but man-made burning. Sorry to sound like a debbie downer but the damage has been done and if it continues to be done it will be too late. Sad but true.

  • Fernando Reynoso says:

    Agreed in almost everything, but you forgot Evo Morales intervention on the Amazon's forest, and the pin points were the fire started of Bolivia frontier with Brazil. Everyone blames Bolsonaro who was responsibility in the matter but the person behind this fires is Evo Morales for his law for "controled burning"

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