Trouble in Paradise
August 29, 2019 11:06 AM   Subscribe

The Devastation
Amazon fires deepen a split between Brazil’s evangelicals and their fellow Christians.
On the ground in Porto Velho "There are hundreds of different tribes around here but in this reservation there were two very remote tribes that had almost no contact with outsiders and they seem to have just disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to them. I think they might have just killed them all.”
Brazil's environmental changes under Bolsonaro who has a history of controversy.
Pre last years election the Atlantic pointed out The Rise of the Brazilian Evangelicals who are Are Gaining Power.
posted by adamvasco (11 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
There are no words for a tragedy of this scale. What we have lost as a species will never be recovered. This is a crime of unfathomable proportions.. I'm shaking with rage and anguish right now
posted by captain afab at 11:35 AM on August 29, 2019 [7 favorites]


Bible, Beef and Bullets.
Brazilian Farmers Believe They Have the Right to Burn the Amazon.
posted by adamvasco at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


Thanks for this – it gives a lot more illumination into what's going on.
posted by rednikki at 1:31 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


The developed nations need to band together to pay countries like Brazil, Congo, and Indonesia to return rain forests to their pristine state and bar any further destruction. The payment should equal or exceed the lost economic activity and the expenses of protecting those forests from damage. We cannot expect them to suffer economically for everyone else's benefit without adequately compensating them.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2019 [3 favorites]


Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest; carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention. 
Bolsonaro has long called for the Amazon to be turned over to agribusiness, and has rapidly defanged agencies responsible for protecting it, and empowered agribusiness leaders intent on clearing the forest. The land-grabbers have become emboldened.
posted by adamvasco at 3:38 PM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]


Just a wee reminder that, if you weren't brought up as fundie as I was, that the justification for destroying the planet held by some evangelicals is wholly in Genesis 9:
9: And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.



11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
The first part describes dominion (= we can do whatever we want), the second part contains the promise that God won't ever destroy the earth again. So basically, the Amazon's on fire 'cos some bronze age nomads saw a rainbow for the first time.
posted by scruss at 4:26 PM on August 29, 2019 [4 favorites]




"The lungs of the world" thing is pretty wrong. I wish people would not use that metaphor as it is anti-science.
posted by JackFlash at 5:37 PM on August 29, 2019


"The lungs of the world" thing is pretty wrong. I wish people would not use that metaphor as it is anti-science.

The rebuttal agrees, but notes some other issues with the Shellenberger piece.
Shellenberger’s hang up on oxygen here misleads and misdirects the reader. Scientists, including Dan Nepstad who is quoted extensively in the Forbes piece, have indeed warned that large-scale loss of tree cover in the Amazon rainforest could tip the ecosystem toward a drier, savanna-like ecosystem similar to the adjacent Cerrado. This new ecosystem would store vastly less carbon than a rainforest, increasing emissions and potentially escalating the rate of global climate change.

In other nit-picking: another meme going around social media juxtaposes the timing of the fires in Brazil with a court case won by the Waoroni Tribe (in Ecuador). Also not true, as it turns out:
However, while the cause behind them remains undetermined, the wildfires that have drawn gradually increasing media coverage and social media attention were burning in Brazil, thousands of miles away from Waorani territory. That is not to say that humans did not have a hand in starting the fires in Brazil. Environmentalists blame human activity and corrupt business interests enabled and emboldened by anti-conservationist president Jair Bolsonaro
However, it is certainly the case (as noted in the link) that the fires are largely set by humans, by some reports including a day of coordinated burning as a show of support for Bolsonaro, and that the Bolsonaro government has what could arguably be described as a genocidal policy toward indigenous Amazonian groups within Brazil. So, probably don't spread the Waoroni meme (our writer says, guiltily), but also be careful about how you debunk it, so as to keep attention focused on the important and quite serious issues that do in fact exist?
posted by eviemath at 6:12 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


The rebuttal agrees, but notes some other issues with the Shellenberger piece. Shellenberger’s hang up on oxygen here misleads and misdirects the reader.

Shellenberger isn't hung up on oxygen. It is people like: “The Amazon rain forest — the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire,” tweeted French President Emanuel Macron.

These "lungs of the planet" people are the ones hung up on oxygen and it is entirely wrong. The Amazon doesn't produce 20% of the planet's oxygen. The oxygen in the atmosphere is pretty much steady state, at least on human times scales, for the last million years or so. You could burn down the entire Amazon and there would be an almost immeasurable change in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

The change in CO2 would be significant. The change in oxygen, not. So they need to stop with the "lungs of the planet - 20% of our planet's oxygen." It is anti-science.
posted by JackFlash at 6:24 PM on August 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


... Are you trying to argue against the rebuttal or something? Did you read it? Did you read the Stellenberger piece, where he cleanly avoided talking about carbon dioxide and hazily implied that oxygen was everyone's only concern? I'm trying to come up with more generous interpretations, but I'm really not sure what your point is.
posted by eviemath at 8:43 PM on August 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


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