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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Has the tipping point on climate change already passed us by?

With local councils and national parliaments combining to declare a climate emergency, it is clear that many of us are becoming more and more anxious about our planet's future and whether we still have time to save it.

What is clear is that the really big drivers are out of our hands. One of those is the future of the Amazon rain forest, which acts as the biggest carbon-sink on the planet and, if preserved and allowed to re-establish itself, could form a significant brake to global warning. Alas, as this Guardian article explains, it may already be too late to save this precious resource.

The paper reports that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has surged above three football fields a minute, according to the latest government data, pushing the world’s biggest rainforest closer to a tipping point beyond which it cannot recover:

The sharp rise – following year-on-year increases in May and June – confirms fears that president Jair Bolsonaro has given a green light to illegal land invasion, logging and burning.

Clearance so far in July has hit 1,345 sq km, a third higher than the previous monthly record under the current monitoring system by the Deter B satellite system, which started in 2015.

With five days remaining, this is on course to be the first month for several years in which Brazil loses an area of forest bigger than Greater London.

The steady erosion of tree cover weakens the role of the rainforest in stabilising the global climate. Scientists warn that the forest is in growing danger of degrading into a savannah, after which its capacity to absorb carbon will be severely diminished, with consequences for the rest of the planet.

The attitude of the Brazilian government to this devastating activity is a disgrace. They appear to be turning a blind eye to this illegal logging.

Brazil is in the process of negotiating a trade agreement with the European Union, which will massively benefit their economy. Isn't it time those negotiations were put on hold until we have proof that action is being taken to protect the rain forest?
I agree. the Trade deal should have teeth in it. By pandering to greed Brazil brings us ,the human race , to the extinction tipping point. To combat this the World, as a whole, should endeavour to plant as many trees as possible and also develop peat bogs that can also trap carbonto combat the Amazon situation.
Answer to your headline is "probably" and to your last paragraph "yes".

There is not yet a full trade agreement between the EU and Ethiopia, but in view of the recent mass tree-planting exercise the EU ought to go beyond its current partnership arrangements.

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