Fires in the Amazon Forest – Now This – A. More

Fires in the Amazon forest have raged in the summers of 2019 and 2020, as shown by global news coverage. Scientists as well as policymakers worldwide have become alarmed at the rate of deforestation. Dr. Alexander More was interviewed by Now This on the Amazon fires and he shows compelling evidence that the demand for Brazilian beef has been a primary driver of the deforestation, requiring ever more land and agricultural products to grow the cattle business in Brazil. Dr. More referred to Brazil’s own Space Agency tracking deforestation, and Dept. of Commerce figures for beef exports, showing a surprising correlation with the forest loss. Dr. More is an Assistant Research Professor at the Climate Change institute, at the University of Maine. In this interview, he lists actions that every citizen can take to reduce the demand for products that are driving the deforestation. Beef has one of the highest carbon footprints among foods commonly consumed. Dr. More also explains that the Amazon rainforest, with its old-growth trees and ecosystem creates its own microclimate. This delicate ecosystem is not easily restored by reforestation, and thus adds a measure of urgency to our efforts to stop the wildfires’ destructive force before a tipping point is reached.