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mugaliens
2009-Mar-20, 09:19 PM
Wow.

I can't believe how Fraser's Universe Today thread, How Deforestation in Brazil is Affecting Local Climate (http://www.bautforum.com/universe-today-story-comments/31654-how-deforestation-brazil-affecting-local-climate.html), just sat there, one post strong, for 3-1/2 years, only to pop up as the top post on a bautforum.com "deforestation" search. Is it because it's a hot, controversial topic and nobody wants to dive in? Or is it because few people really understand deforestation plays the leading roll in anthropogenic global warming?

Wow.

Anyway...

Conservation International (http://www.conservation.org/)recently took out a full-page ad in the inside cover of the March, 2009 edition of Discover (http://discovermagazine.com/)in which they wrote:


"When rainforests are burned and cleared, it affects every one of us. It releases carbon into the air that we breath. It changes our climate. Deforestation accounts for 20% of all carbon emissions, which is more than the amount that all the cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships in the world emit, combined." - Alternate Source (http://www.conservation.org/newsroom/pressreleases/Pages/CI-Statement-Brazil-Deforestation-Goals.aspx)

Wow.

So let's talk about what's meant by a "leading roll." It's not 4% compared to the next leading cause that's, say, 3.5% of the problem. It's 20% of all carbon emissions, regardless of source (this includes natural wildfires), and more than 50% of all global transportation carbon emissions, combined.

And that's just the emissions from burning the forests - it says nothing of how much carbon-fixing capacity is lost each year due to deforestation.

Therefore, before you:
- pay an extra $10,000 for a slightly more efficient vehicle
- have corporate America (or any country) spend billions of dollars to cut carbon emissions by 10%
- fund expensive sea-goo (algae) farms as a way of fixing CO2...

You may wish to consider the fact that it appears as if deforestation is the single-most prevalent cause, by far, of all anthropogenic carbon emissions.

Don't get me wrong - those other things are noteworthy goals. Just don't expect them to solve the problem! What's that expression... "When you're stomping the ants, don't forget about the elephants!" The ants, all those other "solutions" are horribly cost inefficient, and so ineffective that spending trillions of dollars towards those ends will result in perhaps a 1% reduction - which is nothing, really. Totally ineffective. "Yeah! We spent trillions of dollars doing..." Meanwhile, there are far more worthy uses for that money and our efforts, including population control, for one, which is the driving force behnd deforestation...

Deforestation is the elephant.

The other driving force is ignorance, whereby a "grazing land" mentality kills acre after acre of forest.

Stopping deforestation, on the other hand, may cost trillions less, and result in a 60% reduction.

What the...??? 60x (than 1%) the effect, for two to three orders of magnitude less cost???

Dudes and dudesses! That's 6,000 to 60,000 times more cost effective! What the heck are we doing! Why are we spinning our wheels and plunking down thousands of dollars, each, and each year, towards efforts which are 60,000 times less cost-effective? Especially when "new deficit estimates [are] worse than expected (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090320/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_budget)..."

Let me put the "times" part into perspective: Pull a dollar out of your wallet. Lay it on the table. 6,000 times that dollar is a used car. 60,000 times that dollar is a brand new car and all the gas and maintenance fees it'll need for life. It's the minimum downpayment required for a million dollar mansion. Put another way, if you drive at 60 miles per hour, you're driving a mile a minute. 60,000 miles is between three and five years of average annual milage.

I hope the relevance of how effective we can be in terms of halting/reversing AGW by doing just one thing, stopping deforestation, sinks in.

This one's interesting: "Pristine jungles are burned and cleared for farming and ranching, or for plantations to produce biofuel crops."

"Biofuel crops?" Ok, let me get this straight - they're burning down forests at the acre rate of 1 England a year (32 million acres), which releases massive amounts of carbon into the air, while eliminating massive amounts of carbon-fixing capability. Then they plant biofuel crops, which are horribly inefficient in that more than half the fuel they produce is sacrificed to plant, harvest, and process the crops into fuel, and deliver the fuel.

Ok - Your turn.

korjik
2009-Mar-20, 09:35 PM
My turn?

In that case, if this is just an AGW thread, I say, burn more down. Lets get rid of all those pesky trees.

On the other hand, if you want to open this to a general discussion on how deforestation is just plain freakin wrong, I can go for that. GW alone is a bad reason.

Destroyed ecologies, extinct species, uncontrolled erosion, uncontrolled pollution, these are good reasons.

Delvo
2009-Mar-21, 02:34 AM
Stopping deforestation, on the other hand, may cost trillions lessShow me a cheap method of genocide, because that's the only way to do that. People are just not going to stop doing this as long as they exist.


Destroyed ecologies, extinct species, uncontrolled erosion, uncontrolled pollution, these are good reasons.That one alone is going to cause tremendous decrease of human population within the next few centuries as food production declines, which will cause more deforestation as we take more of the little remaining "good" land for farming, which will then also erode or become nutrient-depleted and salty due to the farming, which will cause more continuing decrease of human population...

We're going to end up with a much smaller worldwide population, not fed by agriculture but using biological resources in a way that has at least some things in common with hunting-gathering. The only question is whether we will get there voluntarily before ruining most or all of the world's remaining natural lands, or involuntarily after (in our futile attempt to keep the population up) ruining every place where anything can grow.

Ronald Brak
2009-Mar-21, 03:29 AM
The figures are a bit off.

So let's talk about what's meant by a "leading roll." It's not 4% compared to the next leading cause that's, say, 3.5% of the problem. It's 20% of all carbon emissions, regardless of source (this includes natural wildfires), and more than 50% of all global transportation carbon emissions, combined.

Deforestation results in about 20% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This doesn't include natural wildfires. Including CO2 emitted in refining and transporting fuel it is about the same amount as global transportation emissions. Reforestation removes about half of the CO2 emitted from deforestation, so overall global deforestation accounts for about 10% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.


- pay an extra $10,000 for a slightly more efficient vehicle

Here the more fuel efficient vehicles are generally cheaper than less fuel efficient ones. I bought one of the cheapest new cars I could and it is over 50% more fuel efficient than the average Australian car.


- have corporate America (or any country) spend billions of dollars to cut carbon emissions by 10%

As wind power is now competitive with natural gas in price and efficiency measures can pay for themselves, the first 10% cut in CO2 can come quite cheaply and when the benefits from improved air quality are included it may be free.


- fund expensive sea-goo (algae) farms as a way of fixing CO2...

Many companies are trying to develop carbon neutral biofuels for transport using algae. This could reduce the amount of oil burned, but it remains to see how practical it is. It's generally not carbon negative.


If stopping deforestation is the cheapest way to reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions then it definitely makes sense to do it first. I also thinks it makes more sense for Germany to build its wind turbines in countries where it is windy and its solar panels in countries that are sunny. It would be helpful if we could organize a way so that Germany and other countries could be rewarded according to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions they reduce globally instead of just in their own locality. However, rich countries generally focus on their own carbon emissions which mostly come from burning fossil fuels. Also their CO2 emissions per head are generally much higher than the poorer tropical nations where most deforestation occurs. But fortunately we are now taking steps towards creating a global accord on greenhouse gas emissions.

sarongsong
2009-Mar-21, 05:50 AM
...I can't believe how Fraser's Universe Today thread,..just sat there, one post strong, for 3-1/2 years...:confused:
mugaliens Join Date: Dec 2005
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

Argos
2009-Mar-21, 03:35 PM
Wow.

I can't believe how Fraser's Universe Today thread, How Deforestation in Brazil is Affecting Local Climate (http://www.bautforum.com/universe-today-story-comments/31654-how-deforestation-brazil-affecting-local-climate.html), just sat there, one post strong, for 3-1/2 years,

Old news. Meanwhile, deforestation rates dropped 50% in that 4-year period, thanks to an extraordinary effort by the Brazilians and their government.


I hope the relevance of how effective we can be in terms of halting/reversing AGW by doing just one thing, stopping deforestation, sinks in.

So, basically, the rest of the world can go on riding on SUV´s, crossing the world on jetliners for vacations in Fiji, planting corn to produce ethanol [in a very unefficient process], burning coal to drive their industrial complexes, keeping their unsustainable life styles, while we Brazilains carry the burden of stopping the development of the savanah [and not the Rain Forest - this is an important distinction that the world seems to ignore with their shallow reading of popular press headlines] with serious consequences for our economic development. Does not seem fair. Some solution must be found. How about paying Brazil [and more importanty, the poor nations of Africa and Asia] for the Rain forest services?

I point out that Brazil is a leader in environmental conservation, with most of its energy generated in hydroelectric plants and successful programs of alternative fuels [like ethanol from sugar cane yielding an 8:1 EROI, which we use since 1979 to fuel our cars]. The rest of the world must do more, before pointing fingers at us.

sarongsong
2009-Mar-21, 07:14 PM
...deforestation rates dropped 50% in that 4-year period, thanks to an extraordinary effort by the Brazilians and their government...:clap:
March 20, 2009
...The Amazon's indigenous groups have won a major victory with Brazil's Supreme Court upholding the integrity of a vast [17,000 square kilometre] native reserve...
aljazeera.net (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/03/2009320143655413809.html)

mugaliens
2009-Mar-23, 01:35 AM
Old news. Meanwhile, deforestation rates dropped 50% in that 4-year period, thanks to an extraordinary effort by the Brazilians and their government.

That's good news!


So, basically, the rest of the world can go on...

Of course not. But the facts do put things into perspective...


The rest of the world must do more, before pointing fingers at us.

Sorry - wasn't pointing fingers at Brazil (that came from the article). Rather, my point was both to put things into perspective, as well as to provide a more plausible explanation of recent warming than tailpipe emissions. Deforestation is a double-whammy - it adds CO2 while robbing CO2-fixing capability.

Ronald Brak
2009-Mar-23, 11:48 AM
Mature rainforests generally aren't carbon sinks. CO2 released by by repiration and decay usually pretty much equals CO2 absorbed. But regrowing forests where they were cut down will lock up carbon from the atmosphere.

Argos
2009-Mar-23, 02:57 PM
Sorry - wasn't pointing fingers at Brazil (that came from the article). Rather, my point was both to put things into perspective, as well as to provide a more plausible explanation of recent warming than tailpipe emissions. Deforestation is a double-whammy - it adds CO2 while robbing CO2-fixing capability.

Ok, Mugs, I wasn´t blaming the finger-pointing on you.

The news Sarangsong links reflects a real disaster [although it shows the Brazilian government good will on the Rain Forest issues]. That news means that the Indian nations [~500.000 people] of the extreme north of the country will have complete autonomy rights over a territory bigger than Portugal and Switzerland combined, on the border of a complicated region. That´s a threat to Brazilian sovereignty, and educated Brazilains from the south [like me] are against such a move. It´s a victory for NGO´s and a defeat for the Brazilians.

My opinion is that the natives should be integrated in the developed world.

And Ronald Braks is obviously right about the limited ability of the rain forest to function as the "lung of the world". The sugar cane for fuel program is more effective in that respect, because bio mass is grown continually, and that´s what helps fighting CO2 concentration.

Delvo
2009-Mar-23, 11:19 PM
Mature rainforests generally aren't carbon sinks.They are reservoirs, though; whatever's in them at any given moment isn't floating around in the air.

Trakar
2009-Mar-24, 04:29 AM
(...) And Ronald Braks is obviously right about the limited ability of the rain forest to function as the "lung of the world". The sugar cane for fuel program is more effective in that respect, because bio mass is grown continually, and that´s what helps fighting CO2 concentration.

Only if you whack it down and bury it deeply instead of converting it to alcohol and then burning it in open-cycle combustion engines. Yes, Ethanol is carbon neutral, and the more of it that is used the less petroleum will be used to fill its role, but at best its a "jogging in place" situation (on its own) or a slight, barely measurable slowing in the growth of the use of petroleum (in a more complete picture). And slashing rain forest to produce unsustainable crop lands to use for fuel production is no long-term gain for the planet or Brazil.

...nothing personal...just my rant for the day

Argos
2009-Mar-24, 03:04 PM
And slashing rain forest to produce unsustainable crop lands to use for fuel production is no long-term gain for the planet or Brazil.


Everybody knows that the equatorial climate is not suitable for sugar cane crops. To say that the rain forest is being slashed for ethanol crops is dishonest or ignorant.

Maha Vailo
2009-Mar-24, 08:36 PM
OK folks, what do you suggest would be a solution to this crisis that would please almost everyone and allow us to maintain some semblance of a modern society? What, for example, would be the best way for one person to help (aside from planting trees in their backyard)?

Less arguing, more solutions, that's what I'd like to see.

- Maha Vailo

Stroller
2009-Mar-24, 10:35 PM
Mature rainforests generally aren't carbon sinks. CO2 released by by repiration and decay usually pretty much equals CO2 absorbed. But regrowing forests where they were cut down will lock up carbon from the atmosphere.
I think this belief is now being reassessed in the light of this research. (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/press_releases/current09/rainforest.htm)

Stroller
2009-Mar-24, 10:45 PM
My opinion is that the natives should be integrated in the developed world.



What is their opinion?

Noclevername
2009-Mar-25, 03:30 AM
My turn?

In that case, if this is just an AGW thread, I say, burn more down. Lets get rid of all those pesky trees.

On the other hand, if you want to open this to a general discussion on how deforestation is just plain freakin wrong, I can go for that. GW alone is a bad reason.

Destroyed ecologies, extinct species, uncontrolled erosion, uncontrolled pollution, these are good reasons.


AGW is part and parcel of those things. One form of damage is as relevant as any other on that list.

Or are you making an argument that AGW somehow "doesn't happen"?

Trakar
2009-Mar-25, 05:29 AM
Everybody knows that the equatorial climate is not suitable for sugar cane crops. To say that the rain forest is being slashed for ethanol crops is dishonest or ignorant.

1) By what stretch do you equate rainforest as only pertaining to equitorial regions? I live in a rainforest and I live in the pacific northwest of the US.

2) actually sugarcane can and does grow quite well in tropical as well as subtropical conditions

3) though I start out by talking about sugarcane produced ethanol (in reference to your comments about it being a carbon sink) in the sentence you take objection to I say: "And slashing rain forest to produce unsustainable crop lands to use for fuel production is no long-term gain for the planet or Brazil." While it may be true that rainforest is not currently being directly cleared for sugar cane plantations, expanding production is pushing small farmers into more marginal areas, including the cerrado grassland and rainforests of the Amazon basin. It is well known that Amazon basin rainforest lands in Brasil are being converted into a variety of crop and rangelands. Though most of the Soya is currently being made into animal feed, it is a major world source of soy oil and much of this is being converted to biodiesel.

4) Please don't get me wrong I really don't mind biofuels and think that they have an important role to play in helping to meet our future needs, I just don't think they can be a part of a sustainable solution if we cut into food crop production, or convert vast swaths of essential and irretrievable naturally diverse habitat to meet that need (whether the clearing is a direct or indirect result of the process).

The Brazilian Biodiesel Program
http://www.2007amsterdamconference.org/Downloads/AC2007_Soares.pdf (http://www.2007amsterdamconference.org/Downloads/AC2007_Soares.pdf)

Brazil soy industry prepares for biodiesel war with Argentina
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/brazil-soy-industryprepares-biodiesel-war/story.aspx?guid=%7B25F4E372-55D8-41D4-9E71-92A4031C0088%7D

Biofuels driving destruction of Brazilian cerrado
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0821-cerrado.html

Trakar
2009-Mar-25, 05:59 AM
OK folks, what do you suggest would be a solution to this crisis that would please almost everyone and allow us to maintain some semblance of a modern society? What, for example, would be the best way for one person to help (aside from planting trees in their backyard)?

Less arguing, more solutions, that's what I'd like to see.

- Maha Vailo

There is an awful lot of the problem that can be taken care of at the community/state (building and remodelling codes, rental property standards, etc.,) level. Mandating energy efficiency, and smart technologies and materials into all new construction and remodels.

We need an almost complete overhaul of local, regional and national energy grids.

Most energy companies are currently more distributors rather than producers anyway, so we need national standards that allow individuals to produce and sell their own power back to their local distributor at a rate that is equitable for what they pay for energy that they might draw from the local grid.

Good, reliable local, regional and national mass transit and cargo systems would be nice, but they are a tough sell in the US. For the most part I think most people would rather live next door to a nuclear power plant than give up their cars and have to ride buses and trains everywhere they wanted to go. Mass transit isn't a complete answer in the US, but it can become a bigger part of the solution than it currently is with some effort and a bit of redesign.

But these and most of the rest are bigger picture issues, your primary question was what can you as an individual do? The main things are all the little things everyone keeps saying, conserve energy where possible, recycle/reuse as much as possible, plant a garden, inform yourself, take an interest in finding out more about both the big and little aspects of the issue, and vote both with your ballot and your wallet. Buy local, buy energy efficient, drive less, talk to your family, friends and neighbors share what you learn and learn what they have to share. There are a lot of big things that need to happen, but none of them will happen until after a lot of people have already gotten very involved and comfortable doing all the little things that we each individually need to do in order to resolve these issues.

Argos
2009-Mar-25, 02:03 PM
What is their opinion?

They´re as divided as the rest of us. See the on Sarangsong link some posts above? It´s about land demarcation for Natives. It occurs that at least 50% of them feel ok with the production system in effect, and want to belong in a modern society. A thorny issue not to be taken lightly.

Argos
2009-Mar-25, 02:18 PM
1) By what stretch do you equate rainforest as only pertaining to equitorial regions? I live in a rainforest and I live in the pacific northwest of the US.

I´m referring to the equatorial rain forest.



2) actually sugarcane can and does grow quite well in tropical as well as subtropical conditions

Nobody is disputing this assertion. In fact, that´s my point. Sugar cane needs a dry season, something you don´t find in the Amazon.


While it may be true that rainforest is not currently being directly cleared for sugar cane plantations, expanding production is pushing small farmers into more marginal areas, including the cerrado grassland and rainforests of the Amazon basin. It is well known that Amazon basin rainforest lands in Brasil are being converted into a variety of crop and rangelands. Though most of the Soya is currently being made into animal feed, it is a major world source of soy oil and much of this is being converted to biodiesel.

Well, the horse has left the barn already. The Amazon is home for 20,000,000 people. An economic system is inevitable.


Please don't get me wrong I really don't mind biofuels and think that they have an important role to play in helping to meet our future needs, I just don't think they can be a part of a sustainable solution if we cut into food crop production (...) or convert vast swaths of essential and irretrievable naturally diverse habitat to meet that need (whether the clearing is a direct or indirect result of the process).


We don´t. Ninety per cent of the Brazilain ethanol is produced in the tropical and subtropical Eastern and Southeasthern Brazil, since the 17th century. Eighty per cent of the production [crops and destilling] is concentrated in the highly industrialized State of São Paulo, which is the Brazilain power house. Sugar Cane in the equatorial Rain forest is an illusion created by misinformed [or dishonest] NGO´s.



Biofuels driving destruction of Brazilian cerrado
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0821-cerrado.html

I admit the Cerrado is suffering a bit, but I thought we were talking about the Rain Forest, the so-called 'lung of the world'. The Cerrado [a type of savanna] is useless in that sense [in winter it resembles a desert]. Anyway, Brazil needs its lands, and the Brazilian people has the right to explore them.

Maha Vailo
2009-Mar-26, 11:36 AM
So, how can we get energy efficiency, smart designs, overhauls of the electrical grid, and mass transit mandated in a local/state community level? I'm not too good at letter-writing, if that's what you mean.

The rest of the stuff I can do (aside from buying local, which I'm skeptical about: just what exactly is meant by "local", and what if you don't live in the right climate?), but I'd love to know how to do it on a shoestring. My family's budget is extremely tight.

- Maha Vailo

Stroller
2009-Mar-26, 12:33 PM
Anyway, Brazil needs its lands, and the Brazilian people has the right to explore them.
I fully agree with that statement. However, I think it might be a good idea if the Brazilian people explored ways of living in harmony with the natural rainforest they find when they get there. Maybe the indigenous forest people could teach them a few things in this regard, and that might be a good way to solve the thorny problem you mentioned yesterday. A meeting of cultures, rather than the displacement of one of them.

A.DIM
2009-Mar-26, 12:50 PM
OK folks, what do you suggest would be a solution to this crisis that would please almost everyone and allow us to maintain some semblance of a modern society? What, for example, would be the best way for one person to help (aside from planting trees in their backyard)?

Quit eating fast food?

A.DIM
2009-Mar-26, 12:53 PM
So, how can we get energy efficiency, smart designs, overhauls of the electrical grid, and mass transit mandated in a local/state community level? I'm not too good at letter-writing, if that's what you mean.

The rest of the stuff I can do (aside from buying local, which I'm skeptical about: just what exactly is meant by "local", and what if you don't live in the right climate?), but I'd love to know how to do it on a shoestring. My family's budget is extremely tight.

- Maha Vailo

Got a yard?

Grow a garden; $40 in seeds can save hundreds in purchases.

Argos
2009-Mar-26, 03:01 PM
I fully agree with that statement. However, I think it might be a good idea if the Brazilian people explored ways of living in harmony with the natural rainforest they find when they get there.

Well, they´re already there. As I said, the population of the Amazonian States is 20,000,000 people [a few thousands - maybe 50,000 - of them are really native and only one or two million declare themselves as Indian, though they are completely acculturated - and though the majority of them are of mixed-blood]. That´s 2/3 of Canada´s population. There´s a 'de facto' social-economic reality [including two big metropolitan areas - the cities of Manaus and Belém], and it won´t go away by wishful thinking.


Maybe the indigenous forest people could teach them a few things in this regard, and that might be a good way to solve the thorny problem you mentioned yesterday. A meeting of cultures, rather than the displacement of one of them.

The native culture was already destroyed by the middle of the 19th century. Interestingly enough, the number of Indians is increasing on account of people [of various ethnicities, including urban people] declaring themselves as such, to have access to the rights that affirmative action policies grant them.

And as I said, the remaining contingent of Indians is divided about the expelling of the white man, and the closure of the agro-business in some areas deemed as Indian lands [See [b]Sarongsong´s link somewhere above], because they were making a decent living, making money, creating wealth. Good for the NGO´s, bad for the Indians and the Brazilian economy.

About the environment, the whole planet, and not only Brazilians must make efforts [we´re doing our part with hydroelectric plants, flex fuel cars, bio-fuels, the highest rate of recycling on the planet, prevention of deforestation despite misinformed opinions on the contrary]. What about China stopping to pollute its rivers, which ultimately affects the sea and the phytoplankton, the real "lung" of the planet? What about the affluent societies of North America and Europe taking on more spartan, sustainable, life styles?

Maha Vailo
2009-Mar-26, 04:47 PM
Well, Argos, what, in your opinion would be a "sustainable" lifestyle you would suggest for the West? Bear in mind that Western Europe already uses a lot of mass transit, scooters, renewable and nuclear energy, etc. etc.

"Sustainable" does not necessarily mean "spartan".

- Maha Vailo

Argos
2009-Mar-26, 05:26 PM
Well, Argos, what, in your opinion would be a "sustainable" lifestyle you would suggest for the West?


Frankly I´m not sure. But it goes along the lines of rethinking suburban culture, slashing conspicous consumption. To show my fairness, I would include Brazil in that effort, because the country can´t be considered a poor nation anymore, and our own middle class has its homework to do.


"Sustainable" does not necessarily mean "spartan"

Some people would disagree on this, as you strip them of their amenities.

At this point I must note that I´m not a radical environmentalist. I just don´t buy the idea that my country [me included] has to make unreasonable sacrifices because NGO´s and the media with an agenda have misinformed [and dishonest] opinions about the way things are managed down here. There´s a lot of things to be fixed across the world before Brazil becomes a reasonable target for the radical environmentalist anger.

Stroller
2009-Mar-26, 08:21 PM
Well, they´re already there. As I said, the population of the Amazonian States is 20,000,000 people [a few thousands - maybe 50,000 - of them are really native and one or two million declare themselves as Indian, though they are completely acculturated, and the majority of them are of mixed-blood]. That´s 2/3 of Canada´s population. There´s a 'de facto' social-economic reality [including two big metropolitan areas - the cities of Manaus and Belém], and it won´t go away by wishful thinking.



The native culture was already destroyed by the middle of the 19th century. Interestingly enough, the number of Indians is increasing on account of people [of various ethnicities, including urban people] declaring themselves as such, to access the rights that affirmative action policies grant them.

And as I said, the remaining contingent of Indians are divided about the expelling of the white man, and the closure of the agro-business in some areas deemed as Indian lands [See [b]Sarongsong´s link somewhere above], because they were making a decent living, making money, creating wealth. Good for the NGO´s, bad for the Indians and the Brazilian economy.

About the environment, the whole planet, and not only Brazilians must make efforts [we´re doing our part with hydroelectric plants, flex fuel cars, bio-fuels, the highest rate of recycling on the planet, prevention of deforestation despite misinformed opinions on the contrary]. What about China stopping to pollute its rivers, which ultimately affects the sea and the phytoplankton, the real "lung" of the planet? What about the affluent societies of North America and Europe taking on more spartan, sustainable, life styles?

Bravo and well said Argos. I already lead a spartan lifestyle, gave up the car, grow vegetables, use solar power. Thanks for your informative post, and Viva Brazil!

Maha Vailo
2009-Mar-26, 11:14 PM
I've always wanted to grow my own veggies (but something keeps chewing them up), and solar power is way too expensive for my budget, but I doubt I'll ever give up the car. The local mass transit doesn't go everywhere I want to be everywhen I want to go. Fix that and then we'll talk.

- Maha Vailo

Argos
2009-Mar-27, 01:53 PM
I forgot to address this comment.


Dudes and dudesses! That's 6,000 to 60,000 times more cost effective! What the heck are we doing! Why are we spinning our wheels and plunking down thousands of dollars, each, and each year, towards efforts which are 60,000 times less cost-effective? Especially when "new deficit estimates [are] worse than expected (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090320/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_budget)..."

How do you enforce this cost-effectiveness out of the US jurisdiction?

Trakar
2009-Mar-31, 01:51 PM
...I admit the Cerrado is suffering a bit, but I thought we were talking about the Rain Forest, the so-called 'lung of the world'. The Cerrado [a type of savanna] is useless in that sense [in winter it resembles a desert]. Anyway, Brazil needs its lands, and the Brazilian people has the right to explore them.

While I'm generally very big on national soveriegnty issues, unfortunately what a nation does within its borders is not limited in impact to within its borders. I do know that if Brazil (or the US) does not voluntarily and by the inherent wisdom of its own peoples address such issues from within, they will eventually be imposed from without. The current course is unsustainable and the ultimate results are untenable for nations or individuals worldwide.

Argos
2009-Mar-31, 02:12 PM
Well, It would be fun seeing a foreign power trying to prevent us from using 80% of our territory. You really must be kidding.

Trakar
2009-Mar-31, 03:38 PM
Well, It would be fun seeing a foreign power trying to prevent us from using 80% of our territory. You really must be kidding.

The "foriegn power" may well be natural factors, and whether we are talking concerted global economic sanctions/extreme tariffs upon exports and imports, etc., or natural conditions that result in the die-off of large fractions of the population, the end result is the same. Again, however, I don't think anyone but you has used terms that imply "preventing us from using 80% of our territory." What has been said, is that the current manner of usage is both unsustainable and untenable in the long term.

Argos
2009-Mar-31, 03:53 PM
What has been said, is that the current manner of usage is both unsustainable and untenable in the long term.

Do you have any convincing scientific argument about the usefulness of the savanna as a carbon sequester?

And it seems you think we are the only culprits of the world´s environmental woes, no? It´s just not reasonable to say that. We, who have a clean energy matrix, who have the automobile fleet running on renewable fuels [sugar cane, you know, is different than corn, and it yields an 8:1 EROI]...

The thing you said above about sovereignty is what makes hard liners in the military down here nervous. To use a cliche, it generates more heat than light.

Trakar
2009-Apr-01, 04:42 AM
Do you have any convincing scientific argument about the usefulness of the savanna as a carbon sequester?.

Nowhere have I limited my discussions to any specific area or region, but have rather stated that in general, the current practices of land exploitation are unsustainable and resulting in an untenable situation.


And it seems you think we are the only culprits of the world´s environmental woes, no? It´s just not reasonable to say that. We, who have a clean energy matrix, who have the automobile fleet running on renewable fuels [sugar cane, you know, is different than corn, and it yields an 8:1 EROI]....

Actually, I have repeatedly included the US in this equation and consideration, and in actuality there isn't a nation that I'm aware of that isn't guilty of the same types of exploitive practices. Practically, however, the nations with the most landmass (Canada, Russia, US China, Australian and yes, Brasil, among others) will actually be put upon to take more immediate and extreme actions than the rest due to the large areas of vital biome that exist within their borders.


The thing you said above about sovereignty is what makes hard liners in the military down here nervous. To use a cliche, it generates more heat than light.

The thing I said about soveregnty?
The hardliners in your military get nervous when someone says that they are generally very big about respecting nation sovergnty and self-determination?

Or do they get nervous about the potential of being held accountable and responsible for decisions and actions that their nation takes and how those choices impact their own citizenry and other nations and populations around the globe?

<que the panzer-general background music/>
To tell you the truth some of the hardliners in my nation's military are already drawing up contingency plans for the acquisition and distribution of global resources and reserves essential to our nation's national security and prosperity if conditions become environmentally dire. That is the type of situation that should send cold shivers down the spines of more than just your nation's military hardliners!

Hopefully such will always remain strangelovian excercises of fantasy, but if nothing else, the last eight years have demonstrated just how thin the veneer of civilization is even among the arguably most technologically advanced nations of the planet. The last time my nation was in economic straits of the current degree, we had an enormously popular Democratic president guide us into Global war in order to gain the free hand to do what was necessary to fix our economy and to establish clear dominance over rivals, hopefully we've figured out better ways to deal with the current twin major issues of climate change and economic instability. </end music>

Seriously, no one is threatening your nation or its soveriegnty. But as the old adage in my country states: "my right to throw my fist ends at the tip of my neighbor's nose."

IOW, I can do what I like with my own body (nation), so long as (and here's the part so many often omit) what I do doesn't harm anyone else. Your sovergnty is respected precisely until it infringes upon the quality of life and livelihood of others.

Argos
2009-Apr-01, 01:50 PM
To tell you the truth some of the hardliners in my nation's military are already drawing up contingency plans for the acquisition and distribution of global resources and reserves essential to our nation's national security and prosperity if conditions become environmentally dire.

If I understand well, you´re talking about invading other countries, right? Well, the military are paid to make contingency plans. It should be clear to anyone that a country like Brazil is unconquerable. It cannot be defeated in a conventional war, and the Amazon theater is not exactly the Disneyland.

To tone down our bellicose terminology, it must be noted that Brazil has a long tradition of diplomacy, which is natural for a country that has 20 bordering neighbors. All our problems have been solved by sitting at a table [though I note that we´ve never been defeated in an armed conflict]. We have also a traditional friendship with the US and Europe. The problems that affect this discussion [both the real and imaginary] will certainly be solved nice and easy via conversation.

I also urge you guys to take a deeper look at the geography of this part of the world, since I´ve detected, by the vocabulary employed, that there are severe misconceptions about what is the equatorial rain forest and what is the savanna, two completely different biomas and climate regimes. We cannot have a serious discussion based on hearsay.

Trakar
2009-Apr-06, 02:04 PM
I also urge you guys to take a deeper look at the geography of this part of the world, since I´ve detected, by the vocabulary employed, that there are severe misconceptions about what is the equatorial rain forest and what is the savanna, two completely different biomas and climate regimes. We cannot have a serious discussion based on hearsay.

I would also urge you to lay aside the apparent misconceptions about what has been suggested here, so far. There are several potential responses to comments presented thus far, and so far you haven't went down any of the paths that suggest that all nations, need to pursue a course of land and resource management that considers not just one set of immediate concerns of a limited segment of their own citizenry, but which also takes into consideration the effects of their decisions and actions upon the rest of the planet's population and future generations.

So far, you seem to be into mischaracterizing other's arguments but you really haven't offered much in the way offering any better alternatives or even much of a defense of current practices, either would be welcome and refreshing.

Argos
2009-Apr-06, 05:41 PM
So far, you seem to be into mischaracterizing other's arguments but you really haven't offered much in the way offering any better alternatives or even much of a defense of current practices, either would be welcome and refreshing.

I did present a few examples of what´s being made in Brazil, to oppose the the very basic premise of this thread, which is seizing the Amazon, and stripping Brazil of its sovereingty over it. I repeat that you are not prepared to discuss, as you obviosly are not properly informed about the biomas involved in the discussion [ie. confusing the rain forest with the cerrado - the Brazilian savanna].

Trakar
2009-Apr-06, 08:34 PM
I did present a few examples of what´s being made in Brazil, to oppose the the very basic premise of this thread, which is seizing the Amazon, and stripping Brazil of its sovereingty over it. I repeat that you are not prepared to discuss, as you obviosly are not properly informed about the biomas involved in the discussion [ie. confusing the rain forest with the cerrado - the Brazilian savanna].

Please indicate where I have dones so. In general, my discussion has little to do with any particular biome, and is (and has been) directed toward composite land/resource utilization. Particularly as land use tends to be a zero-sum balance, not a situation where new lands are created out of thin air. As for the Amazon's rainforests it is unlikely that they will survive the century regardless of who has immediate charge of their territories, that is already pretty much a done deal. Rather hard to have a rainforest without the rain.

mugaliens
2009-Apr-06, 10:36 PM
The local mass transit doesn't go everywhere I want to be everywhen I want to go. Fix that and then we'll talk.

Well, we could always talk about taking it whenever it does go where you want to be when you want to be there... If it doesn't, or if it choose not to take it at all, then by all means drive!

Stroller - excellent link (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/press_releases/current09/rainforest.htm)on how much CO2 the rainforests fix each year...

BigDon
2009-Apr-10, 04:54 AM
As for the Amazon's rainforests it is unlikely that they will survive the century regardless of who has immediate charge of their territories, that is already pretty much a done deal. Rather hard to have a rainforest without the rain.

Where in the Amazon has the rainfall been slacking off?

Trakar
2009-Apr-10, 09:30 PM
Where in the Amazon has the rainfall been slacking off?

If I'm not mistaken, they are actually currently (averages over the last seven years or so), a bit up from their longer-term traditional averages. My statements are in regards to the longer term forward projections, which seem to indicate that even modest temperature changes could result in drastic changes to the Amazon Basin region.

Amazon Basin climate under global warming: the role of the sea surface temperature - http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1498/1753.full (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1498/1753.full)

Global warming - not el Nino - drove severe Amazon drought in 2005 - http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0220-marengo_amazon.html (http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0220-marengo_amazon.html)

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/the-Amazon.html

loglo
2009-Apr-11, 05:53 AM
Since I had never heard of the Cerrado before I took Argos' advice and did a bit of reading on the Amazon Basin and found this interesting quote (http://www.openecosource.org/renewable-energy/land-clearing-and-biofuel-carbon-debt) (my bold):-
"Our analyses suggest that biofuels, if produced on converted land, could, for long periods of time, be much greater net emitters of greenhouse gases than the fossil fuels that they typically displace. All but two, sugarcane ethanol and soybean biodiesel on Cerrado, would generate greater GHG emissions for at least half a century, with several forms of biofuel production from land conversion doing so for
centuries. At least for current or developing biofuel technologies, any strategy to reduce GHG emissions that causes land conversion from native ecosystems to cropland is likely to be counterproductive."

There are some graphs missing from this version of the paper though. It would be interesting to see the results stacked up against the other types of land they looked at but they are locked up in Science. (Vol. 319. no. 5867, pp. 1235 - 1238)

mugaliens
2009-Apr-11, 07:08 AM
That's quite interesting, loglo!

One of these days I'm going to write a book on the supreme arrogance of mankind...

loglo
2009-Apr-11, 07:15 AM
That's quite interesting, loglo!

One of these days I'm going to write a book on the supreme arrogance of mankind...

Tell me when the paperback version comes out, not sure if I'll be able to lift a hardback copy. :)

BigDon
2009-Apr-11, 07:17 AM
If I'm not mistaken, they are actually currently (averages over the last seven years or so), a bit up from their longer-term traditional averages. My statements are in regards to the longer term forward projections, which seem to indicate that even modest temperature changes could result in drastic changes to the Amazon Basin region.

Amazon Basin climate under global warming: the role of the sea surface temperature - http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1498/1753.full (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1498/1753.full)

Global warming - not el Nino - drove severe Amazon drought in 2005 - http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0220-marengo_amazon.html (http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0220-marengo_amazon.html)

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/the-Amazon.html


Whenever I see stuff posted by the "Let's make Algore (AKA the Goricle) richer than Croesus" crowd I think back to the horrible hurricane season that never ways. Right now in my state I have a most "severe drought on record" that has all the reservoirs inundated up past thier tree lines.

People are freaking lying when reality isn't matching the predictions.

Argos, you rock on.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-14, 07:35 PM
. . . All but two, sugarcane ethanol and soybean biodiesel on Cerrado, would generate greater GHG emissions for at least half a century, . . ..
It's lucky sugarcane alcohol on the Cerrado was the solution chosen then:)

Trakar
2009-Apr-17, 03:37 AM
Whenever I see stuff posted by the "Let's make Algore (AKA the Goricle) richer than Croesus" crowd I think back to the horrible hurricane season that never ways. Right now in my state I have a most "severe drought on record" that has all the reservoirs inundated up past thier tree lines.

People are freaking lying when reality isn't matching the predictions.

Argos, you rock on.

Indeed, I've never heard of the "crowd" you speak of, but there definitely seems to be a lot of lying going on.