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David Suzuki Discusses the War on Climate Scientists

Climate

Everybody ought to be doing their part to fight climate change, but instead some are focusing their energy on taking down the folks providing the research on our planet's future.

From laughter to vehemence, it's clear that the war on climate scientists and their research is on. In the second part of his conversation with Bill Moyers, Dr. David Suzuki says climate deniers are engaging in a good ol' game of "kill the messenger."

“This is a very effective thing that we know has been done by the tobacco industry [and] it’s being done by the fossil fuel industry… You attack a person on the basis of their trustworthiness, their ulterior motives, anything to get away from dealing with the issues,” the scientist, author and philanthropist said.

He said it's not unlike the attacks he has experienced from Canada's prime minister, corporations and others over the years for speaking his mind about the government and the fossil fuel industry.

“The fossil fuel industry knows that fossil fuel use is at the heart of climate change,” Suzuki said. “But the problem is their job as CEOs and executives is to make money for their shareholders, and they’ll do it.”

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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