Quantcast

Emergency Call for Brazil’s Rainforests

World Wildlife Fund Global

The Amazon is home to the largest remaining rainforest in the world. But the Brazilian government (backed by powerful agribusiness interests) is poised to open up vast new areas to agriculture and cattle ranching by changing its long-standing forest law.

The countdown has begun. Brazil is about to hand over millions of acres for legal clearance. This is in addition to a planned amnesty for millions of acres of already illegally cleared forest. This would reward the criminal destruction of forest, instead of forcing it to be reforested.

Rainforest covering 175 million acres could be lost or not restored—an area nearly as big as Germany, Austria and Italy combined. The consequences will be felt all over the world—25 billion additional tons of CO2 could be released—equal to more than 50 years of the current emissions of the United Kingdom. The law would also result in the unprecedented destruction of Brazil's wildlife.

What’s worse, the new version of the law has been rushed through Congress with an alarming disregard for input from scientists, who’ve repeatedly shown that it isn’t necessary to cut more forest to increase Brazil’s economic growth.

Now the fate of the forests rests with President Dilma Rousseff, who could still choose to veto some or all of the proposed changes. In Brazil, more than 1.5 million people have already signed a petition urging President Rousseff to act. Please add your voice to theirs and send an email to the president. Only she can prevent the catastrophe.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less
Climate Week NYC

On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.

Read More Show Less

By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans

Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.

Read More Show Less