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Jon Stewart: Climate Change to Blame for Allergies Getting Worse Each Year

Climate

Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart takes time to discuss pollen and seasonal allergies, poking fun at the media for its seemingly alarmist coverage of pollen in recent years. Major news networks were calling this spring a "pollen tsunami," whereas last year, they chose to call it a "pollen vortex."

Every year for the last 10 years, news outlets have said it's "the worst allergy season on record." Stewart asks, "How can every year be the worst? What is it, the Knicks," mocking the team's abysmal record. Stewart then launches into a rant on bad media coverage, only to be interrupted by Mike Tringale of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, who explains that the media isn't actually overhyping the issue—allergies really are getting worse every year and climate change is to blame.

Check out the clip to find out why:

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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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