NO ONE can have missed the fact that the main talking point of the G7’s meeting in Biarritz was the leaders’ righteous (some might call it ‘woke’) alarm over the burning Amazon – the story of the forest fires that has swept the world.
It is not just the BBC that’s been in a state of panic about the devastation. Outlets right and left have been consumed by the fires which they describe as some of the most intense in a decade.
Activists have been quick to blame ‘the anti-environment rhetoric’ of Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, and have accused him of wanting the Amazon cleared for commercial activity, something he denies but the mass media appears to believe. In turn Bolsonaro has suggested that NGOs may have set fires to discredit him. Under the rising pressure of international criticism he’s committed to sending in the Brazilian army to combat the fires.
In the heat built up over this apparent climate catastrophe, few appear to have stopped to question the accuracy of the initial reporting or the meaning of the original Nasa pictures. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, however, have drawn our attention to a number of articles which suggest that the MSM may have been stoking the flames of panic.
Here are some examples:
This is not say that deforestation is not problematic but it is a different problem, and the ‘lungs of the earth’ are still breathing, writes Ronald Bailey, a science correspondent at Reason.
Even the New York Times reports: ‘Natural fires in the Amazon are rare, and the majority of these fires were set by farmers preparing Amazon-adjacent farmland for next year’s crops and pasture. Much of the land that is burning was not old-growth rain forest, but land that had already been cleared of trees and set for agricultural use.’
As Ronald Bailey says, ‘a picture takes a thousand words to explain’ and to date the public have been given a lot more dramatic pictures than explanation.