Is the Earth burning?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

We're having to get used to hearing that the Earth is "burning" as it becomes a favoured phrase of those wishing to draw attention to the implications of rapid climate change.

Thanks, then, to NAEE for alerting us back in September to the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the UK reporting (TV + online + newspapers) of the fires in the Amazon.  Put simply, the Amazon fires this year are fewer than those in Africa, and fires, globally, are fewer in numbers than in many recent years.

In fact according to NASA such fires are becoming fewer, and the rate of deforestation is slowing down: a 2018 UN report on the world's forests concluded that the net loss of forest area over the last 5 years was ~0.08% per year.  This contrasts with ~0.18% in the 1990s.

Problems remain, however, as an article in Nature says that the global tree cover has increased by some 7% relative to 1982 levels.  Mostly, however, it seems, such re-afforestation is mainly in richer, economically-developed countries.

However, the tendency remains in some parts of the press and on social media just to report the bad news with little leavening with counterfacts.  We like this, apparently ...

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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