The World Is Burning
Sunnuntai 25.8.2019 klo 11:36 - Mikko Nikinmaa
Massive forest fires rage in Amazonas, mainly Brazil, in Indonesia, in Siberia, in Alaska, in Canary Islands…Probably Portugal, Spain, California and Australia are next in line. In several of the Amazonian fires it is clear that they are intentionally started to clear the unproductive rainforest to economically productive agricultural land to produce especially soya beans (and to less extent cattle and different crops). The present President Bolsonaro has said that the international concern about Brazilian wildfires is to slow down the development of Brazilian economy. This is another example of how the nationalistic agenda surpasses what is needed to maintain a healthy earth. In this nationalistic rant it is forgotten that the Amazonian rainforest actually keeps the temperatures down and generates rain that is needed worldwide to maintain agricultural production. When the forest is cut, first the drier parts of the area turn into savanna and with time into desert. One has earlier had forest in a large part of Sahara. To maintain a healthy earth one thus needs a change from nationalistic thinking to globalism, but not the globalism that has earlier been mainly thought of as economic globalism. Instead we need environmental globalism.
The huge difference between the two has become apparent in the reaction of many European politicians to the negotiated trade deal with South American countries (as the most important partner Brazil) and European Union. As far as I have understood, the agreement has the provision that it may not be accepted by EU, if the Paris Climate Accord is not followed (mainly by South American countries). The intentional ignition of the forest fires is certainly an action against the Climate Accord. Despite this, so far only France and Ireland have indicated that ratifying the trade deal should be stopped.
Overall, the presently burning forest fires release so huge amount of carbon dioxide that they surpass the yearly emissions of at least all of Scandinavia but soon most of Europe. They contribute to the vicious circle – an increase of carbon dioxide level increases the temperature, which increases droughts and the likelihood of new, uncontrollable fires.
What we need is a change in attitudes, also in economic circles and among state leaders. Nationalism and nation states should be history just as economic globalism. Instead we need environmental globalism. If we approach the climate and other environmental problems this way, we can all live quite comfortably in the world. The technological solutions are there, if we can just stop being selfish and nationalistic, and stop the approach that economy and environmental thinking are opposites. There is no economy without livable environment.