The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned
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The Amazon isn’t “Burning” – It’s Being Burned


good morning John so I’ve seen a bunch of tweets for the last few days I’m pretty angry which you know makes it exactly like every other few days in the last few years but in this specific case it was tweets like these the Amazon rainforest is seeing a record number of wildfires large swaths of the Amazon rainforest are burning fires are raging the Amazon region is burning now mostly this comes down to like a problem I have with reality which is that there’s just too much of it and thus it is very hard to be aware of all of it and so we end up with things that are incomplete making their way into our brains but if there’s anything we should be aware of it’s this cuz you know future of the planet at stake and stuff like that so why do I not like these tweets well because here in America where I live usually if there’s a wildfire it was an accident and sometimes fires are okay because fires are a normal part of our ecosystems in America and sometimes they were done on purpose by like criminals who the government wants to arrest so when you read these headlines as an American you think oh no a fire happened I hope someone’s trying to put it out but in the Amazon fire is not a natural part of the ecosystem and because of that many trees in the rain forest can’t survive what we would in the u.s. consider a trivial burn these fires are not natural they are intentional this isn’t intentional like it’s arson it’s intentional like this land is more economically productive when we graze cattle on it than when it’s the rain forest so the headline here shouldn’t be large swaths of the Amazon are burning it should be large swaths of the Amazon are being burned now sometimes in the dry season which we’re in right now there are natural wildfires in the Amazon and in fact the number of natural wildfires appears to be increasing because here’s a thing about the Amazon and other rainforests with plenty of water and plenty of sunlight the ecosystem is really good at using everything that comes its way that means that most of the water that falls is immediately released back into the atmosphere by this tremendous amount of vegetation photosynthesis gets done when water evaporates out of plants a single tree can evaporate more than 50 thousand gallons of water per year and once that water is back in the atmosphere it falls again rainforests don’t just thrive on rain they make rain so when there’s less rainforest there’s less rain and more fires that’s not the real reason there’s so many more fires this year it’s not hotter than normal it’s not drier than normal the thing that changed in Brazil is who the President did the moment he was elected I air Belson ro rolled back environmental protections in Brazil earlier this month he fired the head of Brazil’s national space and Research Institute after he defended data showing that deforestation had grown 40 percent in the last year Bolson ro says that figure is wrong and the deforestation is down that’s a lie when asked why there are so many fires this year bull Sonora said that maybe environmental organizations are setting them to make him look bad that is also a lie but this isn’t just like pure malice and like love of destruction there’s an ideology here there’s the economic part of it which is just that there’s a lot of value in the rainforest and no one’s making any money off of it if it’s just being rainforests and then there’s sort of an ideological thing of like the civilizing interest of man we must bring our superior way of life to this wild jungle racist manifest destiny kind of stuff so to make the money you encourage legal logging and farming you reduce inspections reduce regulations and you ignore illegal land grabs where forest is slashed and burned and then seeded with grass and sold the ranchers there’s also another piece of the ideology here that I think is really interesting reality is that most of the good that the Amazon does is for everyone it produces oxygen for everyone it traps co2 for everyone it preserves biodiversity for the whole world but Brazil isn’t getting paid for any of that stuff far-right perspectives ultra nationalist perspectives don’t really allow for stuff that helps everyone it goes against this ideology that the nation is for the nation only and here’s where this gets super wild the fact that the rest of the world cares so much about the Amazon rainforest isn’t perceived as a reason to protect it it’s perceived by these people as a threat it’s like a claim on their sovereignty it’s it’s thought of as internationalisation after all like legitimately what right do i as an American I have to tell Brazil what to do with its rainforests in America we have DeForest did everything we can so our interest in protecting it actually becomes a reason for some people to want to destroy if you live in a world where everything is a zero-sum game why should anyone else benefit from our property and then there’s the reality that the Amazon is not as we sometimes imagine it empty there are many indigenous people other people who live and work in the forest and who rely on the forest for their livelihoods but those people are often not seen as real Brazilians by these nationalists nationalism is an inherently exclusionary ideology and that’s why fascism nationalism and racism so often walk together here’s the thing of course if the if the Amazon rainforest was a hundred percent pasture land and soybeans that would not just be a disaster for the whole world it would be even more of a disaster for Brazil itself see how hot it is in northern Africa that’s actually farther away from the equator than Brazil is Brazil receives more solar energy than Saudi Arabia but because of the rain forest it is much more cool this is the effect of that evapotranspiration the rain forest makes rain if there is less of it it is clear that it would be hotter and drier and these man-made fires or even the natural ones will spread on their own leading to a feedback loop that could end the Amazon and 70% of the GDP of South America is made in places where Amazon rainforest rain falls even here in America again internationalization for you much of the rain that falls here is a vapo transpired in the Amazon rainforest and an important note when I talk about rain falling really what I’m talking about is agriculture I’m talking about food we eat that rain there’s a lot of talk about tipping points and I think it’s important to note that there are always many tipping points along the path to something being completely destroyed but yes there is a time when less and less water falls in the rain forests and fires happen more and more often and there is a time where we lose most if not all of the Amazon and it’s why we have science to warn us about stuff like this so that we can take action and it’s why we have human rights to protect people whose land is their land whose life is their light but it is all too easy to deny stuff like this when you have more of an allegiance to your ideology than you do to the truth and that is something that I like to try and say to myself constant it’s why we need to call a lie a lie no matter who says it it’s why we need to say that the rainforest is not burning it is being burned John I’ll see you on Tuesday obviously this is a big and complicated thing and this is a short video so I’ve linked to a bunch of other resources the article in the intercept from a few months ago that basically predicted all of this was my favorite resource for this but there are lots of other smart people talking about it and it seems like people are having a better idea of what exactly is going on and why it’s happening so and I guess thanks for caring about this because because that’s a big deal and it is the only way we have slowed this in the past

100 Comments

  • vlogbrothers

    CORRECTIONS (Because of course)
    1. I just said the widely-shared fact that the Amazon produces 20% of the world's oxygen without checking. This is not correct, and I should have checked it. The question of where the oxygen comes from is a complicated and interesting one and, frankly, I'd like to make a whole video about it. A good estimate is that the Amazon produces about 6% of the world's oxygen. Which still seems like an important amount.

    2. The cat I show in the video is a jaguarundi, that's not a correction…just something lot of people asked about.

    3. There's a lack of clarity in statistics right now, this isn't because scientists are bad, it's because the dry season is on-going and there are more fires every day and existing fires grow. So when we say "there are 88% more fires than last year* that doesn't necessarily mean "88% more land has been burned" nor is that number set in stone. Figuring out exact numbers from this year's fire season will take a long time because, like, the Amazon is very big and humans have to draw shapes on satellite maps.

  • Earth girl 地球女孩

    Our global ideology is money that's why you live in the system where you have to fight for your rights. The system is set up the way to ensure the rights of the monetary kings, not yours. Talking about rights in a broken system is like talking about science with Donald Trump.

  • guy3780

    On the topic of the oxygen that is produced, it’s about 6% of what if produced around the world yearly, but it’s a net 0 system. Everything produced within the rainforest is used in respiration of the oxygen breathers that live there. In addition, our entire supply of oxygen is in such immensely high surplus, every oxygen producer on earth could suddenly die and we would be fine for a very very long time. Now there would be other huge problems with that, but the oxygen is not one of them.

    I just want to clear that misconception because the real problem here is the loss of biodiversity and displacing of peoples already living in some areas. This is an incredibly complex topic that I have seen hyper simplified into “they are destroying the most important place for us to breath!”

    For reading: google the Forbes article “Why Everything They Say About The Amazon, Including That ‘It’s The Lungs Of The World,’ Is Wrong”

  • kelly rinaldi

    Plant trees in your own country. Ask your farmers to turn their land into forest. The People of Brazil and Peru need their land for farming and catteling. Leave them alone.

  • Jay Fontenot

    Capitalism can’t solve climate crisis. As long as private interests are valued over the wellbeing of the people, the earth will continue to be poisoned, and its people, exploited. “Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism.”

  • Wilk Morski

    You got the point dude. You deforested your country and now the world is tutoring Brasil what they should and shouldn't do. Brasil got the highest percentage of forests from all those loudest "world saviours". You want to save the planet. Start growing forests. But I guess it's easier to just to blame Bolonsario.

  • Maria Paula Ayala

    ALSO YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE AMAZON AS IF IT ONLY BELONGS TO BRAZIL, BOLIVIA HOLDS A BIG PART OF THE AMAZON AS WELL, AND IT’S BEING REALLY AFFECTED BY THE FIRES

  • efsimoesrj

    I am Brazilian and would like to point out some facts:

    1. The problem with the fires in amazon is similar to what we have been experiencing from years. The difference now: the president.

    2. There is a battle of ideology, yes. But there is a commercial battle as well. For instance, EU is entering in an agreement with Mercosul. This agreement will open EU to Brazilian products, including agriculture. Thats the main reason why Macron (France president) is against Bolsonaro.

    3. Previous governments had been lenient with all sorts of illegalities and bad use of public money. For example, this article describes vast amount of protected land that the indians sold to foreing companies:

    http://g1.globo.com/natureza/noticia/2012/03/funai-considera-nulas-vendas-de-terra-indigena-para-estrangeiros.html

  • LoardRV5

    Hi, good video thank you for raising awareness and clarifying the reasons. Just one thing, you mention the far right as the ideology behind this. That's wrong, I know why you would think that but the true is that the dar left in south America has been doing similar things in the past decades, check the environmental conflicts in Ecuador with Correa, in Bolivia with Morales and in Venezuela with Maduro. The populist a corrupt governments are the problem no matter of they are right or left and in south america its actually the left that has done more harm. I could happily provide you with the facts if needed. Cheers 🙂

  • Time The Destroyer

    “Scientists studying satellite image data from the fires in the Amazon rain forest said that most of the fires are burning on agricultural land where the forest had already been cleared “ – New York Times

  • Rosalina Ayala

    The reason Bolsanaro wants to let Brazil's agribusiness clear more land is that China will buy more soybeans and beef cattle from Brazil now that the USA is not selling them any.In his bid to increase Brazil's market share of products to China he is doing what any conservative capitalist would do.Remember that rich donors everywhere are the ones who elect people like Bolsanaro and Trump. It is hypocritical to point out what Brazil is doing when we just let Trump open up the Tongas rainforest in Alaska to logging.We will now turn old growth forest 17 million acres of it into toilet paper. and studs.

  • João lima

    People dont care about the truth, here in Brazil politics are treated like soccer, everyone chooses their ideological team and blind themselves to anything wrong said team does. They only focus on hating other ideologies instead of focusing on progress. Our current president, Bolsonaro, was elected based only on his hate speechs, he avoided debates, made fun of any serious question asked to him, the guy is clearly not fit to be president, and yet people elected him purely based on his ideology. Unfortunately it has been a long time since Brazil had a capacitated president, Dilma wasnt good either, her speechs were always a joke, the woman didnt even know how to talk properly. It astounds me that people that are so stupid can achieve presidence, our country deserves better.

  • ivModzxx

    Going vegan will help stop deforestation and climate change…yet u say nothing about it like "oh here is the problem, but here is no solution."

  • Giampiero Frischi

    Nobody is saying anithing abaut the massive rainforest destruction and mercury due to gold strip mining by maduro the cubans and the chinese… by the way the fires apear to have started in bolivia

  • Jean Hawaii

    Some some more reality to complete some of this story…Mother nature has a way of enriching itself w fires set by lightning. NASA says that the fires this year are no more or worse than they have every year in the Amazon. Mountain top mining releases rich supplies of new carbon and creates abundant new life. Traitor 44 refused to allow forest management. Regulations disallowed mainenance of the the underbrush because why? Was he ignorant? Was he was too stingy to let Americans have any wood? Most lumber yards closed. When fires did happen they raged out of control and it wa truly disastrous. The Paris agreement would have totally transferred what remained of America's wealth to countries that did not correct their pollution levels. Have you looked at the improvement of our air quality? Do you know that the chemtrails are gone in America (summer 2019)? The "Green Deal" is… take all your green and put it in our pockets. A few mogals, oil billionaires, a coal magnate who just dropped out of the race, Tom Steyer. It all does nothing. The numbers were fudged in the "Hocky Stick" theory of warming which turned out to be totally false. Remember? All their conversations were leaked and we all read them.

    Save your energy for 5 g and for plastic trash crap, needles in the inner cities, humans dying in the streets in conditions that cause the plague. Worship the creator not the creation. Peace-

  • André de Castro

    Thanks for bringing the right culprit to the conversation. And best of luck with Jair’s fans, they will tend to deny how huge the problem is even having absolutely no evidence of what they say.

  • Rodrigo A. Morales

    Really nice video, I think it brings light to the drama built around the situation. Also, about the intentional fires and the political interests at play, I think its worthy to mention that Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, is also to be blamed for these fires. He has permitted these for the very reasons you point out in the video, however he hasn't been shown on media because Bolivia has a smaller part of the Amazonas in it. The fires have spread from Bolivia to Brazil. Plus, we tend to associate the Amazonas with Brazil, while the rainforest really is various countries.

  • Nelson de Alcantara Cruz Junior

    As a brazilian, I thank you for adressing this topic. And you have legitimacy to tell Brazil what to do with its rainforest because Bolsonaro saluted the America flag in a military way hahah

  • Pessimistic Pantomath

    Forget that it's one of the most beautiful and biodiverse places on the planet, which to me sounds beneficial enough… What's the point of all that money if you're not going to be able to use it because you're dead? Don't you see why we don't want you to set it on fire? It is harming you just as much as it is us. That guy is a total idiot. Environmental organisations would definitely not set it on fire because that destroys their entire reason of existing.

  • SpikeMoney

    My home town empty out our forest up to the 1940s. The moisture here is so high now becasue most of the original pines are missing

  • dadigitechman

    This is the real cause of global warming. Not just the Amazon but deforestation world wide. Dont believe me? Sit tight.

  • PortableSistem

    the amount of miss information in this video is absurd, talking about lies when you are the one talking about a subject that you clearly dont know about your souces are probaly as bad as the news you show on the beggining of the video

  • Alexis Williams

    Whether you agree with Hank or not, corrections or not, do something you KNOW helps. You KNOW we need trees for a healthy ecosystem. That map of US deforestation should be a whole conversation – we are all at fault. You don’t need all the stats for that. Just help a LITTLE, dangit.

    You don’t have to go all vegan to help. You CAN eat more vegetables more often to replace some meats. That helps. Your company can reduce paper waste or incentivize customers to reuse containers purchased from your industry. Dedicate 10% – or 2% – of your coal or oil profits to renewable energy initiatives. Fund a better eco-legacy for your children and grands; it will feel a lot better than hoarding your wealth to make the top 1%. You can convert part of your refinery to alternative fuel production. Use one or two less paper towels each day. Plant a sapling tree. Just listen and read more and argue less. Politicians, I’m sick of your arguing. Put your money and campaign funding to holding businesses accountable for deforesting and disenfranchising and concretizing land that can no longer breathe. Soon enough neither will we. Stop funding misinformation; basic science should be enough but people argue against it so we can feel comfortable as we boil. Yes, that’s a reference to An Inconvenient Truth. Shout out to Al Gore who called on everyone to look at this issue regardless of political affiliation. Make this issue about whoever you care for most, not about your enemy.

  • Md. Mostafa Khan

    "Now you see me?" At least Brazil got world's attention now. USA cares about Saudi Arabia because it provides fuel for machines, but who cares for Brazil when they are also technically providing Oxyzen for those fuels' combustion and also for all life on the planet.

  • Cheburushka

    I agree with the farmers. The planet is going to die anyway soon and noone is doing anything about it, even though they were told 50 years ago. Might aswell live the last days on earth a little richer.
    They are talking in germany today about forbidding flights under 400 km and introducing a tax on carbon. 2019 btw. Highest developed nation btw.

  • Authentic Wildness

    Hi everyone! I hope you are having a great day! If this video helped you, you may enjoy some of my videos about spiritual healing, and internal guidance. I am a new channel and I really really appreciate any of your support <3 I have worked really hard on my videos so I would really appreciate your feedback! Please check out my latest video, and let me know what you think. Right now, it is so important for people to hear messages of love and healing during such crises, and I hope I can help others with my wisdom. Lots of love to you all!

  • zarah doan

    what do you think of this?

    https://news.mongabay.com/2019/08/michael-shellenbergers-sloppy-forbes-diatribe-on-amazon-fires-commentary/?fbclid=IwAR1Y8ulrD6IGD8u-IMfJ3tmRAF_0TPf_k554NEYFVCJOBsf2VOVUAYbbxCU

  • Rhemity

    nationalism is a disaster of an ideology,
    socalism is a disaster of an ideology,
    capitalism is a disaster of an ideology,

    a case can be made for any of these,

  • Kellyana Douglass

    This is why people need to eat a plant based diet. You should encourage people to do this hank. Your reach is significant.

  • Sam Bacon

    Spain is currently hot and dry over most of the country, when it used to be very heavily forested. Would you like to know what happened to Spain’s forests? They sank to the bottom of the English Channel in 1588.

  • Monae Ray

    When the 3 branches of "sustainability" is collapsing at a faster rate than ever before…. Lets all see that doomsday clock hit 12 shall we…

  • daveythehand

    While i disagree with your analysis of what the 'dire' results of rainforest being turned into farmland once it reaches a tipping point would be, i do agree that truth is missing from this equation and that people need not be sheep when consuming information about our world. Too many believe falsely that the Amazon is on fire naturally, much like the Notre Dame burning was thought to be 'an accident.'

    Truth is not valued anymore; how can we even properly debate about the best results for particular regions of our planet, when we cannot even agree on defining the actual problem to begin with in a transparent manner?

  • ジミナ

    please don't burn the amazon, this is for your own good brazil ;-; and it's for a simple reason…
    YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT A DESERT IS LIKE, BRAZIL. YOU WON'T LIKE IT WHEN IT DOESN'T RAIN ANYMORE!
    Don't play with fire, kids!

  • The Truth is Out There

    Now the American president has rolled back restrictions on petroleum companies release of methane. We are doomed. Methane is a worse green-house gas than co2.

  • Trader LiAzevedo

    Eu sou brasileira. E seria interessante que você buscasse compreender melhor o ecossistema da região amazônica. Nesta época do ano, a temperatura pode ultrapassar mais de 40*C e sim fogo por vezes é espontâneo na região, bem como ocorre de indígenas causarem focos de incêndio nas reservas indígenas. Procure um vídeo de uma indígena que vive na região amazônica, chamada Ysani Kalapalo.

    Ademais, de fato, há suspeita de o incêndio tenha sido criminoso/proposital.
    Talvez ONG’s internacionais?!
    Interessadas em nossas riquezas naturais, que convenhamos, são uma ameaça a França.

    O interesse do presidente francês quanto a este assunto é puramente político e econômico.

  • Robert Bigelow

    NASA has confirmed there is no more fire then normal ,as has the space station, Come on people get off it. Look at all sides before you start on these things.

  • Jack Howard

    It's a bit unfair to blame Brazil for this just because they have a forest that contributes a lot of the world's oxygen, while we don't even make our own forests and instead chopped them down for houses or industries

  • felix mendez

    Why Bolsanaro and his rancher friends are so adamant at destroying as much of the Amazonian rainforest as they acan…? Well, this is the answer.

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2019/july/brazil-once-again-becomes-the-world-s-largest-beef-exporter/

    So, the best way for everyone around the world to deal with this problem is with a blanket boycott of Brazilian beef and all other products the result of the destruction of the Amazonas, esp. soja and timber.

    But Braizilians must do their part too because they are already the most affected with this disaster. They put this POS in power, or they just looked the other way, and the monster is now poisoning them and their children, slowly choking them to death while he and his rancher friends laugh all the way to the bank. Revolutions and overthrows of tyrants have been made in History for FAR LESS than that.

  • Dani Du_Soleil

    Bolsonaro and all of the local farmers contributing to the burning of the rainforest should be jailed immediately, once the Amazon is burned off to no return they'll be at fault for causing a more rapid death of the planet. Hope they're happy with themselves, humanity is going to last less because of them 😤

  • Henrique

    Maaan, this boy has no idea what he’s talking about. He informed himself through media. His “research” is googling “amazon fire” “Bolsonaro Amazon fire” “Bolsonaro destroy Amazon”.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone say so many wrong things in just 7 minutes and 27 seconds.

  • Henrique

    THE INDIGENOUS ARE ISOLATED BY THE LEFTISTS, RIGHT WING WANTS TO INCORPORATE THEM IN THE SOCIETY, BUT SOME ECO-CRAZY PEOPLE JUST WANT THEM AS TRIBALS!

  • Ariyana Love with TLB

    And this is how they burn the forest down 👇

    H.R. 6725 – United States-Israel Directed Energy Cooperation Act.

  • Bella Bella

    (🙏) Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.[a] 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

    Not even the deepest bunkers will be safe.

  • Ed C

    The Amazon is not self-contained. It is not a biosphere. All the rain and the entire globe comes from ocean. Most importantly everything is fine. I flew from the East Coast to California and your map of the United States lacking trees is completely in accurate. I saw nothing but trees from one side of the United States to the other.

  • Midori Sato

    While there are certainly right-wing biases at play, I think Hank neglects the role he is currently playing in people's apathy. The boy who cried "Fascist!" has desensitized people to everything that's going on. This isn't complicity; people can no longer trust the criticism. There's too much misinformation, chaos, and ideological bias for people to sift through. All the while, the left wing continues to act like the enlightened French aristocracy, who held disdain for the very same working class they claim to love and support. Is it any wonder nobody will listen?

    If you really want to change what's going on, you have to learn from your opponents and understand the economic forces at play. I highly recommend Henry George's "Progress and Poverty", which illustrates how land is at the heart of every economic issue. George's philosophy unites socialist ideals with libertarian ethics and pragmatism, and could bring the two sides together. Fix the relationship to land, and you fix nearly everything else.

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