LIKE California, much of Brazil is gripped by one of the worst droughts in its history. Huge reservoirs are bone dry and water has been rationed in São Paulo, a megacity of 20 million people; in Rio; and in many other places.
Drought is usually thought of as a natural disaster beyond human control. But as researchers peer deeper into the Earth’s changing bioclimate — the vastly complex global interplay between living organisms and climatic forces — they are better appreciating the crucial role that deforestation plays.
Cutting down forests releases stored carbon dioxide, which traps heat and contributes to atmospheric warming. But forests also affect climate in other ways, by absorbing more solar energy than grasslands, for example, or releasing vast amounts of water vapor. Many experts believe that deforestation is taking place on such a large scale, especially in South America, that it has already significantly altered the world’s climate — even though its dynamics are not well understood. www.nytimes.com
GR: We need to start cutting our populations. Nature cannot survive our impact. Who would want to survive without nature? Can’t we adopt, help raise the sister’s child, play with the neighbor’s child? Why do people claim that reproduction is a right? It’s the reason for our spreading cities and roads, and our massive release of CO2, pesticides, and other pollutants.