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Amazon Burning? – well maybe not so much Statistics indicate this is an average year for wildfires, so why the above-average hysteria?

Catte Black

One of many misattributed photos doing the rounds. This is from another fire entirely.

Today on Twitter OffG stepped into the current panic-inferno and thick forest of screaming hashtags that is the “Amazon Forest Fire Crisis.” The results were thought-provoking.

The mainstream media message is very simple. There are “record” numbers of forest fires currently in the Amazon basin. It’s mostly Bolsonaro’s fault. The G7 – soon to be assembling – needs to act. (Business Insider and The Guardian are also both very keen we send money to some rainforest charities)

Now, I’m not a fan of Bolsonaro personally, and that goes for all of us at OffG. I’m equally very supportive of preserving the rain forests and wild spaces of the earth. So, the broad sweep of the message is something I’m inclined to be sympathetic toward.

But something isn’t sitting right. This is the mainstream media in full and united chorus, flooding the news space with this one single message. This means there’s a fairly major agenda, and it’s unlikely to be saving the Amazon for all the little future babies.

So, we thought we’d take a deeper look and tweeted this:

Three people immediately unfollowed us. A couple of others responded. Here’s one:

We replied to RP with the following:

RP’s hostility only increased, and they retweeted the same basic claim again, apparently in the belief it was new and revelatory and an answer to our questions:

In fairness, we also got some positive response, most notably from the always rational Robin Monotti Graziadei. We recommend taking time to read the whole thread.

Someone else then sent us a link to this article at Science20.com

In this article you can find a quote from the Earth Observatory , which up until August 22 read as follows:

As of August 16, 2019, satellite observations indicated that total fire activity in the Amazon basin was slightly below average in comparison to the past 15 years. Though activity has been above average in Amazonas and to a lesser extent in Rondônia, it has been below average in Mato Grosso and Pará, according to the Global Fire Emissions Database”

(SIDEBAR: this text was changed on Aug 22 and now reads, significantly “As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years.”, although the data on which this conclusion is based has not apparently changed. You can check the archived version for proof of the edit.)

On the same site (science20.com) you can also find this graph of “cumulative monthly fire data” for the Amazon basin (the original is at from GlobalFireData.org):

This clearly indicates that the current amount of burning in the Amazon basin in 2019 (the green line) is, as NASA originally said,somewhat below the average, and well below the previous extremes for the region.

This will be why, when you look close, the media articles are artfully talking about the number of fires, rather than the area of burning. There may well be more fires (or maybe that’s just been made up like so much else), but that’s a statistic without meaning if the total area covered is actually less than a fifteen-year average.

Now, we’re not about to take NASA as a final authority on this any more than any other single source. But given the amount of emphasis being put by the screaming media on how “unprecedented” the current burning is, and how deceptive this might turn out to be, it seemed important to us that this data was at least discussed. So we tweeted a ref to it.

This was one response:

Here is another. Visit our timeline for more.

It turns out the messy truth behind the blaring headlines is – yes, the Amazon is burning but not as much as in many recent times, and while Bolsonaro is not a nice man accusing him of burning the world down is probably a bit premature.

To be fair a few people shared or retweeted this information. But they were very few. Most simply ignored it, intent, like Greenwald and Media Lens, Naomi Klein et al in joining chorus with the shrieking mainstream doom-sirens.

Make a note of that #GreenNewDeal hashtag. We’ll be seeing a lot of that in the next week or so.

Before the inevitable “oh so you don’t care if all the possums DIE” type comments BTL, let’s make it ultra-clear, this isn’t about disparaging environmentalism or claiming it’s fine for the Amazon to burn (though actually it is, up to a point, and is an important part of the forest’s life cycle).

It’s about the fact so many of us – even many who think of themselves as sophisticated analysts – are still as much in the grip of authoritarian story-telling as our ancestors were when they heard tales of heaven and hell and believed them.

Thank goodness for a few lone voices of sanity, like Robin again:

Hmmm…is that Green New Deal the reason why this apparently fairly average year of burning has been morphed by the power of lies into the latest doomsday meme? Why exactly would so many corporate news outlets be so keen to sell us that?

Oh who cares, right? It’s hard. Memes are easy. Did you know Amazon produces 20% of our Oxygen? No, because it doesn’t. But that’s not stopping everyone repeating it.

A few cyberwarfare-generated hashtags, a few (sometimes misattributed) images and there is a mass belief-system unfolding before our eyes. Uncritical, rabid, rancid with fear, demanding solutions.

Just in time for the G7 summit – where I’m sure a Green New Deal “solution” will emerge right on cue, to universal cheers and a few more hashtags handed down to the proles to be spread about in the name of “standing up to the 1%”.

We have to do better, guys, or it’s over. We’re done.

OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

Filed under: environment, featured, latest, Other Media

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OffG co-founding editor. Writer. Opinionated polemicist.

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Loverat
Loverat

I see the flak around this article continues. Off G are 100% right on this. Amazing that some in the more informed media can’t see the main point made here and seek to misrepresent it. Funny, previously when observing online debates the two most divisive subjects and where many leave their brains behind are religion and global warming etc. So, I half expected a reaction. It just shows you how a lack of critical thinking, ideology and not reading properly happens in the usually enlightening circles such as Medialens. As for this article, for me it was crystal clear.

flaxgirl

I think it’s an absolute given that wherever the media is in a frenzy about something the facts will be distorted or the narrative, completely false and as Catte bravely points out in her article, the raging Amazon bushfires is yet another example. It’s good to know about the Amazon’s mythical level of contribution to our oxygen supply and other myths. Not a situation though, unfortunately, which can result in you feeling a massive sigh of relief because of all the other obvious problems related to the Amazon and eco-destruction in general. That’s the thing – even when you know the fear-mongering narrative is false, it doesn’t make you feel any better really.

mark
mark

The Global Warming Hoax is just a device to transfer unimaginable amounts of money from ordinary people in western countries to those folks at Goldman Sachs.

flaxgirl

If you don’t accept that massive amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere are causing global warming and the climate change associated with it, mark, OK, but to call it a hoax makes no sense. I simply don’t understand it. The power elite are so dragging their heels on action on climate change and only give lip service to it. It’s the scientists who are calling it out, not the power elite. They just pretend – and often not even – the Heartland Institute, for example. Even if we hypothesise that scientists are wrong why would they try to hoax us? The moment I heard of global warming I had no hesitation in accepting it – at least as a likelihood – as I remembered from school learning that as a trace gas in the atmosphere, CO2 kept the earth from being a frozen ball. Thus learning that we’re pumping 9 gigatonnes of the stuff annually into the atmosphere and that CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a very long time, meaning a massive cumulative effect, it would seem likely that we are causing global warming. The “trace” phenomenon is very prevalent on earth in all biological systems. We need absolutely tiny amounts of iron to keep us alive but lots of iron will kill us. It’s the same with CO2 in the atmosphere. When we recognise the “trace” phenomenon, arguments such as “CO2 is plant food” are exposed as ridiculous. No one says mammals need iron so lets pump gallons of the stuff into them.

There is no one on this site who recognises more events and things as hoaxes than I do – often to great hostility from others – but two things I recognise as real are the moon landings and anthropogenic global warming and climate change.

Derek
Derek

“Even if we hypothesise that scientists are wrong why would they try to hoax us?”

You don’t actually believe scientists are honest and not above lying to receive funding?
Google “Climate Gate” and “Hide the Decline” should make you think twice.

https://notrickszone.com/2017/08/31/scientists-expose-data-manipulation-hide-the-decline-and-the-post-1940s-hockey-stick-temperature-myth/

The science is not settled full stop!

If you want to believe CO2 is evil then its up to you, Patrick Moore co founder of Green peace explains here but i doubt you will listen;
https://youtu.be/RkdbSxyXftc?t=83

No Net Warming – Its a scam full stop.

flaxgirl

I don’t believe CO2 is evil anymore than I believe iron is. It’s essential as is iron – but in the right place at the right amount. I know about “hide the decline” but this is an isolated instance of relatively minor fraudulence and cannot possibly in any shape or form undermine the whole body of work that shows we are affecting the climate.

I would listen but I’ve listened enough and I have no reason to doubt AGW any more than I have reason to doubt that the three buildings at the WTC came down by controlled demolition. I’ve done sufficient research to make up my mind and unless you can tell me in your own words in a paragraph or so why I should doubt it I’m not looking further.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“If you want to believe CO2 is evil then its up to you, Patrick Moore co founder of Green peace explains here [link to ‘Praeger University’]”

PragerU, short for Prager University, is an American non-profit organization that creates videos on various political, economic and philosophical topics from a conservative or right-wing perspective […] PragerU is not a university, nor is it an academic institution. It does not hold classes, and does not grant certifications or diplomas and is not accredited by any recognized body […] PragerU was founded in 2009 by conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager and radio producer and screenwriter Allen Estrin, in order to present conservative views and to offset what Prager regards as the undermining of college education by the left […] PragerU videos defend the Electoral College, arguing that “pure democracies do not work” and that the Electoral College thwarts voter fraud. Still other videos argue that the scientific consensus on climate change is wrong, there is no police discrimination toward African-Americans, and the gender pay gap does not exist.
–Wikipedia

You clicks your click and you takes your lick.

mark
mark

CO2 is not a problem. It is essential to all life. You could double the amount of CO2 and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference.
There is a more general issue of the growth in population, and the pressure on land, water and resources.
Population of Ethiopia 47 million in 1994, 100 million today.
Pakistan now with a population 5 times larger than at independence.
Wartime population of Egypt 10 million, Now 85 million, and another 10 million Egyptians living abroad.
And all those people have a standard of living and consumer goods that simply weren’t available before.
The same applies in Europe. The “car population” of the Hamburg area was 10,000 in 1938, 500,000 in 1988. I don’t know what it is now.
This is the real issue.
400 million Chinese during the war. 1.4 billion now, with an incomparably higher standard of living.
The “power elite” are pushing this global warming garbage. They are the ones who are bankrolling Little Greta and her chums. Why would Soros do that? Really? They are licking their lips at the prospect of making trillions out of Global Warming Hot Air Certificates. Al Gore trousered a cool $500 million out of the Chicago Climate Exchange, and that’s just chicken feed. Plus the chance to extract trillions more in Macron Style Green Taxes from the Deplorables and the Green Taliban revelling in the chance to push people around.
A few years ago “all the scientists” were saying a new Ice Age was imminent. We needed to dump millions of tons of soot in the Arctic to absorb sunlight and warm things up a bit. Now we need to put giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight and cool things down a bit.
If people say 2 diametrically opposed things on different occasions, that means one of 2 things. (1) They didn’t know what they were talking about on the first occasion. (2) They didn’t know what they were talking about on the 2nd occasion. Or (3) they didn’t know what they were talking about before and they still don’t know what they’re talking about.
And tens of thousands of distinguished scientists and engineers have called out the Global Warming Hoax for what it is. They have done so at great cost to themselves, loss of tenure and loss of funding and personal attacks. This is a political concensus, NOT a scientific consensus. Many scientists now know that they have to bend the knee at the altar of the Global Warming Hoax to avoid trouble.

flaxgirl

Just to say, mark, the power elite are not pushing global warming. They are behind the Heartland Institute. “CO2 is essential to all life,” is a strawman argument. Everyone agrees it is just as iron is – but in the right place and right amount. I’ve argued enough about climate change – I’ve said my piece.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“A few years ago “all the scientists” were saying a new Ice Age was imminent. We needed to dump millions of tons of soot in the Arctic to absorb sunlight and warm things up a bit. Now we need to put giant mirrors in space to reflect sunlight and cool things down a bit.”

Why don’t we put up Sooty Mirrors and hand the whole thing off to a hedge fund?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

Don’t want no dirty polar bears…

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin

“The Global Warming Hoax is just a device to transfer unimaginable amounts of money from ordinary people in western countries to those folks at Goldman Sachs.”

It’s not clear if you are conflating the currently apparent Global Warming phenomenon with a Global Warming Hoax, the nature of which you do not specify, being perpetrated by or to the pecuniary advantage of Goldman Sack$ at the expense of ordinary people. Care to elucidate?

bevin
bevin

Informative background stuff from The Intercept’s Ryan Grim:
” After the devastation that began under the military dictatorship and accelerated through the 1970s and ’80s, the rate of deforestation slowed, as a coalition of Indigenous communities and other advocates of sustaining the forest fought back against the encroachment. The progress began turning back in 2014, as political tides shifted right and global commodity prices climbed. Deforestation began to truly spike again after the soft coup that ousted President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party in 2016. The right-wing government that seized power named soy mogul Blairo Maggi, a former governor of Mato Grosso, as minister of agriculture…”
It turns out that the CEO of Blackstone is deeply involved
https://theintercept.com/2019/08/27/amazon-rainforest-fire-blackstone/

vexarb
vexarb

Classic book on AZC in Amazonia. Recommended BTL p’rallel thread in Saker:

Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon : Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.

bevin
bevin

This is from Pepe Escobar’s current Asia Times piece. Escobar recently interviewed Lula in gaol.

“…The real story confirms what Lula said in the interview. On August 10, a group of 70 wealthy farmers, all Bolsonaro voters, organized on WhatsApp a “Day of Fire” in the Altamira region in the vast state of Pará.

“This happens to be the region with the highest number of wildfires in Brazil – infested with aggressive rural developers who are devoted to massive, hardcore deforestation; they’re invested in land occupation and a no-quarter war against landless peasants and small agricultural producers. “Day of Fire” was supposed to support Bolsonaro’s drive to finish off with official monitoring and erase fines over one of the “Bs” of the BBB lobby that elected him (Beef, Bullet, Bible)….”

Jihadi Colin

This is interesting. I do agree that any orchestrated western media hysteria is *always* and *without exception* part of an evil Amerikastani Empire agenda. But I fail to see what would be achieved by demonising Amerikastani lapdog and puppet Jair Bolsonaro. If it were say Lula in power, you’d know immediately why the media campaign is on. But Bolsonaro is owned by the *same* Wall Street that owns Reuters et al, so why the shrieking? Even *if* Bolsonaro is actually deliberately burning down the Amazon, it’s after all Wall Street that will benefit from that.

The only answer I have is that it’s a deflection of attention from somewhere else. I can only speculate on what that might be.

bevin
bevin

You make good points. I think that the answer is that even among some of the most strident critics of the powers that be there is a widespread sense that nothing can be done because, in their imaginations, capitalism is not the real problem.

They pay lip service to the idea of class rule and class society but they sense that behind it all-behind the curtain in- that enemy of bankers- Frank Baum’s Oz is another conspiracy, composed perhaps of Jews, or Communists or the Royal Family or the Skull and Crossbones club (which, in its leisure time, choreographed Mao’s rise to power) or…(fill in).

And so, what is important is not political organisation (because in the end all opposition is controlled opposition) but individual independent critical thinking-“The strongest man” said Ibsen’s Dr Stockman “is he who stands alone.”

In essence many critics of The Establishment agree with its assessment of the idiocy and ineffectiveness of the “sheeple”, as they rather charmingly call the likes of us. They cannot get their heads around the idea that man makes his own history . They are convinced that, as their criticisms demonstrate, they are, like Ugly Dave, ‘above the common run’, superior to the average punter. And, given their inability to effect change, how on earth can they bring themselves to accept the ludicrous idea that the mere masses, the hoi poloi, the TV watching, beer swilling, uneducated people are capable of doing so?
In short the problem is a failure of imagination and a reminder that Pope was right to say that “A little learning is a dangerous thing, drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again…”

WOD
WOD

Maybe to fill the pockets of wwf and others. Lots of ads on fb n’ shit.

Marypeace
Marypeace

Hi:
The issue is not that the fire is average and that other years were more or less. There are a few facts that needs to be taken into consideration, before all of you get into a knot:
1 – Bolsonaro has promised the people that cut the timber for sale and the gold diggers (who use arsenic), that they could go ahead and just cut and cut, and dig and dig. Well he also told the farmers of agri business that they could invade the rain forest and cut. What is burning is the brushes and left overs from the big trees that were cut to be sold on the north america and european and japan’s market.
Now before the agri business that use the land to produce the meat, eaten in the north america, europe, Japan, etc, were going to put the whole place on fire, they sent a message to bolsonare stating: Tomorrow is Fire day!
Bolsonaro did nothing about it. He also cut the money for fire fighting and containment. He stopped IBAMA (the agency responsible for monitoring the forest and illegal cutting. The Minister for the Environment decreed that IBAMA and all the people (volunteers) involved in monitoring for illegal logs that they were not to destroy all the equipment used for the illegal deforestation.
The normal average fire, is always contained. This time, it went beyond the areas of containment because of clear cutting and fire been set for cattle ranch.
The whole set up of fines, destruction of equipment used for illegal logging, was not dane. Taking agri businesses to court was forbidden and the gold diggers were allowed to go in and kill Indigenous people.
I pray you all get to understand that your hamburger and your meat is costing more than just hormones and GMO soja, it is costing our common good: the forest and the planet is being destroyed.
On another issues, 600 canadian mining companies are just waiting for open pit mining as I said above…
We are all in this together. I am here in Brazil right now and I am appalled with the situation on the ground.
In good faith and hoping that my post clarifies a little.

Sborau
Sborau

Perhaps the misplaced over-emphasis on the Amazon burning down (do you really believe these are the lungs of the planet — there are millions of trees all over the place?) — has to do in large part with the leaders realizing a major recession is coming and they need to change the channel.

the pair
the pair

the science20 article has been updated to state basically the opposite of your point. while i do normally like this site, it’s a bit naff to downplay events like these simply because the idiots of the MSM are talking about them (and let’s all remember the CBC and their “this guy in brazil will be great for business so what’s a few million acres of amazon burned and some gays shot dead in the streets” sociopathy after bolsonaro was elected). you can disagree with their supposed agendas without pretending giant fires in an important ecosystem caused by subhuman meat merchants is much ado about nothing.

the gist of this piece seems to be “that giant cancerous tumor growing on your pancreas is growing at the same rate it did last year so what’s all the fuss about?” as opposed to lamenting the presence of the tumor in the first place. if you lose one finger a year it will be steady but you’ll eventually have stumps. i’m assuming that’s enough anatomical metaphors to make the point.

Editor
Admin
Editor

It’s entirely ‘naff’ to appear here from nowhere misrepresenting both this article AND the science20 piece.

1. No. The graphs on that page you link to (without apparently reading) illustrate that 2019 is still an average year, so far at any rate.

2. This article which you comment on (again without apparently reading) at no point makes the claim the fires are unimportant. Since when does ‘importance’ justify exaggeration and lies? The more important a thing is the more important accurate reporting of that thing becomes.

3. Oh…forget it. No 3rd thing. You’re a troll. You’ll just keep trolling crap about tumours and stuff. Carry on.

Roland Spansky
Roland Spansky

i. mass media splurges article about fires in the Amazon being at “record” levels.

ii. Offg: “NASA data refutes these claims, burning is at average or slightly lower, this looks like it could be a G7 scam using a media panic as cover”

iii. commenters (often unknown to post here previously): “how dare you minimize this huge problem, the Amazon is burning at a record rate!”

iv. OffG: “it is not burning at a record rate according to NASA”

v. commenters: “what does the rate matter, it’s burning, and that’s bad, why do you want the Amazon to burn!!!!!!????

Gimme a frickin break

Barovsky

I thought this piece on Voltaire Network is worth adding to the discussion:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article207430.html

vexarb
vexarb
Barovsky

Here’s the opening paras of the Voltaire piece:

ust before the opening of the Biarritz G7, an intense disinformation campaign was launched in the international press with the complicity of French President, Emmanuel Macron and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. It aims to allow Europeans to control the Amazon, its minerals, its pharmaceutical treasures and its precious woods.

Its purpose is to distort the problem before providing a false solution.

In the first place, the campaigners reiterated that the Amazon is “the green lung of the planet,” a fallacious formula that suggests that this forest would absorb most of the CO2 produced on Earth, which is absurd.

Nikos Kapa
OffG
Admin
OffG

Thanks for this link. It’s a much better article than most of the mainstream stuff and does attempt to do some of the finer point analysis (or as some may say “quibbling”) that’s necessary for a proper understanding of this complex subject.

Nikos Kapa
Nikos Kapa

My privilege to read your articles, a breath of fresh air.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

It’s illogical to debate an average annual rate of destruction of the finite forest? It makes no difference overall whether this year is below or above an average deforestation rate or not. The simple fact remains that the finite forest is disappearing.

This invaluable forest must not shrink any further, regardless of the rate of shrinkage. Zero destruction from now on. And that’s completely irrelevant to the G7 and global warming lobbyists, it’s basic common-sense science.

Admin
Admin
Admin

Frank, why have you returned here to post the same off topic remarks you already repeat-posted (with insults directed at the author)two days ago on this thread? You clearly miss the point of this article, and this has been pointed out to you several times. It’s borderline trolling to persist in pretending this article is defending deforestation when it isn’t!

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

Off topic?! No, I referred to the rate of forest destruction and which is core to Catte’s article.

I am NOT saying this article is DEFENDING deforestation, I’m questioning the value of debating how many fires, the rate of deforestation, etc.

Two days ago I provided my opinion on the quality and motives of the article. Apologies if that was insulting, happy for you to remove it.

gardenfiend
gardenfiend

Hey, get with the programme, dude, cos your constant adversarial, off topic comments are boring the s**t out of me, for one. The article is not dealing with this. You are off topic! Why do you even comment here? You seem to hate everything that’s published here. You mainly seem interested in poisoning the well BTL and being perpetually obnoxious. Why don’t you give it a darned rest? Pretty please.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

“Get with programme”? Which one? Agreeing with you?

gardenfiend
gardenfiend

Try common courtesy. Try constructive criticism, rather than endless sniping and sneering. Try reading and understanding the article you’re commenting on.

Look, I’m not trying to launch into a personal slinging match, but I do fear that you’re trying to deliberately poison the well here. And that makes me feel very protective of this site.

There aren’t many places like this and I don’t think you show this place the respect it deserves.

Why do you post here? Is it just to blow smoke up the arse of BigB and other perennial know-alls who lurk BTL, dressing themselves up as authorities, risking nothing while gainsaying everything?

Maybe you can’t help it, like some form of Tourrettes, but you’re definitely crossing the line into crass unpleasantness. I honestly think you hate this site. I really get the impression you do. That’s such a shame.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

You are totally wrong, I love this site, I’ve been here 3 years. However, I don’t agree with all OffG PoV and articles that it puts out. I’m an independent thinker and not one who blindly follows a particular political line. Let me give you a few examples, of Off G topics, if you are interested:

  • GMO – I fully agree with each and every article here. GMO is abhorrent.
  • Salisbury / Skripal – same again, the offical narrative is a fairy story for idiots.
  • Syria / ME – same again, the US/UK/Israel are the ones shit stirring.
  • I’ve posted numerous comments in support of the above subjects. Perhaps you have not been here that long and not seen them?

  • Amazon – no, sorry, there’s nothing more important than focusing on stopping deforestation.
  • Global warming – again, sorry, I cannot accept that destructinve humans are not totally cocking up our planet. Not just warming but vast pollution and other destruction.
  • EU / Brexit – nope, sorry. Brexit is a Neocon coup of Britain. Marxists are being utterly naive if they think they can sneak in with Corbyn and build a utopia. The Yanks will not allow it, Pompeo opely said so. And most Brits now believe the stupid notion that Corbyn is anti-semitic.
  • Your attack on BigB is unwarranted too. You should realise that just because people diasgree with your PoV or a specific article, it does not mean they are against the overall aim and directtion of this site.

    Frank Speaker
    Frank Speaker

    When are we getting the Edit function OffG? It was promised ages ago?
    Let me try and re-post the above correctly…

    You are totally wrong, I love this site, I’ve been here 3 years. However, I don’t agree with all OffG PoV and articles that it puts out. I’m an independent thinker and not one who blindly follows a particular political line. Let me give you a few examples, of Off G topics, if you are interested:

  • GMO – I fully agree with each and every article here. GMO is abhorrent.
  • Salisbury / Skripal – same again, the offical narrative is a fairy story for idiots.
  • Syria / ME – same again, the US/UK/Israel are the ones shit stirring.
  • I’ve posted numerous comments in support of the above subjects. Perhaps you have not been here that long and not seen them?

  • Amazon – no, sorry, there’s nothing more important than focusing on stopping deforestation.
  • Global warming – again, sorry, I cannot accept that destructinve humans are not totally cocking up our planet. Not just warming but vast pollution and other destruction.
  • EU / Brexit – nope, sorry. Brexit is a Neocon coup of Britain. Marxists are being utterly naive if they think they can sneak in with Corbyn and build a utopia. The Yanks will not allow it, Pompeo opely said so. And most Brits now believe the stupid notion that Corbyn is anti-semitic.
  • Your attack on BigB is unwarranted too. You should realise that just because people diasgree with your PoV or a specific article, it does not mean they are against the overall aim and directtion of this site.

    Frank Speaker
    Frank Speaker

    Format still messed up.

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    Don’t worry, I understood your comment just fine. I think I disagree with the truculent, stand-offish attitude of certain people BTL, which fast becomes little more than an adolescent railing against a fictionalised authority figure, and is easily smudged together with genuine trollers who seek to sabotage this site. It’s a real shame if your input is being overshadowed by this. I completely respect your POV and encourage you to create a less truculent niche to express yourself. It would serve you and OffG well.

    All the very best.

    Admin
    Admin
    Admin

    The edit function was introduced when we launched the new site, but stopped working when we installed Cloudflare. We are intending to try and fix this as soon as one of us has the time.

    bevin
    bevin

    “Why do you post here? Is it just to blow smoke up the arse of BigB and other perennial know-alls who lurk BTL, dressing themselves up as authorities, risking nothing while gainsaying everything?

    “Maybe you can’t help it, like some form of Tourrettes, but you’re definitely crossing the line into crass unpleasantness.”

    And you accuse others of being unpleasant? After urging Frank to “Try common courtesy. Try constructive criticism, rather than endless sniping and sneering.”

    Without wishing to be unkind, aren’t you being a little hypocritical? Or do you not have to abide by the rules that you set for others?

    david prince
    david prince

    In fairness the BBC reported in their original reports, that overall throughout the Amazon basin NASA figures showed that it was not above average, but that there were above average numbers of fires in certain regions of Brazil, and further this was attributed to deliberate action. Media hysteria or not this should rightly be a matter of concern. It seems unlikely that the Brazilian population will benefit from this; indeed they are chocking in the smoke. It will be the cattle ranchers who benefit; not small scale farmers.
    That Bolsonaro has given the green light to such activity should surely be of concern

    Admin
    Admin
    Admin

    Once again we do need to point out that nowhere does the article suggest, claim or imply that deforestation is of no concern 🙂

    Larry Rothfield
    Larry Rothfield

    Nice cherry-picking, but if one simply clicks on your link to global fire data you can read this (for some strange reason not quoted by you, I wonder why not): “Cumulative active fire detections through 8/22/2019 from MODIS and VIIRS confirm that 2019 is the highest fire year since 2012 (the start of the VIIRS record) across the seven states that comprise the Brazilian Amazon. In addition, fires in 2019 are more intense than previous years, measured in terms of fire radiative power, consistent with the observed increase in deforestation.” https://www.globalfiredata.org/forecast.html

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    There have been updates about that. Some stuff below. Read on, lest you walk away with a closed mind.

    Larry Rothfield
    Larry Rothfield

    I just wasted 10 minutes scrolling to find updates that deal with the quote I cite, not finding anything mentioning it. Maybe I missed it, but maybe you are just choosing to avoid dealing with the quote as it contradicts directly and explicitly the thrust of the blog. Show me your mind is not closed by addressing the facts cited in the quotation: 2019 is the highest fire year since records started in the Amazon, and fires are more intense. Those are facts as is the fact mentioned by several others that firesetting has spiked very recently after Bolsonaro’s incitement.

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    Good. May that serve you right for jumping to nasty conclusions.

    I was referring to the comment thread directly below this one (sorted by date order, newest first)

    It appears the site has literally been updated today, and at one point there were two concurrent versions on the go (presumably some CDN-cached pages were showing up for some people). Those four graphs turned up with scary black lines on, and the text you quoted.

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/https://www.globalfiredata.org/forecast.html

    That’s a relevant thing to discuss, of course, but poisoning the well and accusing the author of quote mining is neither true nor helpful. Quite lazy of you.

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    Excuse me, ‘cherry picking’

    Larry Rothfield
    Larry Rothfield

    I’m relieved to learn that the page was updated after you wrote your post. Now we can turn to the real issue, which is whether your argument is refuted by factual claims stated in the quotation. Are the facts wrong?

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    When it updated has no bearing on anything I’ve said, which was simply to correct your error.

    Peter Moritz
    Peter Moritz

    There is an update:
    So that’s the explanation, the fires were at average levels through to mid August, and then there was a huge uptick.

    Why was that? Seems that it started when the farmers in the state of Para declared a “‘dia do fogo,'” or “day of fire” on August 10th. They said they did this in order to show to Bolsonaro that they want to work and that the only way to clear pastures for them to work was with fire (report in Portuguese here), This was spectacularly “successful” and there was an immediate increase in fires which continued through the following weeks.

    As Aljazeerah reports it:

    According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha do Progresso, the fires started on August 10 when an association of farmers in the state of Para announced a so-called “day of fire”. The idea, according to the publication, was to coordinate a number of simultaneous fires to show Bolsonaro “they are ready to work”. On that day, 124 new fires were registered by INPE and the next day 203 more were flagged.

    https://www.science20.com/robert_walker/nasa_say_the_amazon_is_burning_at_below_average_rates_yet_many_news_stories_say_record_rates-240959

    Elementor
    Elementor

    well this is getting murky. Why are there two different NASA pages on the same subject running simultaneously? One was updated around Aug 20 saying fires were about average (cited in article), another was updated Aug 19, allegedly, saying the fires are at the top end!

    But this post-dates the scare! The scare happened before the NASA data was updated to support it.

    I like also how 2019 now has an unmistakable thick black line whereas before it was an unassuming little green line.

    Plus the cause of the alleged sudden leap in burning started aug 10, six days before NASA report stating burning was below average.

    Al Jazeerah – gimme a break! That story sounds very questionable. Maybe Bolsonaro’s claim about arson isn’t so far fetched.

    I dunno this feels a little strange. Like this gap in the narrative is being plugged after attention got drawn to it. Guess we’ll never know, and it’s kinda oblique to the main point of the article.

    Peter Moritz
    Peter Moritz

    well this is getting murky.

    You are right:

    https://www.globalfiredata.org/forecast.html#amazonas

    According to this chart the 2019 season is still at an average and well below the 2003 – 2010 seasons. So – what gives?

    MLS
    MLS

    The monthly totals still show August 2019 to be below average-ish, well below a decade ago, and below 2016. De-forestation has dropped massively since the high point in the 1980s-90s. An up-tick is reason to be watchful but it doesn’t explain or justify the current media hysteria.

    Elementor
    Elementor

    from the “corrected” webpage:

    The green line is rapidly rising, far faster than the fires have ever risen in August in recent years (though there were faster increases a decade ago)..

    But no, it is not.

    I am getting the impression of attempts, maybe sincere in this case, to massage the stats into line with the headlines

    edited by Admin to fix image link

    Elementor
    Elementor

    even if the increase is steep relative to itself it is still way below previous extremes. It’s risen from being notably low to being about average. Only in Crazy Land is this an unprecedented rise, right? It’s like some kind of bait and switch being pulled to eliminate the gap between the truth and the scary headlines.

    Aiwl
    Aiwl

    Dear Off-Guardian Team

    Thanks a lot for this valuable article, and for providing a unique service to alert readers to issues that could be overlooked despite to the above average vigilence we have to exercise nowadays.

    I see some comments that look partly negative. It seems the aim in those comments is friendly teasing rather than disagreeing with the premise of the article.

    Off-Guardian deserves the recognition for being one of the rapidly dwindling outlets to look at things objectively. Perhaps more objectively than 95% of news websites.

    I hope we will always see eye-opener articles and wish this nice website will continue to grow strong.

    🙂

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    Who downvotes that? Why are you here in that case? It can’t be for any good purpose. I wish I knew who you were – that would be interesting information.

    Frank Speaker
    Frank Speaker

    I downvoted that comment. Why?

    It’s completely nonsensical to debate an average annual rate of destruction of the finite forest. It’s irrelevant whether this year is below or above an average deforestation rate or not.

    The simple fact remains that the finite forest is disappearing, destroyed by a neoliberal / fascist Governor of Brazil and his henchmen. I never imagined that Marxists would condone his actions, enjoy your quibbling about the rate of destruction of this irreplacable resource.

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    Nah, I’m not surprised. You are clearly not all there.

    bevin
    bevin

    That is a fairly unpleasant comment. Would you not agree?

    gardenfiend
    gardenfiend

    I gave into frustration and was overly dismissive. No one is a paragon of etiquette all the time, I understand that. Nor need they be to make a valid point. It’s a willingness to communicate that’s key, and this is what frustrated me, above.

    I’m the last person to be a snowflake about these things, and I understand that people get passionate. But there also needs to be support for one another, and for this site. Certain subjects are becoming out of bounds BTL, it becomes a boiling sea of righteous indignation, any refinement of expression is lost amongst the clamour, people can’t hear each other.

    I didn’t come here to have my debate shut down, and I’m sure you didn’t either.

    Thanks for your comment.

    nottheonly1
    nottheonly1

    Since I received down votes by the criminal trools = (troll+troops), because I stated that I can see the smoke from Brazil hovering over the North (from my position), here is a link that shows the haze cover. It is sad that there is of course only legislation passed that punishes ‘the people’ from speaking the truth. There is no legislation that protects the people from the armies of regime criminals, trolling the message boards on all relevant and still truthfully reporting websites.
    In earlier, less manipulated stages of society, traitors like these criminals were taken care of immediately.

    Here is the link in Spanish (the images are multilingual): Incendios in Sudameríca

    Tim Jenkins
    Tim Jenkins

    As any professional analyst will confirm, ‘Time Out’ is quintessential to proper preparation, preventing piss poor performance & prolonged painful pointers prove purely petulance & postulation, as prime mover after extreme over-exposure to data, with due cause for pause essential; to compute & remain objective, in the jungle sometimes, where it makes me wonder, how I keep from going under … the levels of pathetic journalism & societal brainwash, that play on human emotions, with ZERO Scientific Goals, other than the absurd control & possession of Science, by elites >>> as if that were insanely possible !

    Great article Catte, drawing & defining the requisite parameters for intelligent discussion: which all serves to prove just how necessary a constructive solution might be considered, for example …

    Leveson 2:0 >>> Media Wars, Legally Addressed for public consumption & Scientific awareness …

    Rake’D’News Trade Marked @OffG’s Temporal Media of Get Wild Reality, is where we are ‘at’ , presently, but it is tiring, having to constantly rake through so much Fake’D’ News & Societal Brainwash, in the name of . . .

    Science, Humanity & Beauty

    The Psychopathic Murderous Mad Mullah Murdoch & Company of Media Moguls must be metaphorically murdered, & HUNG UP, as pin ups,
    in a court of LAW, extremely publicly & Scientifically, by fully qualified Academics & Scientists:
    somewhere, very soon, or we are destined to endless wars & total mind control, on behalf of
    SICK MINDED ELITES, with the loss of all & any basic freedom to think objectively,
    & analyse Science ! Including the Science of Mind Control. !
    The direct relationship between Physiology & Psychology is wholly proven with Pavlov’s Dog well over a ‘Century’ ago and yet frankly,
    NO educational body teaches this to our young kids >>> ask yourself why ? !
    The state, every state, reckons with owning you & your kids … Fact.
    Time for Change ? ! Start Evolving Human Consciousness, in Schooling !
    Edward Curtin, my offer still stands, ‘Analysts are Canaries’ or are you just some lazy pseudo-self professed intellectual, resting on your Laurels from Laurel Canyon Origins, satirising life & hopelessly ending with a silly song title that sucks ‘That’s just the Way it is …” ?
    What happened to ‘Don’t give up’, your pride, principles & moral grounding from ‘Babushka’ (Gran) ?
    (Tim laughs loudly, as a junk email notification arrives, from ‘We Move.EU’… “How we can save the Amazon”, another begging propaganda notice enters the top right hand corner, for screening this massive internet ‘Psyop’) 🙂 Sign of the Times !
    Critical Reasoning & Thinking was my point to Edward Curtin and all the other lazy Academics & Scientists, resting on their LAURELS, lost in their own wee world of disinformation, in University Life !
    All in all, A Damning Indictment, whereby the only rational conclusion & solution can be,
    Home Educate & Fuck the System, coz’ I don’t want my kids thinking hopeless thoughts, regarding …
    Science & Beauty ! and science would not last one minute, without Beauty & Wonder …
    With Critical Reasoning, we may satirise the world leaders in Imprisoned Populations,
    like Pavlov’s DOG >>> Donate some bones, any ole’ bones will do, guys, even Ed. Curtin’s 😉
    Lmao, your silence is deafening Edward and most revealing … “That’s just the way it is…”
    For professional ‘Analysts’, (altruistic true Canaries), in ‘Mindvalley’ circles, with critical thinking far, far in advance & ahead of the hopeless satire of Ed. Curtin . . .

    WE ALL ENGINEERED this Climate Change, by being distracted & seceding control of our entire collection of wide ranging forms of our NATIONAL SECURITY STATE and the History of same, as Julian Assange has already perfectly highlighted for y’all to WITNESS . . . the question we should be asking ourselves, is not just about these FIRES: but, who controls the history of the various national security states >>> could it just be Capitalist Corporations, who own also the very media that prompted Catte to write wisely and question all, with CRITICAL REASONING ? !

    Well done, Catte … work in progress 🙂

    https://off-guardian.org/2019/08/11/the-canaries-that-sang-things-suck/

    Just to be sure there is zero further confusion, both Corporate & Military Intelligence have been engineering OUR WEATHER, for more decades than most readers have been alive and this is what is causing CLIMATE CHANGE, which the aforementioned are trying desperately to hide & cover up and blame any BODY, but themselves >>> Logic, & as a trained Analyst of Data, Media Research & Analysis, also trained as child, electronically to the highest possible levels in both corporate & military worlds thriving on possession & control, let me assure you that all the evidence for what this ‘Canary’ says,
    IS OUT THERE !
    Start connecting dots, in the matrix …

    Robbobbobin
    Robbobbobin

    I have problems with this Twitter shit, primarily do do with the inordinate amount of noise that, more often than not, almost always–or even more often–obscures the signal, so I always give it a miss, except where it is directly referenced elsewhere, as in

    During the Medieval Climate Anomaly, the period most similar to recent decades, warm & dry climatic conditions resulted in peak forest burning, but severe fires favored less-flammable deciduous vegetation, such that fire frequency remained stationary:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3740857/

    from Robin Monotti Graziadei @robinmonotti.

    I presume the always rational Robin is somewhat hampered by the Twitter character limit, of which I have heard, because the patagraph he quotes from, in the 2013 paper “Recent burning of boreal forests exceeds fire regime limits of the past 10,000 years” continues:

    These results suggest that boreal forests can sustain high-severity fire regimes for centuries under warm and dry conditions, with vegetation feedbacks modulating climate–fire linkages. The apparent limit to MCA burning has been surpassed by the regional fire regime of recent decades, which is characterized by exceptionally high fire frequency and biomass burning. This extreme combination suggests a transition to a unique regime of unprecedented fire activity. However, vegetation dynamics similar to feedbacks that occurred during the MCA may stabilize the fire regime, despite additional warming.

    At least the always reliable Robin cites the paper, which is worth consulting directly, although it is as complex, nuanced and uncertain as its subject (so may it take more than one careful reading to gain a preliminary, sketchy understanding of it) provided that the very significant ways in which a boreal forest and a tropical rainforest differ–particularly the fact that although tropical rainforests such as the Amazon, unlike boreal forests, are not fire ecology systems and in them fires do not serve a regenerative function–is always kept fully in mind. With regard to ‘reliable’ citations for the latter claim, I do believe that it would be no bad thing if the authors and readers of the Off-Guardian, with a few exceptions such as Colin Todhunter, learned how to find them for themselves in things like library catalogues or, in the case of the Information Superlibrary at least learned, all by themselves if necessary, how to Google them.

    For intance, Catte’s claim that “There may well be more fires […] but that’s a statistic without meaning if the total area covered is actually less than a fifteen-year average” is, in the case of tropical rainforests in general, not necessarily the case and, in the case of the Amazon tropical rainforest in particular, not at all the case. Now why would that be? Clearly a reliable citation is needed, so there is a golden opportunity for some self-taught Reliable Citing 101: don’t ask me, do some more homework.

    At least the article has a potentially exculpatory “maybe” in the title.

    Roland Spansky
    Roland Spansky

    dude, what are you trying to say? You have this droll tone as if you think you’re being incredibly witty and skewering people, but it’s impossible to know what you’re talking about because there’s absolutely no content. I get the impression you read that paper, didn’t understand it or find what you hoped to find in it and are kinda just blowing smoke to hide that fact. But even so, I don’t even discern through your laboring allusiveness, what it is you’re wanting us to think was in that paper, even though it wasn’t! The final effect is just baffling, weird and a little annoying. I think you want to act and look superior but have no grounds on which to do either so you do this as the next best thing.

    Roland Spansky
    Roland Spansky

    This:

    For intance, Catte’s claim that “There may well be more fires […] but that’s a statistic without meaning if the total area covered is actually less than a fifteen-year average” is, in the case of tropical rainforests in general, not necessarily the case and, in the case of the Amazon tropical rainforest in particular, not at all the case. Now why would that be? Clearly a reliable citation is needed,

    In other words you make this claim that the size of the burn doesn’t matter in the Amazon, and don’t offer a source for it, and have the frickin nerve to turn your fail into a smug demand that less smart people than you go find your citations for you.

    No, you tell us, with a citation why, in the Amazon, small fires are worse than big fires.

    Can’t wait.