We Aren’t Terrified Enough About Losing The Amazon,,

edkbolnhfbcboohn Scientists aren’t sure if there’s a tipping point, or how close we are to it – but it would be “absolutely catastrophic” if we cross it, reports James Temple.

The context: With fires raging in the Brazilian Amazon, media reports have resurfaced a scary scenario where a certain level of deforestation will push the world’s largest rainforest to a tipping point where spiraling feedback effects convert much of the forest into savannah.

A scary prospect: In this scenario, rather than holding 17% of the world’s carbon trapped in vegetation on land, the Amazon would become a major source of it. Scientists can’t say exactly where the tipping point would be, but like other climate tipping points, which are unpredictable and essentially irreversible once reached, we should err on the side of caution.

Are we nearing it? So far, at least 17% of the Amazon has already been lost. As little as 20% deforestation could begin to trigger the irreversible “savannafication” process.


A World of Want by Tina Schuman

A World of Want
by Tina Schuman

You think your life will go on
like this forever—weekly trips
to the garbage bin, untangling
the green snake of hose between the ferns
and the delphiniums, the coral bells
leaning their long necks
against the back fence.
Today, as I watched the carousel
of cars turn one by one through
the intersection and onto the freeway
I tried to imagine each life.
Not so much where they were
going, but what they were made of:
wounds, illusions, desires, deceits…
Through all of this a preoccupation
with the next perceived need floats-up
like thought bubbles inside my head:
Coffee, Cheetos, sex, a new blouse, a larger house,
a desk fan, appreciation from that one specific person,
the phones chirp, the trip to France.
If I could quiet this conga-line of cravings
what lingering longings would I lament?
What radiant unattached insights
would I muster? Who would I be
without my constant yearnings?
It’s a world of want. You get the idea.

“A World of Want” by Tina Schuman from Praising the Paradox. © Red Hen Press