Eyes Wide Shut. NO not the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.
I refer to the inactivity of the world’s leaders who refuse to see something in plain view.
The effects of climate change are reported constantly in all the media. Not just here in the Olive Press, but in all newspapers, TV channels, and radio stations.
Excuse the pun, but it really is a ‘hot topic’.
A report from Global Forest Watch last week stated that in the past 12 months, around 16 football pitches of trees PER MINUTE were lost to forest fires. This is twice the amount of tree cover burnt compared to 20 years ago.
Last year alone a forested area the size of Portugal was lost.
Fires are becoming more frequent, and more severe, and as a consequence stored carbon is unlocked. Trees and soil store carbon dioxide. This is one of the key gases warming our atmosphere.
The United Nations says that the outlook for forest fires in the decades to come is grim.
It forecasts an expected increase of 50% in extreme fires by the end of this century.
Apart from fires, deforestation continues to increase. Last year in the Brazilian Amazon the losses caused by agricultural clearance and logging were the highest in the past decade.
Deforestation changes local and regional climates and removes a lot of the evapotranspiration that helps keep temperatures low and more humid. So cutting down these forests is actually making them hotter and drier, and makes them more prone to fires.
None of this is rocket science.
The reality is staring us in the face. When will we see the elephant in the room removed?
Sadly, I don’t think it will be in my lifetime.
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