Brazil Taking Action on Deforestation

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Ben Cohen
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View of Amazon basin forest north of Manaus, B...

Unlike the United States, most of the world takes climate change extremely seriously, and countries ranging from China to Brazil are taking up the challenge with some very aggressive measures. For example, to combat the rapidly increasing deforestation of the Amazon, Brazil is setting up a crisis center to coordinate action between government agencies. Reports the Independent:

Brazil has set up a crisis centre to combat increased deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, the nation's environmental minister said yesterday.

Minister Izabella Teixeira said officials had to take action after satellite data showed a significant increase in deforestation over the past two months.

"We created a crisis committee... to determine and combat the causes of this increase," Mrs Teixeira said.

The committee, which will meet weekly, is made up of environmental agents, federal police, highway federal police and state agents. It will coordinate about 700 agents and police officers in the region to fight deforestation.

Satellite images from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research showed 230 square miles of deforestation in March and April, nearly six times more than in the same period last year.

This type of centrally coordinated and cooperative action is absolutely necessary to combat climate change, despite appeals from the Right to allow free markets and technological innovation to solve environmental problems. The scale of global warming is so huge that unless governments directly get involved to regulate and manipulate industry, there is about as much chance of reversing the process as there is in preventing another banking crisis without regulating Wall St.

While the US is still debating whether CO2 emissions actually causes global warming, the rest of the planet is taking action. America may survive another financial crash, but if its coastal cities disappear due to rising sea levels, its long term prospects are far less clear.

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