Amazon fires and U.S. forests

Listen 49:00
Fire consumes the jungle near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018. Brazil contains about 60% of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall.(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Fire consumes the jungle near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018. Brazil contains about 60% of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall.(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Guests: Deborah Lawrence, Carlos Nobre, Susan Jane Brown

The fires in the Amazon continue to rage – more than 77,000 forest fires have been documented in the rainforest basin this year. The Amazon is critical part of the world’s environment, producing six percent of the world’s oxygen and storing large amounts of carbon dioxide. It’s also home to millions of animal and plant species and indigenous people. This hour we start off talking about the Amazon fires – how they happened, what they signal, and the role tropical forests play in our environment and climate change. We talk with DEBORAH LAWRENCE, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and CARLOS NOBRE, climate scientist at the University of Sao Paulo’s Institute of Advanced Studies in Brazil. Then we turn to the forests of the United States and the Trump administration’s efforts to open them to logging, drilling and other commercial enterprises. We’re joined by SUSAN JANE BROWN, staff attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center.

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