A Football Field of Native Forests Annihilated Every Second

MELBOURNE – Native forests need wildlife to thrive. We “wise apes” need native forests to save us from the man-made climate crisis. If we lose those forests, we die.

Destruction of Native Forests
Our beloved oxygen-makers, carbon storehouses, intercontinental rain-makers, cloud-makers, climate stabilisers, medicine chests, wildlife-rich glorious native forests are unique to planet Earth. Credit: Fancis Eatherington

At the recent twenty-sixth climate talks in Glasgow, the world’s leaders refused pleas by environmental groups and forest biologists to protect earth’s best climate stabilisers, its native forests. Instead, the world’s negotiators delayed an agreement greenlighting another decade of forest plunder.

Destruction of Native Forests

My colleagues have identified the remaining native forest hotspots that at all costs must be protected from poachers, subsidised forestry corporations, asset management companies, pension funds and crafty bankers.

Since the Paris Climate Agreement, asset and pension fund managers, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, Bank of China and others have made deals worth $157 billion with firms that have razed native forests in Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Oh, it gets eviller. Bankers are neck deep in burying the ill-gotten gains from raping Mother Earth. Each year, transnational organised crime marauds an astounding $100 billion in native forest logs. Banks are gleefully and nefariously concealing it. How many dozens of thousands of ocean vessels are chock-a-block with poached wood? Unknown.

Destruction of Native Forests
The warp speed of wiping native forests off the map is driving the hideous Sixth Mass Extinction, the fastest extinction rate in 1.1 billion years of planetary life. Godawful. Credit: Paul Hilton. 

This cunning and deranged assault of one football field of native forests every second (31,556,926 sec/yr) is the bitter end. Are the animals and Gen Zs (under 26s) supposed to wait quietly until 2030 for the adults to finish demolishing everything? Not bloody likely!

Destruction of Native Forests
The Paraguay and Paraná Rivers carry the lifeblood, Mother Earth’s freshwater, to the southern half of the continent. The climate emergency is wreaking havoc on all life forms. Credit: The Guardian

Accelerated looting of the Amazon rainforest has begun to spike temperatures, beget colossal climate fires and dry out its vast southern edges. The Paraná River winds its way through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Deforestation feeding into a climate megadrought has dropped the river to an all-time low. Fifty million people and billions of animals are thirsty, starving or dead. Destroying the native forests has destroyed all life.

“There are barely any fish . . . really nothing. It’s been like this for four months,” said fisherman Claudio Domínguez of Ayolas, Paraguay.

Destruction of Native Forests
Fossil fuel planet-killers intend to frack the Amazon to death and the world’s leaders are subsidising it. Credit: Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation

Twenty per cent, or, about the size of Australia, of the Amazon rainforest, Earth’s largest tropical temple, is gone. Since the dawning of the twenty-first century the next 20 per cent is angrily being knocked down in order to access, according to Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP), massive reserves of petroleum in the Upper Amazon.

Since 2009, Swiss, French and Dutch banks have financed the destruction of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador by $10 billion to access petroleum shipped to refineries in the United States. Stand.earth and Amazon Watch estimated that the combustion heat released from those 155 million barrels of refined oil was the equivalent to the annual emissions of 17 coal-fired power stations.

Presently, Ecuador and Peru are set to frack across an area the size of Italy (74 million acres). That region is the sacrosanct headwaters of the Upper Amazon, which is home to one in every ten species of land life. Big Oil is annihilating these sanctified cathedrals, and the world’s leaders are turning a blind eye to that too.

With the loss of the inestimable rainforest, the planet loses nature’s air conditioners, its daily shield of forest-making rain clouds. It’s not just drier locally now, but also across the continent and the rest of globe as the Amazon’s atmospheric rivers are disappearing and threatening food crops around the world.

Destruction of Native Forests
Tree dwelling koalas need native forests. In some parts of Australia, they are now facing extinction from bulldozers and chainsaws. Credit: Paul Hilton

Elsewhere it is bedlam. In Victoria, Australia, the state government is addicted to handing a couple dozen million taxpayer dollars annually to its crown-owned VicForests. They hire contractors to evict critically endangered leadbeater’s possums and illegally steep slope log the equivalent of 33 Melbourne Crit Grounds (MCG).  It makes no sense whatsoever since, each year, the highland native forests provide $310 million of freshwater to five million Melbournians.

Australia’s native forest storehouses account for 2.5 per cent of the world’s irrecoverable carbon. Unless Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done a deal with the devil to facilitate Armageddon, why in god’s green acre would the state and federal governments subsidise the ruination of these priceless biodiverse carbon warehouses in the midst of a climate catastrophe?

Meanwhile three days post Glasgow, millions of Canadians in Vancouver were overwhelmed by a month’s rain in a day. That megalopolis was cut off from the rest of the country. Panicked shoppers cleared out grocery stores and now they face fuel rationing until December 1.

Destruction of Native Forests
Once upon a time, British Columbia was carpeted with opulent native forests and crystal clear freshwater. Today it’s pock-marked with clearcuts, monoculture wood farms, scarred open-face mines and tens of thousands of fracking wells that poison freshwater forever. Ransacked. Credit: TJ Watt

As if by divine intervention the Premier, John Horagn, admitted that the climate floods were man-made and looked to the heavens promising action. That’s all very well for the meantime, but over the previous decade Horgan and his predecessor handed $3.65 billion of subsidies to logging corporations to obliterate Mother Earth’s finest climate stabilisers, its giant trees. No native forests, no protection during climate floods from hillside sloughing, highways crumbling and people being buried alive in mudslides.

Ladies and gentlemen, the “wise apes” in charge of the world are not intending to lift a finger to save the planet’s remaining native forests. Instead, they have invested in extinction. Hence, we must revolt. By the way, we outnumber the bastards by almost a billion to one!

Here’s what you can do right now:

  • Join old-growth blockades and demonstrations in Victoria, Canada, with Extinction Rebellion and the Bob Brown Foundation in Hobart, Tasmania, and elsewhere.
  • Consume much less.
  • Go vegan.
  • Refuse palm oil, which means scrutinising everything that you purchase.
  • Refuse plastics.
  • Buy local and support farmers’ markets.
  • Buy hemp products.
  • Refuse to use chemicals in your yard.
  • Grow your own.
  • Plant at least two food-bearing trees.
  • Walk lots more.
  • Be Kind
  • Join an animal or nature organisation and volunteer your time.
  • Vote for public representatives that will protect our planet.
  • Join Fridays for the Future weekly demonstrations and uproot the system.

Agitate. Disrupt. Defend.


Reese Halter

Reese Halter is a bees/trees/seas defender.
His latest book is GenZ Emergency.
Email: HalterBooks@gmail.com for your autographed copy.
In Australia, order from the Bob Brown Foundation by emailing: Contact@BobBrown.org.au

Going Vegan

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