Home | About | Donate

Threatening Climate Goals and Biodiversity, New Data Shows Tropical Forests Losing 'Alarming' Number of Trees


Threatening Climate Goals and Biodiversity, New Data Shows Tropical Forests Losing 'Alarming' Number of Trees

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Last year alone, tropical forests lost 39 million acres of trees—which could cover an area roughly the size of Bangladesh—according to new findings that have conservationists concerned about failing efforts to protect trees and the vital role forests play in battling anthropogenic global warming.


We’re losing the lungs of our planet on a massive scale. Forests are sick and in decline everywhere I go. This is yet another positive feedback loop that will only accelerate further warming. And yes… it’s happening faster than we thought!


Despite all the talk about halting deforestation it appears it is only getting worse. This should be near the top of the agenda at the next international climate meeting. The US is no longer engaged at the federal level but the EU countries, China, etc are still concerned at the highest levels and need to do more.




This thing called “The Free Market” , worshiped as it is by the Neoliberals and Capitalists as that which “Creates all wealth” has deemed that the Forests being removed have no little VALUE when compared to the profits that can be made off removing them. It has determined that an ecosystem that supports all manner of birds and plants and insects and animals has no VALUE when it compared to one that produces Palm Oil. It has proclaimed that if you can not make MONEY and profiits of a Rhinoceres or create jobs off an Orangutan , then they have no VALUE and can be eliminated.

Many of these same people claim themselves as Christians and we are to believe somehow that the “Creator” they pray to in his or her infinitie wisdom created all of this life and ecosystems that promotes life while having NO idea of what the VALUE of any of it was. Were are to believe that the God that is called “The Free market” is in fact the one TRUE god and all must surrender to its dictates.

It madness, stark, raving and brutal.


To make your point further, when the colonists came to the eastern seaboard, their thought that the natives were wasting all this vast ‘wealth’. Which was their excuse to eliminate the natives so that the land could be put to ‘good’ use. That became known as manifest destiny, that they had the right to the land and the right to do anything to the land to make wealth.
We as a people still view lands set apart for natural preserves as being wasted, all that stuff there and we are not generating any wealth from it. Who cares about some owl or fish dying out. No need to care for the environment.
What gets me is that the day will come when all of that so called wealth is gone. When the last forest is gone, when the last resource is dug up, when the earth has nothing left to give, when the water and air is poisoned completely. Then what, we have no other world to go to.
Now I can understand the greediness of a few who just want for today and don’t give a fook about tomorrow. But the rest of us should want a world to be passed onto our children and their children and on for each generation after. Why don’t the majority care about what we are doing?
After all they are not getting rich off of this. Forget Climate change for a moment, what is being done is just as damaging as climate change will be. The air, water, land, being so poisoned that we can’t breath, drink, or eat anything from the world. That is the result of seeing everything as something to be used and thrown away. A world no one can live in. When it comes can be debated, that it will come if we continue as we do, is not debatable. It will.
Money is their god. Yes most of them claim to be christian. I seem to remember something in the bible about not being able to have two masters, that one chooses one over the other. And god demanded that he was the only master for them to follow.
Someday they will be wailing and gnashing their teeth as there is no more wealth to be gotten and the world is too poisoned to live in. They will be demanding that their god save them.
I know what I would do if I was their god. “You built this cesspool, now you live in it. I gave you the garden and you destroyed it. Maybe a nice flood to wash it all away. Too bad there are no more trees to build a boat, no more of anything that can be used. Guess you are going to drown. Better luck for me next time when I give something a garden. I like Dolphins, I can give them hands and feet. Maybe they will be smarter”


I drove home from work today and decided to take the back roads through Eagan, Minnesota. I was shocked and appalled to see a 200 acre swath of land mowed down and cleared of once-dense woods for housing development. EVERYTHING was cleared! Wouldn’t one want to at least selectively spare trees?! I was so sick and disgusted and could only think of the animals that were and have been displaced; deer, raccoons, squirrels, birds, insects, bats. The list is nearly endless. We are killing ourselves with a thousand cuts! And the final point that ties in your dialogue, Suspira de Profundis…is that the owner of this land is an evangelical Christian. I only know this because before the land was stripped bare, he had placed a large cross on the side of the road with a sign that read “Oh how He loves me!” He sold his soul to Satan and the dollar. I hope this sick fuck burns…


Excellent and well said. I do wail and gnash my teeth as to what Humanity is doing to our fragile ecosystems.


I lose sleep most night having known this for years. We’re killing ourselves!


It is not only the forests that are our lungs. The ocean has it’s equivalent with phytoplankton which contributes at least half of the oxygen we breath. And they are in just as much jeopardy and the trees are.
These tiny plants are in danger due to the warming of the oceans. The balance that has existed in the oceans for so long is in danger. There are dead zones in the oceans from having little to no oxygen. They have quadrupled in size since the 50s and increased in #s tenfold. Life doesn’t exist in these dead zones. As we pollute the oceans with our poisons and add CO2 to them, the oceans are changing swiftly. Right now the dead zones are the size of the European Union and growing.
But it is not just oxygen, the oceans are a major food source, about 50% of what we eat comes from them. And as life in the oceans die, so does the ability to feed ourselves die.
“Major extinction events in Earth’s history have been associated with warm climates and oxygen-deficient oceans.” Denise Breitburg, at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in the US and who led the analysis, said: “Under the current trajectory that is where we would be headed. But the consequences to humans of staying on that trajectory are so dire that it is hard to imagine we would go quite that far down that path.”
I wish I had her faith that we will stop killing the life on the planet. I don’t find humans that willing to do anything.
Here’s the whole article if you want to read it.


Thank you, Skip. I am well versed and read in regards to the loss of phytoplankton and the acidification of the oceans. I truly believe we are all fucked. I believe that we the Human species have painted ourselves into this proverbial corner. I will still read you link. Thank you!


Can’t believe you got away with the F word, they censor me on that.
What you suggest makes for less profit, clear cutting makes the most profit because they don’t have to be careful about what they cut down. Going through and being selective takes time, thus less profit.
I am not surprised about his religion, I have never seen an evangelist being concerned about conservation. I always see they as wanting the most money they can get. They worship the prosperity jesus who tells them to make as much money as possible. That jesus wants them to be wealthy. Strange I don’t remember that in the gospels.


I believe they WANT to bring on Armageddon so they can all get “saved” and raptured. In the words of Trump (I loathe that scum) “very sad.”


I studied as a biologist and environmentalist back in the late 60s. I saw the damage 1st hand. I have always despaired about what is happening.
There was a time I had hope, but I don’t anymore. Almost 50 yrs of trying to get people to care about what is being done. There was a small minority at the time who cared and tried. I have not seen any change in the numbers, there is still only a small minority involved. I really don’t see that the rest will wake up in time to fight for a decent world to live in.


I figured you did.

Oh and Common Dreams, how is my responding to someone 3 times stopping others from commenting? I would really like to know how I am doing that. Because there are some people I would like to be able to stop commenting and if I knew the secret I could use it on them. Thanks in advance. Oh and I have responded to others.

And anyone is free to respond to Pilot, sorry that I am stopping all of you. So respond now before I use my great power to stop all of you.


I fear we crossed the rubicon years ago. I was born in 1967 and I can’t believe the changes that have occurred on the landscapes of NW Montana where I spent my summers growing up. The glaciers are nearly gone and super fires have marred the landscape and have stripped much of the terrain of forests. It breaks my heart to return there every summer. I think I will just stay here in MN this summer. I came across a college thesis I wrote back in 1988 where I mentioned the possibility of Human Extinction in this century. Wow! I almost fell out of my seat. Was I ahead of my time? Believe me…I hope I’m wrong…but I don’t give us fifteen to thirty more years. When the arctic sea ice goes…much like ice melting in a pitcher…the water temp will rise quickly and so will the land/sea temps on a global scale. Plants and agriculture can’t keep up with such non-linear change. Starvation ensues as we keep adding people to the planet. It just isn’t sustainable. We’re screwed… No “F” word this time. :)=


Wow! If commondreams blocks or limits your dialogue here PLEASE let me know and I will stop donating money. I thought this was a forum for free speech. See? Everything is fucked. Put a fork in us! God speed good man.


I believe that as a species humanity itself will survive, we are quite adaptable. But what we call civilization will not survive except in small pockets. We will have existence farming for the survivors. Our technological world depends on a stable climate. It also depends upon stability in many countries.
When what you stated happens there will be mass migrations the world has never seen, even in the World Wars. You will have hundreds of millions fleeing in the end. No country can stay stable under such conditions.
As our coasts flood, hundreds of millions will be forced to move away in just a few decades, to move inland. Even if only a few million a year move, it will be difficult to find homes and jobs for them. Then the drought areas will force people to move from those areas.
Just in the US alone, the western areas are suffering a great drought. Water aquifers are being drained, there isn’t enough snow or rain to fill the rivers and reservoirs. Fracking and agriculture consume a great deal of water, then throw in two of the most populous states fighting over water rights as the people themselves need water.
This has been like watching 2 snails racing towards each other head on. Only they each have head spikes. Where will all those tens of millions of people go when the water runs out? They won’t be able to live there.
And that is just the US, this will be going on around the world at the same time. Wars will happen as people flee into other countries and those countries refuse to accept more. Wars have been started for lesser reasons.
Crop failures are happening more and more. The US had a 10% crop loss, from the year before, last year from drought and storms. What happens when the crop failures drop more every year? Sure the US can maybe engineer plants that are more drought and heat resistant, but most of the world will not be able to afford such seed.
So throw in starving people along with the people forced to move.
Unfortunately I believe your timelines are close to correct from my own research. Just over 12 yrs from now we will hit 450PPM of CO2 at the rate of increase we have. With all the efforts so far, we have only cut into the rate of increase of CO2. Not at all into what we are adding every year. So instead of hitting the wall at 100MPH, it will be at 90 MPH.

Common dreams always send me messages about commenting too much when it is a thread I respond to quite a bit. They always tell me I should let someone else comment or send private messages to someone. And I really have no idea of how I am stopping someone else from commenting or adding to the discussion. Every once in awhile I complain about it, but they have never contacted me to tell how I am stopping others from being inc.
What gets me is that someone like you is obviously responding with me just as much as I am responding to you. And none of them have ever gotten that message. So why do I get that? Why don’t you? Not that I want you to get such a message or anyone else really. But why? Someone once told me it was either server space or bandwidth, but I really don’t believe that considering how often I see others posting.
Now they only ask me, they have never stopped me. And when I complain online, I stop getting the message. But they do ask me to not comment so much.


Of course. Mike Pompeo and others around the white house are self proclaimed evangelical Christians. It is also why they killed any hope of a peace process between Israel and Palestine. They want the rapture to happen, even if they have to burn the world in the process.