Brazil

In Defense of Live Carbon

Why Stopping Deforestation May be the Hardest and Most Important Part of the Climate Change Challenge

When contemplating the enormous challenge of global climate change, it is sometimes helpful to think about a simple model of the global carbon budget (see figure below).  These admittedly reductionist schematics distinguish between sources, sinks, and reservoirs.  Fossil hydrocarbons from the geological reservoir–call this dead carbon—are extracted and burned to generate energy, emitting vast amounts …

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Você Fala Português?

Brazil’s New Environmental Crisis Raises Crucial Constitutional and Advocacy Issues

  As Dan noted last week, and as E & E News reports today, Brazil’s President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is not only an authoritarian quasi-fascist (no exaggeration in those terms), but is also horrific for the environment. And that, in turn, is not simply bad for Brazil and South America, but for everyone on the planet. In …

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Rio’s Dirty Water

Everyone seems to be talking about the pollution in Guanabara Bay

With the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics set for tomorrow night, the world’s attention is turned to Brazil. For someone with a great love for the country, it is disheartening to see the series of articles in the run-up to the Olympics emphasizing the negatives—challenges due to political turmoil, security concerns, the Zika …

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The Brazilian Deforestation Puzzle

Deforestation went down for a decade. Now it’s going up. The reasons aren’t clear.

Brazil’s rate of deforestation went down dramatically over the last ten years. It’s not completely clear why that’s happened. The trend now seems to be reversing (or at least encountering an upward blip). But it’s not clear why that’s happening either. I wish I had a clear explanation to give you. A big part of …

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Climate Adaptation and the Two Chinas (and the Two Brazils, and the Two Indias….)

The world used to be divided into developed countries and developing countries, but a third group has now taken the stage: emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil that are growing very rapidly but haven’t yet attained developed country status.  But development in these countries is uneven.  In China, for example, there has been explosive …

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Looking Ahead to Durban

Unlike the Copenhagen climate conference which had enormous publicity and great expectations, the Durban conference next month is coming up very quietly.  Yet, given the 2012 terminus of the Kyoto Protocol, it’s a very important event.  Some degree of progress at Durban is important to keep the UNFCC process alive; otherwise, the action is likely …

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