To the editor:
Columnist Rich Lowry downplays the threat posed by the Amazon wildfires. However, Lowry fails to mention the most important role that the world’s largest rainforest plays regarding our climate – absorbing as much as 2 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide each year.
By releasing massive amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere, the billions of trees in the Amazon seed their own rainfall. Close to 20% of the Amazon has already been deforested, and scientists worry that further deforestation will cause the rainfall cycle to collapse, resulting in more than half of the Amazon converting to savanna.
To stabilize earth’s temperature, it’s necessary to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions. This means reducing emissions enough that they are balanced by CO2 removal, otherwise the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will continue to grow.
The Amazon is a crucial ally in combating climate change, and it’s in the best interests of all nations to protect it.