Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: From space, Amazon fires look bigger than all West Coast fires

By Paul Wallis     Sep 15, 2020 in World
Sydney - Well, the California fires are setting some records. The really disturbing thing is that from space, they’re dwarfed by a gigantic cloud of carbon monoxide over South America. Carbon monoxide is a trace for combustion of all kinds.
The big CA fires are incredible. They’ve destroyed about 5 million hectares of land, and done incredible damage to the west coast in general. Tons of smoke and particulates are fouling the air and lungs of people around a huge areas. The satellite images show a waving plume of carbon monoxide (CO) like a waving flag.
…So how much bigger can the Amazon fires be? Unlike the US fires, the Amazon image from NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)shows a solid red mass of pollution. It’s about the size of the American West from Kansas to the Pacific.
The physics of pollutants in the atmosphere
To put it simply:
Putting huge amounts of hot air into the atmosphere is a complex process. Combustion raises large amounts of hot air and particulate materials. Particulates can stay in the air until something forces them down.
The overall mass of air in the areas of combustion is increased, generating a thermal profile. The pollutants mix with the atmosphere, but as you can see from the pictures, they don’t mix or dilute very efficiently or quickly. That depends to some extent on atmospheric conditions and the amount of combustion, but the current indicators are that the big mass of CO over South America is just sitting there.
CO is a poisonous gas. It can kill, but in practice it’s better at making people sick and causing lung and respiratory problems as well as many other unpleasant symptoms.
Just about all forms of combustion of carbon cause the release of some carbon monoxide. That’s why it takes a lot of CO to register as a huge blob of it from space. So the Amazon fires must be pretty intense, continuous, and they’re generating obviously vast amounts of CO.
The obvious, explained.
It’s clear from the CO in South America that not one damn thing is being done about stopping burning and deforestation. The sheer scale of CO production is literally a smoking gun.
You can safely assume nothing at all will be done about this. When governments and “business” (a not-very-interesting word for white collar crime) are incapable of understanding high school science, this is what happens.
The interesting thing here is that after all these years of supposed debate, incredibly valuable resources are being incinerated to make hamburgers. There are any number of biological resources in the Amazon. New medicines, new discoveries, and that’s somehow less important than some damn fast food snack.
(Point being – Most technology is based on original natural phenomena. The Amazon just happens to be full of incredibly diverse natural phenomena. Too difficult for the anti-science guys, of course.)
The joke is that rainforest soil is very nutrient poor. It can feed a rainforest, but not much else. To adequately farm an area that size, fertilizers and even soil will need to be maintained at incredible expense. …Assuming the entire Amazon basin doesn’t just turn into a gigantic water slide when the original soil breaks up under cultivation.
Look at it this way:
• You destroy an asset worth $1 million to make the margins on a burger.
• You spend a fortune to clear the asset.
• You spend another fortune to maintain the burger farms.
• You then call yourself a genius and pay yourself a few more bucks.
There are people who know how to fix the problems, but everyone hates experts, right? Well, everyone who has a vocabulary including “nerds, Poindexters, Brainiac”, and other grade school words used by the dumb kids from the 1950s, that is. Or, to put it another way, duly elected morons, media hacks, and populist vermin.
If this is how humanity wants to end, it’s a well-deserved fate for such incredible stupidity, and it’s a type of own-species-genocide which will actually work. Congratulations.
Oh…yeah… If you happen to be “governed” by a big fat piece of fecal material, you can stop worrying about the future. It has better things to do, so it won’t be bothering you anymore.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about California fires 2020, Amazon fires, Amazon basin, carbon monoxide combustion, atmospheric physics pollution
More news from
Latest News
Top News