L A Times anti-science propaganda campaign hyping Amazon fires – ‘False claims…complete lack of honest news integrity’

By: - Climate DepotAugust 27, 2019 2:04 PM


Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The L A Times is at it again pushing climate alarmist propaganda distortion, deception and dishonesty hyping the recent fires burning in the Amazon region.


The Times reporter drones on about the magnitude of deforestation underway in the Amazon with the following inaccurate and hyped discussion:

“Flames are spreading across the Amazon rainforest this summer, spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each day. But scientists say that’s not their biggest concern. They’re far more worried about what the fires represent: a dramatic increase in illegal deforestation that could deprive the world of a critical buffer against climate change.

More than a soccer field’s worth of Amazon forest is falling every minute, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, known as INPE. Preliminary estimates from satellite data revealed that deforestation in June rose almost 90% compared with the same month last year, and by 280% in July.

The Amazon is a key component of Earth’s climate system. It holds about a quarter as much carbon as the entire atmosphere and single-handedly absorbs about 5% of all the CO2 we emit each year.

But if such rapid deforestation continues, it will foil efforts to keep global temperatures in check. Scientists fear parts of the Amazon could pass a critical threshold and transform from a lush rainforest into a dry, woody grassland. And that could bring catastrophic consequences not only for people in South America, but also for everyone around the world.”

The Times presents its “scientific evidence” of the grave “tipping point” increases in deforestation underway with the following graph:


But as always with the dishonesty of alarmism fabricated by the L A Times reality presents a quite different picture when a more complete analysis is undertaken with the result clearly demonstrating the propaganda focused objective of the Times.

A more complete and objective assessment of the deforestation issues in the Brazilian Amazon provided by another article shows a much more comprehensive picture of the history of declining deforestation that was astoundingly ignored by the alarmist Times as noted below.


The article notes:

“Interestingly, when NASA released the satellite image on August 21, it noted that “it is not unusual to see fires in Brazil at this time of year due to high temperatures and low humidity. Time will tell if this year is a record breaking or just within normal limits.”

So why are there so many fires? “Natural fires in the Amazon are rare, and the majority of these fires were set by farmers preparing Amazon-adjacent farmland for next year’s crops and pasture,” soberly explains The New York Times. “Much of the land that is burning was not old-growth rain forest, but land that had already been cleared of trees and set for agricultural use.”

It is routine for farmers and ranchers in tropical areas burn their fields to control pests and weeds and to encourage new growth in pastures.

What about deforestation trends?  Since the right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s president, rainforest deforestation rates have increased a bit, but they are still way below their earlier highs.”

So once again we have the L A Times fabricating phony alarmist issues and making false claims based upon its complete lack of honest news integrity while displaying its total focus on manufacturing alarmism propaganda.

Forbes published an article addressing the fact that just about every hyped up account of these fires is wrong.


The article chastised at length the unjustified alarmist news coverage and provided a graph that puts the recent number of fires in perspective.


The article offered the following enlightening discussion about the absurd alarmist campaign present in much of the world’s media regarding these fires:

“One of Brazil’s leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires has been misleading. “It was under [Workers Party President] Lula and [Environment Secretary] Marina Silva (2003-2008) that Brazil had the highest incidence of burning,” Leonardo Coutinho told me over email. “But neither Lula nor Marina was accused of putting the Amazon at risk.”

Coutinho’s perspective was shaped by reporting on the ground in the Amazon for Veja, Brazil’s leading news magazine, for nearly a decade. By contrast, many of the correspondents reporting on the fires have been doing so from the cosmopolitan cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which are 2,500 miles and four hours by jet plane away.

“What is happening in the Amazon is not exceptional,” said Coutinho. “Take a look at Google web searches search for ‘Amazon’ and ‘Amazon Forest’ over time. Global public opinion was not as interested in the ‘Amazon tragedy’ when the situation was undeniably worse. The present moment does not justify global hysteria.”

And while fires in Brazil have increased, there is no evidence that Amazonforest fires have.”

“Amazon forest fires are hidden by the tree canopy and only increase during drought years. “We don’t know if there are any more forest fires this year than in past years, which tells me there probably isn’t,” Nepstad said. “I’ve been working on studying those fires for 25 years and our [on-the-ground] networks are tracking this.”

“What increased by 7% in 2019 are the fires of dry scrub and trees cut down for cattle ranching as a strategy to gain ownership of land.

Against the picture painted of an Amazon forest on the verge of disappearing, a full 80% remains standing. Half of the Amazon is protected against deforestation under federal law.”

“Few stories in the first wave of media coverage mentioned the dramatic drop in deforestation in Brazil in the 2000s,” noted former New York Timesreporter Andrew Revkin, who wrote a 1990 book, The Burning Season, about the Amazon, and is now Founding Director, Initiative on Communication & Sustainability at The Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Deforestation declined a whopping 70% from 2004 to 2012. It has risen modestly since then but remains at one-quarter its 2004 peak. And just 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soy farming.”

The L A Times article of course was silent on any rational assessment of the history of declining deforestation and related fires in favor of pushing its usual climate alarmist propaganda campaign garbage.