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Climate Crisis Indonesia

Alex Smith | 01.11.2015 20:52 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | London | World

We get a report directly from the scene, with Dr. Daniel Murdiyarso, at the Center for International Forestry Research in Bogor Indonesia. Then one of the long-standing reporters on tropical forests, Mongabay founder Rhett Butler.

Radio Ecoshock special on Indonesian Fires - mp3 55M

Over the past few weeks, Planet Earth has experienced a severe climate crisis, and it hasn't made the front page, or the top story on TV news.

Massive fires have been burning in Indonesia. In satellite images, large parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are buried under smoke. Red dots of fires and hot spots want to cover the whole map of the islands.

Tropical peat fires release phenomenal amounts of greenhouse gases. Calculations by the World Resources Institute find that Indonesian fires over the past three months have released more greenhouse gases than the entire annual emissions of highly-industrialized Germany. For the past month or so, Indonesia has been emitting more greenhouse gases daily than the entire United States economy.

The Indonesian greenhouse burst throws off all previous calculations of how much carbon we could still burn before crossing the 2 degree C unsafe level. It will force a re-draw of our models, and will create, sooner or later, more swift and unpleasant surprises in our climate system. The unknowns loom larger.

Some of us know that our actions now are determining the fate of the planet for the next few thousand years at least. But now our plans, actions, and environmentalism have to change.

Alex Smith
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