Published in Place | October 6, 2017
To address the climate crisis, we must address inequality
By Darren Walker
For most people, the mega-hurricanes we have witnessed - along with their devastating consequences - have put an exclamation point on the urgency of climate change. But an even bigger exclamation point came in the form of a new scientific study showing how the carbon released by tropical deforestation and degradation has been underestimated.
Before the study, scientists had always viewed tropical forests as a tool for soaking up the carbon emitted from manmade sources like coal-fired power plants. But these forests and their inhabitants have been perpetually under siege, pushed aside for large-scale agriculture, mining, and hydropower developments. Today, the amount of carbon released as tropical forests are degraded and destroyed far outweighs the amount of carbon that the remaining forests absorb.