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Bruce Bialosky

A World Class Hoax

I fell for It. World Leaders fell for it. I bet most of you fell for it. The raging fires in the Amazon destroying the rainforest was being touted as a “cataclysmic environmental event” that could possible change the entirety of earth’s history. Because of some honest people, we now know that the story was a world class hoax making us once again question the motives of the environmental elite and their celebrity allies.

Because every time anyone questions the climate change orthodoxy I decided to research the people who were defaming those who were the promoters of this hoax. I stumbled onto an article in Forbes magazine written by Michael Shellenberger. Shellenberger is not a person that the Left can easily attack. Other than founding a couple of environmental groups, Shellenberger was named a Time Magazine Heroes of the Environment (2008).

Shellenberger wrote:

It is a detailed lambasting of the arguments made that captivated the world. He did cite liberal news sources calling into question the entire matter. Shellenberger wrote “To their credit, CNN and New York Times debunked the photos and other misinformation about the fires. “Deforestation is neither new nor limited to one nation,” explained CNN. “These fires were not caused by climate change,” noted The Times.” But that did not seem to calm the mass hysteria.

Then he quoted another person with whom I was unfamiliar, Dr. Dan Nepstad. This gentleman is President and Founder of Earth Innovation Institute and has worked in the Brazilian Amazon for more than 30 years. Dr. Nepstad was asked to address the issue of whether the Amazon is the “Earth’s lungs” that was argued by the abovementioned publications and climate experts like Leonardo DiCaprio and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dr. Nepstad’s now famous response was “It’s bull___.” “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash.”

The last part of the Shellenberger article that captivated me was the bar chart regarding annual fires in the Amazon. When I heard the figure 40,000 fires, my reaction was “Holy Mackerel.” Turns out there were many years where there were three times as many fires. No one wishes there be an uncontrolled fire, but obviously there was a lot more of these fires when there was a Left-wing government in charge. It seems at least I missed the hysteria then when all those fires were burning. Might the entire matter have to do with the fact that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is disliked by the media much like President Trump?

I did not leave it there because I knew there would be wild accusations by unknowing hysterics. I went looking for someone who disagreed with Shellenberger and I found Rhett Butler (no, not that one. This one does not even have a mustache.) He runs an operation called He has focused on this issue for 20 years. He wrote an article called Michael Shellenberger’s sloppy Forbes diatribe deceives on Amazon fires.

My thought was Butler was going to do a number on Shellenberger. He starts by saying “What Shellenberger gets right: The Amazon is being mischaracterized by the media as “the lungs of the planet”, the number of fires have been higher in the past, and there is a need to engage Brazilian ranchers and farmers to help curb deforestation and burning.”

Game over. The Amazon is not the lungs and there were more fires in prior years. Then Butler goes on and says “What Shellenberger gets wrong: According to scientists, the big issue is that the Brazilian Amazon stores a vast amount of carbon. Increased deforestation combined with climate change is pushing the Amazon ever closer to a forest-to-savanna tipping point, triggering a large release of carbon and worsening global warming.”

Here is the problem with that. First, we all know, when you cut down a tree it is no longer absorbing carbon. Depending upon how it is disposed, it may release the carbons stored in it. Then he goes off the boards. Talking about deforestation combined with climate change. Aren’t the admissions of the carbon he is talking about the believed source of climate change? Wasn’t this worse in the past when there were more fires?

Yes, we should all question why Brazil is cutting down so much area in the Amazon. While this is going on wildfires are raging in Bolivia — run by a Socialist President Evo Morales — yet that does not get a mention in the environmental warrior press. Is that not their concern also?

Even Mr. Butler wrote a column that there were more trees on our planet today than 35 years ago even with the deforestation of the Amazon. Separately, Mother Nature Network (MNN) said the number of trees increased by 7% over the past 35 years. MNN even stated there were more trees in the United States than there were 100 years ago.

Isn’t this a good thing? Why then the hysteria? Why was this a matter of international discussion at the G-7? Why was Trump scorned for not attending that discussion? We know why that is because these types like to scorn Trump for anything, whether fabricated or not.

All in all, this was a non-story created as a political attack by the Left and you now know the facts. It once again brings to question their creditability on environmental issues. What else they are toting is a hoax?