Convergence of Signs

Brazil records worst annual deforestation for a decade

Blog note:

…And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places,and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity,frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons,cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places,devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere,record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on.Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman havign labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Brazil records worst annual deforestation for a decade

Nearly 8,000sq kms lost in the year to July amid alarm new president Jair Bolsonaro will make situation worse

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro. Fri 23 Nov 2018 23.38 EST. The Guardian.

Brazil has released its worst annual deforestation figures ina decade amid fears that the situation might worsen when the avowedly anti-environmentalist president-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes power. Between August 2017 and July 2018, 7,900sq kms were deforested, according to preliminary figures from the environment ministry based on satellite monitoring– a 13.7% rise on the previous year and the biggest area of forest cleared since 2008. Thearea is equivalent to 987,000 football pitches.

The news was met by dismay from environmentalists who warned deforestation was likely to become more acute when Bolsonaro becomes president on 1 January. “It is a lot of destroyed forest,” said Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brasil’s public policy coordinator. “The situation is very worrying… what is bad will get worse.” The environment ministry said the increase came despite an increase in its budget and in operations carried out by its environment agency Ibama.

“We need to increase the mobilisation at all levels of government, of society, and of the productive sector to combat illicit environmental activities,” environment minister Edson Duarte said in a statement.

But the government appears to be heading in the other direction. After falling for several years, deforestation began rising again in 2013, the year after leftist president Dilma Rousseff approved a new forest code which gave an amnesty to those deforesting on small properties. Deforestation has risen in four of the six years since then, including in 2016, the year Rousseff was impeached and replaced by her former vice-president Michel Temer. Temer has made further concessions to powerful agribusiness interests in return for support from its congressional representatives – including approving a measure that legalised land that had been squatted in the Amazon, a common deforestation driver. Last year Temer backed down on measures to reduce protection to a national forest called Jamanxim and a protected area called Renca after protests from environmentalists, supermodel Gisele Bündchen and even singer Alicia Keys at the Rock in Rio music festival.

Moves like these signalled the Brazilian congress was no longer concerned about deforestation,said Astrini, encouraging deforestation. “We feel in our field work that these deforestation gangs are very confident they will get amnesty or that they are covered,” he said.

As more and more of the Amazon is cut down, the world’s greatest forest is now getting close to the“tipping point” – after which experts fear it could disappear. “A moment will arrive in which the accumulation of this deforestation will cause an effect in which the forest will stop being a forest,” Astrini said. “The scientists calculate this is between 20-30%. We are very close to the 20%.”The Climate Observatory (Observatório do Clima) – a non-profit, climate change network – calculated that in 2017, 46% of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions were due to deforestation.

It also expects deforestation to worsen once Jair Bolsonaro’s new government begins. He has frequently attacked what he calls the “fines industry” of agencies such as Ibama, and wants to allow mining in protected indigenous reserves – some of th eAmazon’s least-destroyed forests – and even considered making the environment ministry part of the agriculture ministry.

Bolsonaro has enjoyed support from agribusiness and his minister of agriculture will beheaded up by Tereza Cristina, head of its Congress lobby. His foreign minister,Ernesto Araújo, has argued that global warming is a Marxist plot.On Friday, his vice-president elect, General Hamilton Mourão, while admitting global warming did exist, told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper:“Environmentalism is used as an instrument of domination by big economies.” Bolsonaro only backed down on plans to withdraw Brazil from the Paris climate deal because agricultural producers argued the move risked boycotts from European consumers, local media reported. “If the problem is in politic sand politicians and their power of decision, they need to be pressured,”Astrini said.

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