Monday, April 6, 2020
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Nº 6 – Forest fires and their causes

Let’s prepare for them NOW. Against the backdrop of the Australian and Brazilian disasters, we must ensure NOW that such an Apocalypse Now in the coming summer months in Portugal cannot catch us unprepared, that we are avoiding such a disaster. Because mega-fire knows no bounds, winds blow them everywhere and destroy everything. Everyone of us can do something to preserve our land and that of our neighbours and protect Portugal. We extinguish fires with water.

Years of drought are caused by slow, insidious climatic changes, which we all share the responsibility for through our so-called modern lifestyle. On the one hand, drought has its causes in reduced and in chaotic heavy rainfall. Either too little rainwater falls or it comes in such quantities that it causes destruction and flows just into the sea. With that we lose good soil. Let us look at the problem with a cool head. This critical situation arises because the weather and thus the climate have changed. This, in turn, is due to the fact that winds are out of balance both in direction and intensity, that even the seasons are out of balance. Instead of bringing rain, winds are now bringing more heatwaves to Europe and it is getting warmer and colder overnight. There are many reasons for this, provoked by human activity. One of them is that our agriculture and forestry and all of us, through our life style (what we do, what we eat, what we are), contribute to wasting water. We no longer treat the water in our soils with care and sustainability. In fact, all of us, through our actions, create the best possible conditions for forest fires in Portugal and around the world.

What can, what must we do NOW?

Let us become part of the solution and stop whining or pointing the finger at others. Let us start with ourselves. Let’s stop monocultures NOW. Anyone who owns a eucalyptus forest, or has a neighbor with one, should advise them to cut eucalyptus as soon as possible before summer – which means that these trees must be cut down NOW. The planting of native tree species must begin immediately. These include cork oaks, oaks, umbrella pines, chestnuts and many other tree and bush species such as e.g. linden trees, figs, carob, medronho, almonds and olive trees. At the same time, the eucalyptus roots must be prevented from continuing to draw groundwater from the soil. This water is essential for the survival of mankind. This applies to all monocultures, including avocado and mango trees, which are also water-intensive, industrial agriculture with monocultures such as raspberries, blueberries, etc. Let us no longer buy food from monocultures. We must free ourselves from the idea of industrial agriculture that only wastes water and move towards a way of life that values water, good earth and clean air as the most important elements of our globe. Only by sowing water (storing it in the soil) and keeping the soil moist in summer will we invest in a future with fewer forest fires (the fourth element) in the coming summers. We need to store water not only in the soil, but also the little rain in many decentralized cisterns to actively prepare ourselves for forest fires. Because we can only extinguish these fires with water.

It is a matter of acting attentively and together. This includes looking after our land and building our houses so that they cannot burn. This also includes at least insuring our houses and land, otherwise we will ruin ourselves economically right now. We should reduce our ecological footprint and our CO2 emissions. This is why ECO123 has offered you the KYOTO test. To enable you to reflect and control your actions and emissions. With https://kyoto.eco123.info we keep our emissions under control at all times.

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