Amazonia ablaze

Image: Eduardo Fonseca Arraes, via Flickr. "People from the Desana ethnic group at Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. They call themselves Umukomasã."

Professor Herbert Girardet today launches a major new series of essays - Megamorphosis - exclusively with The Ecologist.

We need to work together globally to make a future worth living - towards life-restoring regenerative development.

Unprecedented change on a global and historical scale is now required if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. The combination of extreme weather - heatwaves and flooding - and agonising increases in energy bills across Europe demonstrates that our fossil fuel based economies are in, and are creating, profound crises.

Download Amazonia Ablaze as a PDF.

The scale of the challenge is so immense. The very way human societies connect with and exchange energy with the natural environment - its metabolism - needs to be fundamentally transformed. In this moment we need Megamorphosis

Professor Herbert Girardet, an environment researcher, author, filmmaker, consultant and academic, has been warning about the threats posed by our extraction from and exhaustion of natural resources for five decades - and has been leading the way in coming up with systems based, planetary scale solutions for just as long.

Ecosystems

Today, The Ecologist is launching his most recent work - a major series titled Megamorphosis. The series of essays opens with a heart-rending and fact-filled examination of the destruction of the Amazonian rainforests and the high risk this now poses to our climate: Amazonia Ablaze. You can download this article for free right now. You can also donate to support this work.

Professor Girardet told The Ecologist: "Our house is on fire - but is there still time to put out the blaze? Can the technosphere we have built become compatible with the complexities of the biosphere?

"Against all the odds, can the planet’s recent urban-industrial transformation yet be superseded by a global ecological megamorphosis – mainstreaming the green energy transition, the circular economy, regenerative farming and cities, and restoration of soils and ecosystems?

"Megamorphosis argues that only big, system level changes will suffice in dealing with the planetary crisis we are facing.”

Future

He added: "So what can readers of The Ecologist do to make a difference, what can they help initiate? We need to work together globally to make a future worth living, thinking beyond the tired notion of sustainable development towards life-restoring regenerative development."

This major series benefits from Professor Girardet's work with the Club of Rome, the World Future Council, the Schumacher Society, and as a long-standing contributor to the Resurgence & Ecologist magazine.

The first essay - Amazonia Ablaze - draws on Professor Girardet's experience visiting the region shortly after Brazil won its independence in the 1960s - ushering in a new era of deforestation and devastation in the name of economic growth and neoliberal ideology.

Professor Girardet discusses the global connectedness of modern humanity, while challenging the assumption that we can ever assume a wilful dominance over life on earth.

The Megamorphosis series is the first in a trilogy of investigative projects that will be published by The Ecologist in the coming months and years. This work is part of a new plan - Strategy 2022/5 - for the online environmental news and analysis website, focussing our attention on the global fossil fuel economy and its impacts on our planet.

This Author

Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist, including the Megamorphosis series. Professor Girardet is a trustee of the Resurgence Trust, the publisher of The Ecologist online and the Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. The Resurgence Trust and The Tedworth Trust (see below) have a trustee in common.

Funding

The Megamorphosis series is part funded by The Tedworth Charitable Trust. Fundraising is ongoing for this and future work. You can make a donation restricted to supporting the publication of the Megamorphosis series online now. All contributions, from £1 to £100, are very gratefully received. We use the Enthuse.com platform for our donations. 

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The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.