Media claims that new satellite imagery shows that “man made global warming” is causing deforestation have been exposed as a brazen lie by a simple analysis of the original images.
According to data released at the U.N.’s Climate Change Summit in Durban, South Africa, and subsequently trumpeted by ignorant and shoddy journalists in the world’s media, the images showed that “global climate change can now be observed from space.”
According to the reports, and speakers at the summit, the satellite images released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) “prove” that deforestation is happening because of global warming linked to climate change.
However, the FAO data and images, which can be viewed by clicking here in their original format, show nothing of the sort.
The images, taken with high-resolution satellites, do indeed provide a measure by which deforestation is occurring, and in which countries the problem is most severe.
The images also, however, show clearly where reforestation is occurring, and this is where the “mad mad climate change” theory collapses.
The most important image, reproduced above, shows that the nations with the greatest forestation losses are Brazil, Australia, central Africa, and some southeast Asian nations.
Critically, the two countries with the greatest reforestation figures are the United States of America and China—which are also the world’s two largest industrialised nations which together produce more CO2 than the rest of the world combined.
Most of Europe has had almost no change in forestation levels, while Russia and India have experienced slight gains.
The data makes it clear that there is no link between industrialisation and deforestation—exactly the opposite of what is now being claimed at the Durban summit and by the man-made climate change proponents.
Deforestation is most certainly taking place in some countries, but when the data is analysed on a regional level, variances between closely related countries make it clear that there are other factors at work.
For example, if the FOA map shown above is studied, the island mass immediately to the north of Australia shows a clear divide between east and west.
This dividing line is in fact the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Indonesia is suffering severe deforestation, while Papua New Guinea has only had slight forest cover change.
If “climate change” was the cause of deforestation, then both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea would have the same lowered level of forest stripping.
The fact that the two most industrialised nations on earth have actually had an increase in forestation levels, is however, an even more compelling argument against blaming industrialisation per se for deforestation.
Clearly, work is needed to stop illegal logging (the most likely cause of deforestation in Brazil) and further investigation is required to established the cause of Australia’s deforestation.
Any sincere and committed environmentalist will be rightly concerned at the loss of forest area anywhere on earth—but endlessly blaming western and industrialised nations is merely a red-herring, as the new data clearly shows.