Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Amazon Drought

A woman carries bucket of water on improvised bridge over dry land alongside the Amazon River at Bom Jesus village at the margin of Solimoes river in Amazonas State, Brazil. (Photo: Jose Caldas/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'Should Ring Alarm Bells': Study Warns of Severe Drying for Amazon Rainforest

Findings, says lead researcher, shows "that this vital global resource must not be taken for granted."

Brett Wilkins

Researchers at the University of Leeds in Britain published new research Tuesday—World Rainforest Day—showing that massive swaths of the eastern Amazon are at risk of severe drying by the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced.

"Protecting and expanding existing forests—which absorb and store carbon—is of paramount importance to combating climate change."
—Jessica Baker, Leeds University

Analyzing the results of 38 known Amazon climate models, researchers found that large quantities of carbon dioxide would be released from the forest into the atmosphere as a result of drying, exacerbating the greenhouse gas effect and further fueling climate change.

Severe droughts in the Amazon would also adversely affect the rainforest's water cycle, biodiversity, and Indigenous peoples who live there.

"People in Brazil and across the globe are rightly concerned about what the future holds for the Amazon, and its valuable store of carbon and biodiversity," said study lead author Jessica Baker of the School of Earth and the Environment at Leeds University. "The Amazon is at risk from the twin threats of deforestation and climate change."

"This new study sheds light on how the Amazon climate is likely to change under an extreme warming scenario," Baker continued. "It should ring alarm bells for governments around the world that this vital global resource must not be taken for granted. Protecting and expanding existing forests—which absorb and store carbon—is of paramount importance to combating climate change."

Caio Coelho, co-author of the study and a researcher at the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil—which is home to over half of the rainforest—said that "it's important to understand how the climate of the Amazon might change in the future."

"This study shows that dry season rainfall reductions in parts of the Amazon could be similar to the drying seen during the major Amazon droughts of 2005 and 2010, which caused widespread tree mortality and had major impacts for Amazon communities," Coelho added.

A 2019 study by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California revealed that the atmosphere above the Amazon rainforest has been drying out over the past two decades, primarily as the result of human activity, leaving critical ecosystems increasingly vulnerable to fires and drought.

The eco-advocacy group Greenpeace has accused the climate emergency-denying administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro—the self-proclaimed "Captain Chainsaw" and champion of Amazon "development"—of "systematically" dismantling environmental protections.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

As Sinema Blocks Corporate Tax Hike, Demand Grows for Wealth Tax on Billionaires

"It seems truly unhinged to look at a country full of working people struggling to get by... and decide that it's more important to preserve low tax rates for billionaires and corporations than it is to make significant investments in our families."

Julia Conley ·


Israel Condemned for Designating Palestinian Human Rights Groups 'Terrorist Organizations'

"Labeling effective NGOs 'terrorists' is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace," said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Kenny Stancil ·


House Progressives Call On Biden to Declare a Climate Emergency—Now

"Your inaction," Rep. Cori Bush warned the president, "is undermining our efforts to deliver good jobs, environmental justice, and a renewable energy future."

Jessica Corbett ·


Despite Politicians and Pundits' Claims, Twitter Finds Algorithm Favors Right-Wing Voices

"So much for Trump's claim that Twitter has an anti-conservative bias."

Brett Wilkins ·


'And Maybe More': Biden Says He's Open to Reforming Filibuster to Win Voting Rights

"It's a simple choice between a free America or one chained by the past," said one advocate. "Our democracy hangs in the balance."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo