In his column (Sept. 3), Rich Lowry downplays the threat posed by the Amazon wildfires. However, he fails to mention the most important role that the world’s largest rain forest plays regarding Earth’s climate — absorbing as much as 2 billion tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide each year.

There is another concern — by releasing massive amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere, the millions of trees in the Amazon seed their own rainfall. But close to 20% of the Amazon has already been deforested, and scientists worry that further deforestation will cause the rainfall cycle to collapse, resulting in more than half of the Amazon converting to savanna.

To stabilize Earth’s temperature, it is necessary to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions. That means reducing emissions enough that they are balanced by CO2 removal, otherwise the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will continue to grow.

The Amazon is a crucial ally in combating climate change. Let’s work together to protect it.

Terry Hansen, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

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