Devastating and deadly wildfires are caused by climate change and accelerate climate change. The San Francisco Bay area wildfires in 2020 were sparked by the electrical grid, owned and managed by Pacific Gas and Electric. While in Australia, the size and heat from the wildfires there expanded the ozone hole and increased temperatures in the stratosphere in some areas by 3 degrees Celsius. Images of animals fleeing in droves, of land scorched barren, of entire neighborhoods turned to ash and dust, are increasingly common.
Another catastrophic fire, caused by the profit logic of invasive monocrops, ripped through Portugal in 2017.
Now available for streaming on Peacock, and originally aired on MSNBC, From Devil's Breath is a stunning, emotional, and inspiring, urgently significant documentary about the wildfires in Portugal in 2017.
"FROM DEVIL'S BREATH tells the unlikely story of two remarkable narratives that come crashing together; the extraordinary, inspiring community of survivors of the deadly 2017 wildfires in Portugal, fighting to ensure what they've lived through can never happen again; and a revolutionary, world-changing scientific discovery which could help protect us all from the climate emergency." Check out the trailer here.
Andrew Li posted From Devil's Breath is one installment of the MSNBC Films docuseries "The Turning Point," which seeks to "spark discussion through explorations of hot button topics, with a deliberate editorial directive to minimize the blame game." Well, let's help reframe that missed opportunity.
The filmmakers center the stories of people profoundly and forever impacted by the fires and, in coming to terms with the devastation, working to prevent future catastrophes. An eye-opening critique of how profit-driven eco-system management strategies for nature, and the business model of international agroforestry based on short-term profits from invasive monocropping, are destroying the planet.
Deepa Fernandes interviewed co-producer Catarina Fernandes Martins for NPR's "Here and Now."
For more on eucalyptus and mono-crops, check out The Government of Beans: Regulating Life in the Age of Monocrops by Kregg Heatherton. A PDF of the introduction to Heatherton's book is available for free download from Duke Press.