The Brazilian Rain Forest is in desperate straits right now. And this is mostly because of one man: Jar Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro is the new autocrat who was elected President of Brazil in October of 2018.
A new report from the UN has just announced that human activities like logging and clear cutting forests for agriculture are destroying species all over the earth at unprecedented levels never before seen. Yet in spite of this announcement, Bolsonaro aims to open up the rain forest — which has already lost 20 percent of its cover — to new development.
Bolsonaro has referred to indigenous people living in villages in the jungle as zoo animals, and he has promised that indigenous communities would not get “one more centimeter” of protected land. Mr. Bolsonaro has also recently given free rein to illegal loggers, clandestine gold miners and criminals who masquerade as meat and soybean producers, occupying protected lands.
The economy in Brazil is barely limping along and Bolsonaro, like Donald Trump, is attempting to stimulate the Brazilian economy by harvesting as much of the riches of the rain forest as possible, no matter what the damage. The great temptation for many populist presidents all over the world is to attempt to reverse their stagnating economies by raping the riches of the earth.
Trump and American corporate leaders are doing their very best to pump and burn every last drop of oil in the earth. And Bolsonaro is doing his level best to harvest every last bit of the riches of the rain forests that Brazil is blessed with.
The consequences of Mr. Bolsonaro’s policies are already evident. Satellite data shows that deforestation has grown steadily since his victory in October. In the first month after his election, deforestation increased more than 400 percent, compared to the previous year.
And this is the last thing we need right now. The earth and the oceans are flooded with far more CO2 than they can safely handle. Forests and particularly rain forests absorb huge amounts of CO2. and give off massive amounts of oxygen every day and night. Rain forests are one of the main reservoirs for CO2 in the world. In addition rain forests are the home of the majority of animal and plant species.
Bolsonaro is just driving one more nail into the coffin of the earth.
And of course the US is doing nothing to even try to prevent this disaster in the making.
Most of the information from this article is from a May 13, 2019 story in the New York Times.