About Those Amazon Fires …

The Amazon rainforest plays a significant role in mitigating the effects of climate change, by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  It is the largest such ‘carbon dioxide sink’ on the globe.  While it is not at all unusual for fires to occur in the Amazon during the dry season, this year’s fires have been particularly intense and have led to international concern, for obvious reasons.

Bolsonaro-2

Jair Bolsonaro

During the summer, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who had previously stated his intention to destroy parts of the rainforest to make way for agriculture, mining, and other business development, mocked the environmental groups who were expressing concern about the fires.  In August, as the fires intensified and photographs of the ongoing fires and impacts caught international attention and became a rising topic among world leaders, suspicions that at least some of the fires had been deliberately set were noted in the press.

The National Institute for Space Research in Brazil (INPE) reported that at least 74,155 fires had been detected in all of Brazil, which represents an 84-percent increase from the same period in 2018.  Bolsonaro mocked the INPE data, and mocked the concerned environmentalists, even going so far as to call himself “Captain Chainsaw”.  This, combined with Bolsonaro’s declared intent to destroy parts of the rainforest, led to speculation that perhaps he was responsible for the setting of some of the fires.

But on Wednesday, August 21, Bolsonaro said he believed non-governmental organizations could be behind the fires as a tactic “to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil.”

“The fire was started, it seemed, in strategic locations. There are images of the entire Amazon. How can that be? Everything indicates that people went there to film and then to set fires. That is my feeling.”

In August at the G7 summit, a special meeting was called to discuss the Amazon fires.  Trump, by the way, did not attend and lied about his reason for not attending, but what’s new?  At the meeting, the group pledged $22 million to assist with putting out the fires.  The next day, Bolsonaro rejected the offer.

In September, at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, leaders from around the globe offered assistance in fighting the fires, but Bolsonaro rejected the offers of help, and said that he would use the rainforest’s resources as he sees fit. The Amazon isn’t in flames, he told the group, but brimming with riches. And Brazil will decide how to develop it.  Rather like seeing your neighbor’s house afire, offering to assist in putting the fire out, and being told to go home, that there was no fire and he would appreciate you minding your own business.  You can plainly see that it is afire and could easily spread to your own home, thus making it your own business, but … what can you do?

Since the annual rains started last month, though some fires are still burning, for all intents and purposes the majority have been quelled.  So, I hear you wondering why I am bringing all this up now.  Well …

Bolsonaro’s latest round of the blame game is pointing the finger at none other than actor Leonardo DiCaprio!  Now, this would be laughable just in and of itself, but … Leonardo DiCaprio is an environmental activist who, in August pledged $5 million to help save the Amazon!  Bolsonaro has vowed to drive environmental NGOs from Brazil, and so on Friday he told a group of his supporters …

“This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.  Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon.”

It would be bad enough, thinking of the plant and animal life lost, if these fires had only affected Brazil.  The people of Brazil, after all, elected this narcissistic, arrogant, ignorant fool, and it could be said they deserve what they get, just as the people of the U.S. deserve the chaos they invited upon their nation.  But, in this case, it is estimated that the Amazon rainforest is responsible for some 20% of the world’s oxygen.  I said … 20% OF THE WORLD’S OXYGEN!!!  Think about that one for a minute.trump-bolsonaroIf that means that 1 in 5 people are going to have to stop breathing, I vote that Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump should be the first two to stop, and then all the rest of the climate deniers should simply be forced to stop breathing, then perhaps there will be enough oxygen for the rest of us.

It is estimated that it will take between 20 – 40 years for the trees that were burned to be fully replaced.  We don’t have that kind of time, folks.  Did Jair Bolsonaro bankroll the destruction that was caused this summer?  Perhaps we’ll never know, and perhaps at this point it no longer matters, except … he’s still the president of Brazil and he’s shown the world how little he thinks of protecting the environment.  If the human race is determined to extinct itself, as appears to be the case, we have certainly made a good start at it.

31 thoughts on “About Those Amazon Fires …

  1. One of the earliest books I read about the environment was called “How Green Was My Valley”. It was about the exploitation of coal in the valleys of South Wales and it’s effect on the landscape and the people. Then there was “Silent Spring”.
    The basic problem is that we humans see a resource and immediately start grabbing it. From the several gold rushes of the 19th Century to the Texas ‘gushers’ of the early twentieth to the destruction of rainforests in Africa and Asia as well as the Amazon basin, we seem unable to act responsibly. Like kids let loose in a sweetshop it’s all grab, grab, grab with no thought for the future.
    The valleys of South Wales are now green again because the coal is gone. Most of the trees destroyed in the planet’s forests will, as they have in the past, be replaced by other plants. But, being mono-cultures rather than diverse species, they have the potential to create widespread desertification. I love my steak, but the answer is not to protest or throw monmey at conservation. We have to modify our diets, reducing our apetite for red meat; stop replacing our gadgets and appliances at such frequent intervals.
    The only way to fight back at the corporates is to stop buying the stuff they push at us. Stay home on Black Friday. Give to charity rather than buy new stuff for your loved ones at the winter festival (I’m not trying to be PC by avloiding the C word here, just calling it what it has become – an orgy of consumption.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Very astute observations, Frank. And you are spot on. People, at least the majority of them, are arrogant and short-sighted. I’ve talked to many who, even though they are appalled by what is happening to our planet, are unwilling to give up their gas-guzzling SUVs, their twice-weekly beef burgers, or even take the time to re-cycle. They will do nothing that makes life a little less ‘convenient’ for them. And you’re right about the rampant consumerism in the Western world … dangle a bright shiny object in front of our eyes, and we immediately pull out our wallet. The worst is that it isn’t you and I who will pay the price, but our children and grandchildren. Your term, “Orgy of consumption” says it all.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Jill. This is an important post, thank you. I think part of the problem is the ego of humans that simply can not accept they might not be so great or so not in charge. People tend to think humans are above everything happening on the planet, we are the superior creatures. Hogwash. We are part of an ecosystem and we have been sabotaging and destroying it. There are many reasons and groups doing this but it all comes down to maintaining their power and dominance over others. When there is no food, no clean water, when you can not get cool or warm, when the air you breathe scorches your lungs, humans will not suddenly be above it all and redeemed, we will die as a species. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right, Scottie. The human species is the most arrogant of all, and mankind seems to think that he is so special that he can do as he wishes and everything on the planet will simply regenerate because he believes his ‘god’ will make it so. I have actually had religious friends tell me this … that ‘god’ put everything here only for the pleasure of humans. Sheesh. I’m thankful to be old enough that I won’t likely be around to see the time when there is nothing left to sustain life on the planet, but still I do what I can to help preserve the environment for future generations. If only everyone did. Sigh. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    • ‘Tis the trademark of the populist movement, my friend. Yep, Trump and a number of others are but symptoms of a mass movement of greed and arrogance. The irony is that if you trace the roots of the populist movement, they track back, in part, to the effects of climate change! The world is, in fact, upside down. Sigh.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Too many countries have given the keys to individuals who live for today and don’t care about tomorrow. It’s pointless hoping to convince them. Nothing will change until they go. Unfortunately until then the damage they will cause is frightening. That’s not damage to their bank accounts and hedge fund investments – they are the only thing protected,

    Liked by 4 people

    • That attitude … “live for today and to hell with tomorrow” … seems to be prevalent among certain groups these days. The only thing that rings bells in their heads are $$$$$$$$$ or ££££££££. And in the process, they are destroying the future of our children and grandchildren. I hope they all choke on their lousy money!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. CO2 has no effect on global temperatures either up or down. Currently our planet supports about 455ppm. We are a carbon-based life form and planet. It is the very building block of life here. In mesozoic when all was lush and green over 3 times as much, 1500ppm. The idea by globalists is control over nations. Telling nations what and what may not, be developed. It is an electrical universe. Of course Obama didn’t lie… hahahaha. The only liars are in GOP? Hahaha Dems or GOP You are both as bad as each other! Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello hirundine608. I think you are missing the point. We are not living in the mesozoic. We are not killing the planet. Long after humans are gone the planet will still be here and have new life on it. What we are killing is the very habitat we need to survive. There is no disputing that. The environment that is best for human life, for the promotion of human life, is being destroyed. Historically when a habitat is destroyed the life that depends on it becomes extinct. As the data can not be argued against, climate change and global warming are happening, we might want to look at ways to keep our needed habitat as best as we can, before we become just a mystery and fossils. Hugs

      Liked by 4 people

      • No; you are missing the point. Environment is what the environment is. To imagine that burning carbon-based fuel is somehow detrimental and will reduce human life equally absurd. While there will be localized, detriments of pollutions not CO2 that is obvious.The point about mesozoic is that the fora and fauna were huge. Supported by large amounts of CO2. Water and sun were abundant but there were still also cooling periods. This coming winter will be a taste of the future. The planet has been in a cooling decline anyway, despite what you perceive as hotter. The evidence of a scientific nature is against the argument. Destruction of habitat? Interesting notion? Who does that? People. Not climate. You might think that a country concerned about CO? and then destroying the environment but then continues with it. Maybe doesn’t buy the argument of global warming? You write, the data cannot be argued with but that is exactly what I urge you to do.
        When I grew up. Being a Liberal was being open-minded, about things. Learning how the world and universe worked. Interactions with others and learning to get along. The carbon-based fuels like coal, coke and then oil. Not really fossil fuels at all. Without them. The cities and industry are whole development as a species, was because we harnessed their energy. The whole diatribe of “The sky is falling” due to CO2 is completely unsupported in real science and data. Start with the link I gave?
        Lastly it may be a result of all that hippy dippy stuff I grew up within 1960s? The universe is all interconnected, through plasma, electricity and magnetism. You can see that today, through all the telescopes designed to capture. Didn’t do that with rechargeable batteries? Cheers Jamie
        BTW… see the snow in California, today? Warming? Nah!

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  5. Bolsonaro seems to have convinced the Brazilians of a plot against their Nation by outside interests who don’t want redevelopment. People are all too ready to listen to conspiracy theories against their own Country.It’s Brazil ‘s own environmentalists who are best placed to show the lie of Bolsonaro’s claims.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, his rhetoric, and his promises of greater wealth for the people of his nation, have convinced at least a portion of the people of Brazil that he will … dare I say it … “Make Brazil great again”? As Keith pointed out, Bolsonaro, Trump, Boris, Erdogan, Putin and others are dishonest, cannot be trusted … but there are those who will believe what they say, regardless of the lack of logic. Trump rolls back environmental regulations, Bolsonaro destroys the Amazon … how long before the saner nations in this world decide to do something to protect the planet from these goons?
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

    • We won’t leave it up to him … in fact, I have no problem with taking away his breathing rights now, so that he won’t be able to interfere! Y’know, Suze, I have compared Trump to Hitler since early 2016, and I still see the connection. But … you know who scares me even more, who genuinely seems like nearly a clone of Hitler? Stephen Miller. The more I hear about him, the more I think he needs to be kept under lock and key somewhere.

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  6. Jill, when people in leadership feel like they can lie with impunity, they must be challenged. There is a common thread between Putin, Erdogan, Trump, Bolsinaro, Johnson et al and that is they are untruthful people. It makes me sad to not believe a word my country’s president says. But, I don’t. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I fully agree … there is no truth nor honesty in any of those men, nor are they concerned with doing the right thing for the people of their respective nations. They are power-hungry, greedy, arrogant, and dishonest. Like you, no matter what Trump says, I immediately assume the opposite to be true.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, one of your commenters noted Dems lie as well and he is right – all politicians need to be more truthful Two points. First. I left the GOP twelve years ago based on their stances on climate change, gun control, embracing evangelical issues and a tendency to make things up, aided and abetted by Fox News. Second, the current US president lies more than he does not lapping the field. Five biographers have noted Trump’s problem with the truth and an attorney of his said “Donald Trump lies everyday even about things of no consequence. ” Did Obama, Daddy Bush, Ronald Reagan, lie – yes. But, I do not think of them as liars. The current president is the most untruthful and corrupt president in my lifetime, which includes Richard Nixon. Keith

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        • I fully concur. I just told somebody in another comment that compared to Trump, Nixon was an angel. It’s all relative. The thing with Trump is that he lies so much, if he ever accidentally told the truth, nobody would believe him. And, I think what bothers me the most is the large number of republicans in Congress who are selling their souls downriver to cover Trump’s lies, to defend the indefensible.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jill, it was truly shameful to watch Nunes, Jordan et al attempt to dishonor courageous and dutibound public servants testify under oath. The argument is since it was not tesitified by someone hearing the words leave his lips, it never happened. Why would people tolerate someone they did not to work with in Giuliani if they were not told to do so on the orders of the president? It is akin to Michael Cohen not paying people off who Trump wronged without his express permission. Keith

            Liked by 2 people

            • Those two (Nunes & Jordan) have the morals of a grasshopper and should not even be on that committee. The republicans made no bones about the fact that the reason they put Jordan on the committee was to be disruptive, since he’s so good at it. I think we’ve only heard the tip of the iceberg as re Giuliani’s involvement. The WH announced it would not send representation to the hearing on Wednesday for they think it discredits the process if they don’t participate. I still want McGahn to testify … what he has to say is important. If he had enough values to quit his job rather than do Trump’s dirty work, why doesn’t he have enough values to defy Trump now and just come forward to testify?

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