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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 06:45 PM

5. The Amazon Is Screwed Under Brazil's President, New Data Confirms

The Amazon Is Screwed Under Brazil's President, New Data Confirms
By Brian Kahn on 19 Nov 2019 at 4:30PM

For months, the world has watched in collective horror as the Amazon rainforest has been burned down under the watch of Brazilís far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. New data released Monday now puts the devastation in context.

This yearís assault on the Brazilian Amazon resulted in the worst bout of deforestation in a decade. And compared to last year, 2019 marks the third biggest leap in year-to-year deforestation. The bad news crystallises that elections do have consequences. And in this case, the entire world may end up suffering.

The story of the Amazon in crisis starts back in May with the first signs of the season of fire to come. That month, 285 square miles of rainforest were chopped down or burned to the ground. Over the next four months, the Amazon saw deforestation rates go ever higher as farmers and criminal gangs used fires to clear rainforest for large agribusiness interests.

The new report from Brazilís Climate Observatory shows that, based on satellite data, 3,769 square miles of the rainforest were lost over that period to flames and chainsaws. This yearís deforestation area is 29.5 per cent larger than what satellites saw in 2018. Only 1995 and 1998 have seen bigger year-to-year jumps in deforestation.

The semi-good news is that while this yearís deforestation rise is bad, the overall deforestation rates in the 1990s were much higher. That said, thereís no way to sugarcoat just how dire the situation could get in the Amazon not just for the forest but the people who live there.

The agribusiness interests that have driven deforestation essentially want to turn the Amazon into one big pasture for cows interrupted by rows of soy beans. And Bolsonaro is the type of person to let them. He won Brazilís election campaigning on a mix of racism, climate denial, and business-friendly policies. Since taking office earlier this year, heís made good on many of those campaign themes.


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