The Amazon rainforest fires are causing mass destruction, and according to the ‘Trump of the Tropics,’ it’s all the environmentalist’s fault.
Wildfires have been ravaging the Amazon since January 2019, and this week they became so intense, you could see the smoke billowing over Brazil from space.
The Brazilian Government’s National Institute for Space Research has now detected over 72,800 forest fires in the Amazon, marking an 83% increase since last year.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is known as ‘Trump of the Tropics,’ has now made the baseless claim that not-for-profit organisations experiencing budget cuts are to blame for the Amazon rainforest fires, according to the ABC.
“Maybe – I am not affirming it – these [NGO people] are carrying out some criminal actions to draw attention against me, against the Government of Brazil,” Bolsonaro told reporters.
The President’s comments have copped major backlash, particularly from environmental and climate experts who have labelled them a “smokescreen” to his negligence. They say that when Bolsonaro was elected he encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land – a claim echoed by scientists who have found that “the rainforest has suffered losses at accelerated rate since he took office in January,” according to BBC.
“The vast majority of these fires are human-lit,” Christian Porier, the program director of NGO Amazon Watch told CNN. Apparently, 99% of the Amazon rainforest fires have been lit “either on purpose or by accident” and are a result of small-scale agricultural practices and deforestation.
The Amazon – the ‘planet’s lungs’ – is the largest rainforest in the world. It’s also a vital carbon store that can help slow down the pace of global warming, not to mention it’s home to indigenous people and millions of species of plants and animals.
So, what can we do to help? You can donate to a foundation helping to protect the rainforests, be aware of your carbon footprint – reduce, reuse and recycle, volunteer to help, continue to vote and educate yourself (and others) about what is happening.
As for Bolsonaro, passing the buck isn’t going to cut it this time around.