Brazil, the Rainforest, and the Single Greatest Threat to Earth as We Know it.

How one man is putting humanity, and the entire planet in jeopardy.

Lauren Elizabeth
Aug 25, 2019 · 3 min read
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Image for post
Photo via Jair Bolsonaro on Instagram

It’s dry season in the Amazon, and the forest responsible for twenty percent of Earth’s oxygen is burning. Unfortunately, the man with the power to do something is linked to the fires in the first place.

Since he took office, Brazilian President and overt fascist Jair Bolsonaro has been known as the “Brazilian version” of Donald Trump, and for good reason.

It could even be argued that Bolsonaro might pose an even greater threat than Donald Trump. Both Trump and Bolsonaro might be fascists, but we can no longer minimize the threat that Bolsonaro poses not just to Brazilian Democracy, but to the entire planet. While Donald Trump might flirt with fascism and has undeniable fascistic tendencies, Bolsonaro is currently proving that he is the real, full fledged deal.

Since January when Bolsonaro took office, after pledging to “develop the Amazon”, the rainforest has seen an eighty percent uptick in the number of fires just since last year alone. According to CNN, researchers believe the fires in the Amazon have been caused by agribusiness attempting to clear the land for cattle ranching. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro does nothing and refuses any international aide.

These fires ravaging one of the most important and fragile ecosystems on the planet, that’s home to hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples and countless animal and plant species cannot be separated from the fascist government of Brazil. Given Bolsonaro’s clear intent to destroy the Amazon, and what the implications of that could mean for the planet as a whole, one could easily argue that he is the single greatest threat to life on this earth as we know it.

Even before the extent of these fires were known, scientists had been telling us that the Amazon is rapidly approaching a tipping point, where if much more of it is killed a process called “dieback” will begin, and no amount of intervention and attempts at preservation will be enough to stop it. One of the largest, most beautiful, and absolutely critical ecosystems on our planet could disappear, thanks in large part to the actions of one man.

Considering how there is very little those of us outside of Brazil are able to do, it’s incredibly easy to sink in to a feeling of deep despair. But we can’t. While the people of Brazil may feel broken and defeated, it’s time to channel their frustrations in to a movement. If there was ever a time for people to take to the streets, now would be it. Bolsonaro is using his stolen position of power to accelerate the process of climate change, and the effects that his actions will have on the entire planet if they go ignored will be catastrophic to say the least.

We have nowhere else to go. There is no other home. I would argue just demanding that Bolsonaro put a stop to this destruction is not enough. Brazilians need to demand a new election, and do everything in their power to get this man out of power completely. As for the rest of us, all we can do is help in organizing efforts, and continue to apply international pressure. It will likely be a long, and probably dangerous fight, but the future of the planet depends on it.

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Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +752K people. Follow to join our community.

Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +752K people. Follow to join our community.

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