Fires Are Devouring the Amazon. And Jair Bolsonaro is to Blame.
The ongoing destruction of the Amazon is taking place because of policy choices made by those who now rule Brazil. As the world watches in horror and terror as the Amazon burns, scientists have made clear that the cause, principally if not entirely, is human activity. The raging fires have become so potent that the smoke they generate plunged the Western Hemisphere’s largest city, São Paulo, into total darkness in the middle of the day on Tuesday. What was particularly shocking about that sudden event was that the Amazonian fires are hundreds of miles away from that city, but have become so dense and overwhelming that they snuffed out light in that distant major metropolis. Man-made deforestation. As CNN reports, both environmentalist groups and researchers agree that local cattle ranchers, farmers, and loggers have intentionally lit fires to clear the land for cattle (and have been incentivized to do so by Brazil’s pro-business/climate-skeptic president). The Amazon rainforest is considered our planet’s “lungs.” It absorbs millions of tons of carbon emissions and produces an estimated 20 percent of oxygen in our atmosphere. Worse, it’s emitting smoke and carbon to surrounding areas and endangering plants, animals, and indigenous people that live in its basin. Credit: THE YEARS PROJECT
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.