French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on world leaders to place the massive fires destroying Brazil’s Amazon rainforest at the top of their agenda as they gather in France’s southwest for the Group of Seven summit.
“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produce 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire,” Macron wrote in a tweet Thursday. “It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!”
France is hosting the summit in the city of Biarritz, on the Atlantic coast, which begins on Saturday. Climate denying Donald Trump, unfortunately, will be representing the United Stated and leaders from Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom will also be attending.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres echoed Macron’s statement, saying in a tweet that “we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. The Amazon must be protected.”
An estimated 2,500 active fires in the Amazon have caused international concern, prompting a backlash against Brazil’s right-wing president and Trump clone, Jair Bolsonaro, who has described measures to protect the rainforest as “obstacles” to economic growth. Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has said repeatedly that he wants to open the Amazon to development.
Most of the fires are believed to have been set by farmers heeding Bolsonaro call to start clearing land. Environmentalists say Bolsonaro’s attitude about the Amazon has encouraged and emboldened the farmers, as well as cattle ranchers, loggers, and miners to destroy the forest for profit.
Bolsonaro, who lies his ass off just like Trump, has said without any evidence that there is a “very strong” indication that some nongovernmental organizations were setting the fires in retaliation for losing funding from his administration. Totally made up shit.
Both Germany and Norway have also weighed in on the fires, criticizing Bolsonaro’s lack of action and saying they would withhold $60 million in funds for sustainability projects in Brazil’s forests.
Onyx Lorenzoni, Bolsonaro’s flunky and chief of staff, on Thursday accused European countries of exaggerating environmental problems in an effort to stifle rainforest development.
“There is deforestation in Brazil, yes, but not at the rate and level that they say,” he said, according to the Brazilian news website globo.com.
In a tweet later on Thursday, Bolsonaro responded to Macron: “I regret that Macron seeks to make personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to solve the problem.”
Bolsonaro, using Trump’s tactic of blaming the media, has also accused the media of hyping the fires to undermine him. “Most of the media wants Brazil to end up like Venezuela,” he said.
In an announcement this week by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, the agency said there have been 74,155 fires in the country so far this year – about half in the last month and most of them in the Amazon. That represents an 84% increase from the previous year.
Federal prosecutors in the Brazilian state of Para — one of the worst-hit areas — have announced an investigation into why there has been such a huge rise in wildfires this year.
Neighboring Bolivia has also struggled to contain the fires.
This is an environmental disaster and tragedy that will have long-lasting and possibly irreversible impacts
original source NPR