[Link] Bolsonaro is cutting down the rainforest (nytimes)
Not sure what can be done from an EA perspective. Definitely alarming, especially if you’re worried about climate change.
But with the election of President Jair Bolsonaro, a populist who has been fined personally for violating environmental regulations, Brazil has changed course substantially, retreating from the efforts it once made to slow global warming by preserving the world’s largest rain forest.
While campaigning for president last year, Mr. Bolsonaro declared that Brazil’s vast protected lands were an obstacle to economic growth and promised to open them up to commercial exploitation.
Seven months into his term, that is already happening.
Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January, a 39 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the government agency that tracks deforestation.
In June alone, when the cooler, drier season began and cutting trees became easier, the deforestation rate rosedrastically, with roughly 80 percent more forest cover lost than in June of last year.
The deforestation of the Amazon is spiking as Mr. Bolsonaro’s government pulls back on enforcement measures like fines, warnings and the seizure or destruction of illegal equipment in protected areas.
A few weeks before his inauguration, Brazil abruptly pulled out of its commitment to host a global summiton climate change. Then, once he took office, Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration cut the main environmental agency’s budget by 24 percent, part of a broader cost savings across the government.