[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.