As Bolsonaro incinerates the Amazon, urgent action is needed for climate justice

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1890 ... September 10, 2019
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As Bolsonaro incinerates the Amazon, urgent action is needed for climate justice

Mary Galvin and Patrick Bond

Did South Africa need another high-profile reminder of climate chaos, after the Cape Town drought in 2015 to 2018; the two cyclones in March to April that ravaged Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and killed more than 1,000 of our neighbours; and Easter Monday’s "Durban Rain Bomb," which dropped 170mm that day, leaving 71 people dead?

Unless we take action, extreme weather will be amplified further, by an extreme inferno. More than 72,000 fires are now raging across the Amazon, the world’s biggest and most biodiverse rainforest, which is 55-million years old. The lives of indigenous people who depend on the forest have received limited attention, with the world’s focus mainly on climate change. The Amazon is a carbon sink that stores carbon dioxide, and destroying the forest releases massive amounts into the atmosphere.

Amazon deforestation had declined 70 per cent between 2004 and 2012, thanks to the Brazilian Workers’ Party government’s clamp down on abusive plantations,... logging and mining. Brazil adopted laws protecting half of the Amazon and its indigenous people, which means 80 per cent of the forest is still standing. However, 30 per cent of this area is not under legal protection.

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