Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Amazon Rain Forest Destruction Accelerates As President Fires Scientist in Charge of Monitoring Loss

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The bad news from the Amazon rainforest just keeps coming. Last month, it was reported that the rainforest destruction is accelerating with major incursions of illegal logging and burning supported by the new government. Indigenous settlements are especially threatened. The rainforest, which is one of the most important carbon sinks in the world, is rapidly turning into agricultural fields.

Last week, the New York Times reported that the President of Brazil, Bolsonaro, fired the head of the agency that keeps track of rainforest loss because he didn't like the numbers that were released. The President stated that the numbers make Brazil look bad. Of course, the scientific community in Brazil and around the world rallied to the defense of the fired minister. The numbers are rather easy to verify utilizing satellite information available publicly.

This attack on basic science in support of unwise economic development hasn't surprise anyone who has followed the rhetoric of President Bolsonaro. He has consistently attacked environmental rules and regulations and his presidency has given cover to those involved with illegal deforestation in Brazil. 

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