Tag Archives: Amazon

Bolsonaro ambassador threatens to choke Macron and insults wife Brigitte amid Amazon fires row: 'He sleeps with a dragon'

Bolsonaro ambassador threatens to choke Macron and insults wife Brigitte amid Amazon fires row: 'He sleeps with a dragon'Brazil's tourism ambassador has threatened to choke Emmanuel Macron and called his wife Brigitte “ugly” amid a continuing war of words between the French president and the Brazilian government over the fires in the Amazon rainforest.In a video posted on social media, Renzo Gracie accused Mr Macron, who has criticised Brazil’s response to the devastating blazes, of “talking rubbish” about his country.



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How Trump’s trade wars are fueling the Amazon fires

How Trump’s trade wars are fueling the Amazon firesBrazil is now the top exporter of soybeans to China – and that is leading to the rainforest being burned down at an extraordinary rate ‘The number of fires increased more than 80% this year as the US trade war with China peaked.’ Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/ReutersThe so-called “lungs of the world” are belching smoke as farmers set out after 10 August in a “day of fires” to clear forest for grazing cattle and planting soybeans. The result was more than 10,000 new fires spreading in the Brazilian rainforest, kindled by drought that drives wildfires raging from Russia to Africa.Brazilian deforestation is no act of non-government organizations, as the president, Jair Bolsonaro – who called himself “Captain Chainsaw” – absurdly claimed. He ran for president last year exhorting homesteaders to stake their claim by cutting or burning. They scoff at scientists and outsiders alarmed that the planet could cook that much faster if the rain forest is torched, and have openly stated their goals shielded in sovereignty.The number of fires increased more than 80% this year as the US trade war with China peaked. The Day of Fires was called just as China declared it would no longer buy US agricultural products. The biggest import from China was soybeans, accounting for over half Iowa’s annual crop.This is part of a long-term development that has seen China invest in production capacity in Central and South America to shift its soy dependence away from the US.Brazil is now the top exporter of soybeans to China. It is also building its beef export business in Asia as an African virus cut the Chinese hog herd in half, which will take years to rebuild.As Brazilian savannas that grazed livestock give way to soybean cultivation, cattle move into the rain forest along with row-crop production.As if the world were not already awash in soybeans, and corn. Upper midwest farmers have watched their soy prices drop by a third as Donald Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, ratchet up their rhetoric and tariffs.Iowa soybean growers carefully cultivated China for decades to open up new export markets. Since the days that Nixon’s agriculture secretary, Earl Butz, commanded farmers to plant fencerow to fencerow to feed the world, China became Iowa’s top soy customer. When the state’s governor, Terry Branstad, was appointed ambassador, Iowa farmers thought the key to the door of the Forbidden City had been given to them. Then Trump, who said he loves farmers, started the trade wars with China, Mexico and Canada.“You will never see the Chinese market the way you had it,” former Mexican ambassador to China Jorge Guajardo told me. “They will never make the mistake of depending on the United States again.”He adds that Mexican buyers also are leery of counting on US agriculture suppliers. They have a free trade agreement with Brazil. They do not have one with the US.Arrangements have been made. The supply chain has been twisted another direction. Now, Brazilians are using that language of feeding the world, and planting every last acre by expropriating rain forest from indigenous people if Chinese demand dictates it. And it does.The soybeans sit in the bin in Iowa and Illinois awaiting a better day, as a harvest fast approaches, while the rain forest burns. In the rolling hills of southern Iowa painted in green pasture you can’t scare up a cattle buyer anymore. The beef slaughter plants in Fort Dodge and Denison are closed now, as the action moves to South America’s new frontier. We are growing so much soy and corn that the Gulf of Mexico is choking from excess fertilizer streaming down the Mississippi River. What we can’t feed to hogs and poultry we burn for ethanol, competing with the Brazilian cane growers who create environmental disasters all their own. Because of the trade wars, Trump has doled out $ 30bn over two years in disaster payments to make up for depressed soybean markets. We can’t seem to give it away. It has many Iowa farmers talking with presidential candidates about doing things differently – like growing less corn and beans, and instead fighting the climate crisisby planting crops that capture carbon while restoring soil.Yet the forest burns, and its carbon-capturing capacity goes up in smoke. All for some cheaper soybeans and hamburger. Trade wars may end, but supply chains are hard to bend back. * Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in north-west Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. He is author of the book Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper (Viking, 2018)



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This 747 Is Fighting Fires in the Amazon

This 747 Is Fighting Fires in the AmazonWatch the Global SuperTanker douse the flames from the sky.



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Brazil farmers deforesting Amazon 'to survive'

Brazil farmers deforesting Amazon 'to survive'On his block of land deep in the Amazon rainforest, Aurelio Andrade says deforestation is the only way he and other farmers can survive in the remote region where fires are raging. “Here we have no support from the federal government or anyone else, only from God,” Andrade tells AFP, wearing an army camouflage T-shirt and matching hat, on his property 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Porto Velho in the northwestern state of Rondonia. “We cut trees to plant grass to survive, so that the cattle eat,” says the portly Andrade, apparently oblivious to the growing global outcry over the worst fires in years.



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Brazil's president said he would accept $20 million from the G7 to tackle the Amazon fires, but only if Emmanuel Macron apologizes for calling him 'extraordinarily rude'

Brazil's president said he would accept $  20 million from the G7 to tackle the Amazon fires, but only if Emmanuel Macron apologizes for calling him 'extraordinarily rude'French President Macron called Jair Bolsonaro rude after he appeared to endorse a Facebook post mocking the age gap between Macron and his wife.



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Amazon fires: Effort to quell rainforest blaze hampered by hostile ground and defiant Bolsonaro

Amazon fires: Effort to quell rainforest blaze hampered by hostile ground and defiant BolsonaroMillions of dollars in aid are being pledged. Hundreds of soldiers are heading into the jungle. The Amazon is burning – and the world has taken notice.Now comes the hard part.



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Brazil rejects G7 aid for Amazon fires, saying funds 'more relevant to reforest Europe'

Brazil rejects G7 aid for Amazon fires, saying funds 'more relevant to reforest Europe'Brazil on Monday rejected aid from G7 countries to fight wildfires in the Amazon, with a top official telling French President Emmanuel Macron to take care of "his home and his colonies." Nearly 80,000 forest fires have broken out in Brazil since the beginning of the year – just over half of them in the massive Amazon basin that regulates part of Earth's carbon cycle and climate. G7 countries made the $ 22 million aid offer to fight the blazes at the Biarritz summit hosted by Mr Macron, who insisted they should be discussed as a top priority. "We appreciate (the offer), but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe," Onyx Lorenzoni, chief of staff to Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, told the G1 news website. "Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site," he added, referring to the fire in April that devastated the Notre-Dame cathedral. "What does he intend to teach our country?"   The presidency later confirmed the comments to AFP. Brazilian environment Minister Ricardo Salles had earlier told reporters they had welcomed the G7 funding to fight the fires that have swept across 950,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) and prompted the deployment of the army. But after a meeting between Mr Bolsonaro and his ministers, the Brazilian government changed course. The Amazon is ablaze in Brazil "Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron," Mr Lorenzoni said. Although about 60 per cent of the Amazon is in Brazil, the vast forest also spreads over parts of eight other countries or territories, including the French overseas territory of Guiana on the continent's northeast coast. Hundreds of new fires have flared up in the Brazilian part of the forest, data showed Monday, even as military aircraft dumped water over hard-hit areas. Race to save the rainforest | Mass deforestation in the Amazon Smoke choked Porto Velho city and forced the closure of the airport for nearly two hours as fires raged in the northwestern state of Rondonia where firefighting efforts are concentrated. Mr Bolsonaro – a climate-change sceptic – has faced criticism over his delayed response to the fires at home and thousands have taken to the streets in Brazil in recent days to denounce the destruction.



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Explainer: Why are the Amazon fires sparking a crisis for Brazil – and the world?

Explainer: Why are the Amazon fires sparking a crisis for Brazil - and the world?A record number of fires ravaging the Amazon has drawn international outrage because of the rainforest’s importance to the global environment and prompted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to dispatch the military to assist in firefighting. WHY DOES THE AMAZON MATTER? The Amazon – 60% of which is in Brazil – is the world’s largest tropical rainforest.



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EXPLAINER-Why are the Amazon fires sparking a crisis for Brazil – and the world?

EXPLAINER-Why are the Amazon fires sparking a crisis for Brazil - and the world?A record number of fires ravaging the Amazon has drawn international outrage because of the rainforest’s importance to the global environment and prompted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to dispatch the military to assist in firefighting. WHY DOES THE AMAZON MATTER? The Amazon – 60% of which is in Brazil – is the world’s largest tropical rainforest.



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Why is the Amazon rainforest on fire?

Why is the Amazon rainforest on fire?The Amazon rainforest is burning at an alarming rate, with tens of thousands of fires laying waste to the world's largest tropical rainforest.



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