Finale of the Brazilian election! Who will will, will the earth get a reprieve?

The worlds rainforests are concentrated in a small number of countries. As a result, there are a handful of countries where, they have the potential on their own to make climate change far worse.

What is going to happen in Brazil? Will the world get a reprieve or will Bolsonaro (right) get a second term – likely guaranteeing much of the rainforest collapse

These countries include many of those in the Congo basin in Africa, and the countries of south east Asia.

Perhaps the biggest, is Brazil: and unfortunately we have had to watch as the current president Jair Bolsonaro has done everything as badly as possible. Could it have been worse for the world? Perhaps, but it would have been hard.

What is frustrating, is that he is terrible for Brazil. He has the bizarre support of the evangelical Christians, and he has made sure that the middle class has benefitted from his time in office, never-the-less, he has destroyed much of the institutional blocks to serious damage in his first term, so may be able to do more damage in his second.

What is his worst record? 688,000 deaths from Covid, having declared what should he do and having minimized it as the little flu. This is the second most deaths in the world after the USA (largely as a result of Donald Trump minimizing the issue -see a pattern?) despite being 5th in the number of cases. The illness hit indigenous people hardest (possibly intentionally? Certainly it helps Bolsonaros many aims). For the world, though, Bolsonaro will be remembered as someone who vastly increased the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and there is a great deal of fear that the rainforest is getting close to collapse as a result of his behaviour. Not only will this cause huge problems around the world, by releasing billions of tonnes of carbon, but it will also change rain patterns, leading to crop failures in Brazil as well as countries around.

Currently Lulu has a 4%-8% lead in the polls, however, unfortunately 4 years ago the polls underestimated Bolsonaro support so this may mean little. In a similar way to Trump, there is a certain proportion of the population who are embarrassed by their support for the leader, so are unlikely to be honest in polls.

In a debate Bolsonaro spent his time just attacking his opponent and does not seem to have any ideas for the future of the country.

In the first round, Jair Bolsonaro got 43.2% while Lula got 48.4% so he is comfortably ahead, but what happens now is still on a knife edge.

Did Jair Bolsonaro set up a new board to publish deforestation data in July to mislead?

So, Jair Bolsonaro and Luiz Lula de Silva have both made it through to the final round for the presidency.

However, the fact that this new deforestation data board was set up 3 months ago, in the run up to an election. This at a time when Jair Bolsonaro is being hit for his terrible record on deforestation during his first term. In other words, people are claiming that this is purely a political organisation to help him pull the wool over the countries eyes.

Brazilian deforestation is a problem for the world. Giving scientific responsibility for monitoring and reporting forest loss to a political body is mad – we will no longer know what’s happening, if Jair Bolsonaro wins re-election
Continue reading “Did Jair Bolsonaro set up a new board to publish deforestation data in July to mislead?”

Jair Bolsonaro is trailing in the polls and is currently looking unlikely to win re-election – but undoing his damage might be difficult

In the run-up to the Brazilian election, we will be looking at what is happening in this country. While only the people of Brazil have a say, what they decide is likely to have a big effect on the rest of the world:

who will win? Will the Amazon and therefore the planet get a reprieve?

Re-election of Bolsonaro will likely mean the end of the Amazon functioning properly or they can go with a former politician – both have issues, but Lulu appears on the cusp of taking over, and if this happens it is predicted to have a fantastic impact on deforestation (though it would be hard for any change to not be dramatic).

Given the huge impact this election could have on the rest of the world, there seems to be little coverage, maybe this will change as the time draws near.

Seeing the end of the Bolsonaro administration, destruction of the Amazon seems to have ramped up

With the Brazilian election to occur during October, and Jair Bolsonaro widely seen as a failure in many ways – as well as having favoured specific groups at the detriment of the rest of the population, it is considered highly unlikely that Jair Bolsonaro will get a second term.

While no president of Brazil has managed to halt deforestation, Jair Bolsonaro has actively fought against any protection that it enjoyed
Continue reading “Seeing the end of the Bolsonaro administration, destruction of the Amazon seems to have ramped up”

Jair Bolsonaro is having a similar impact on environmental laws in Brazil to the impact of Donald Trump in the USA – will the effect be longer lasting?

Just like Trump in the USA Jair Bolsonaro has taken an axe to the environmental protections that Brazil has created over decades. Also just like Donald Trump, the majority of these moves have been done by Executive act. Between march and may last year, Jair signed 195 infralegal acts – and just like under Trunp these acts are thought to be only just legal and should have gone through their governmental body.

More than 4000 square miles of rainforest was lost last year alone
Continue reading “Jair Bolsonaro is having a similar impact on environmental laws in Brazil to the impact of Donald Trump in the USA – will the effect be longer lasting?”

Bolsonaro has decided to open up 38000 square miles of Amazon rain forest indigenous reserves to outsiders

The latest move by Brazil’s president, while expected, goes against all of Brazil’s past agreements. Indigenous lands were given back- they are not a gift from the Brazilian government. Indigenous people have lived in the Brazilian rainforest for millennia longer than Europeans have been in South America. 

Continue reading “Bolsonaro has decided to open up 38000 square miles of Amazon rain forest indigenous reserves to outsiders”

Increased concern for damage to indigenous communities from covid 19

Brazil has changed its tack under bolsonaro. He has been astoundingly derogatory about the indigenous Brazilian people ( indeed the way he talks you would only think he wanted the rule for the Descendants of European settlers) and this has been shown by his increasing support and push for invasion of their lands either forgiveness afterwards or promises beforehand that nothing will happen.

Continue reading “Increased concern for damage to indigenous communities from covid 19”

The attack on the Brazilian rainforest by Bolsonaro continues – On to indigenous lands

As European settlers moved around the world, they often treated the local population badly. In a significant portion of the world this bad behaviour took the form of small parts of the land being given to the the local population and the rest of the country being taken by the Settlers.

In some places such as America, Many of these tribes have since used their land to run casinos and other things not allowed, outside the reserve. In other words these Reserves are less like the land would have been without the Europeans than if it was not tribal land.

There are similarly huge areas of tribal Or indigenous land around much of the Land that European settled, be that in Canada or Africa or or Australia. In parts of Africa and Australia those indigenous people who wish to continue to live as they always have, can choose to do so. Giving this land to the indigenous people was considered only fair, given how much land that they were losing. However in many of these places this indigenous land was also expected to remain in its wild state. Brazil still has a huge number of indigenous people, living in their tribes as they have done for millennia. Not only have many of these tribes thrived under this system, but they have also been far better at managing the forest within their reserves than outside their control.

For bolsonaro, these indigenous reserves are totally unacceptable. Being huge areas that are often totally outside the control of the Brazilian government and with the current rules unavailable for any of the Descendants of settlers to use.

Around the world it is not unusual when a road is built through a protected Forest that the area is rapidly deforested and often settled within several years. It would appear that this is what is wanted on this occasion to- forget simply building roads bolsonaro is giving permission for farms to be set up on these lands, As well as mining, and fossil fuel extraction. Not only with the indigenous people get no money for the land that is being stolen, but also they would gain nothing from the resources extracted.

In theory the bill does give the people a chance to give their feedback, but they have no veto to stop things done to their land.

Interestingly this also talks about the land being used for tourism. However any tourist worth their salt should be looking to do their trips that benefit the indigenous people and not help steal their land.

This is not the first time that bolsonaro has try something like this. Last year he tried to move control over. What is done with the land from the indigenous people to the agricultural ministry.

Yet, this was blocked by the most senior judges in Brazil who said it was not allowed.

Given that this latest move appears to be identical but done in a different way it should also be blocked. However Given that it is led by the president. We cannot be confident that the damage he is trying to do will be stopped until he can be removed from office.

If you visit Brazil on on a holiday, you must make sure that you do not compound to the damage being done but Instead visit places that will benefit the local indigenous people and the protection of the rainforest.

Update: bolsonaro behaviour has got so bad that 67 British firms and 70 American firms are complaining about it

67 British firms have written to bolsonaro to complain about what he’s doing in the Amazon rainforest. Some of these firms are big name companies such as Asda and Tesco’s, well as the UK’s largest asset manager. Separately 70 American firms have signed a similar letter ( this list includes Microsoft and Google)

The letters talk about the world’s concern over his destruction of the Amazon rainforest, talk about various agreements including the soy moratorium from 10 years ago.

Whether these letters have any impact will be interesting to see. However from companies point of view it would seem that the only way to ramp up pressure on Brazil behind on this point is to start boycotting their products. These companies are in theory capable, in most instances, to stop buying products from Brazil and instead get them elsewhere. As such customers must keep up the pressure on these companies, so that if Bolsonaro continues without changing course- the companies feel they must move suppliers from within Brazilian borders. Just a few of these companies doing this publicly, may well force the Brazilian government to change direction.

Whether these companies customers care enough to force them to take this extreme action will be something we will find out in the next year.