Things That Matter

Brazil Finally Banned Burning In The Amazon Yet 4,000 New Fires Have Started In Last 48 Hours

If you haven’t already heard about it, Brazil’s Amazon rain forest is currently being ravaged by devastating large-scale wild-fires. According to recent reports and the country’s National Institute for Space Research, there has been a 77% increase in the number of fires burning in the area this year. No doubt, this large scale destruction is because of climate change.

Despite a recent ban on all burning methods in the Amazon, new fires continue to rage out of control.

Almost 4,000 new forest fires were started in Brazil in the two days after the government banned deliberate burning of the Amazon, officials have revealed.

Some 3,859 outbreaks were recorded by the country’s National Space Research Institute (Inpe) in the 48 hours following the 60-day prohibition on setting trees alight. Around 2,000 of those blazes were in the Amazon rainforest.

The figures come as the latest blow in an environmental crisis that has caused panic across the world, and which led the agenda at the recent G7 summit in France.

The Amazon fires are at the highest level since record keeping began.

More than 72,000 fires had already been detected across Brazil between January and August – the highest number since records began in 2013 and an 83 per cent increase on the same period last year.

If the Amazon burns away, global climate change will accelerate and many fear additional consequences for the entire world.

Because it is the world’s largest rainforest, the fate of the Amazon – often called the “lungs of the world” – is widely considered by climate change experts as key to the future of the planet.

It is a vital carbon store that slows down global warming while providing some 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen. Its destruction – deliberate or otherwise – reduces the ability of nature to suck carbon from the atmosphere.

President Bolsonaro seems to have finally been moved to action but many fear that it is too little too late.

But Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who came into power promising to clear vast tracts of the rainforest for development, had, until last week, remained unmoved.

He has systematically weakened institutions designed to protect the rainforest, while offering moral support to farmers wishing to turn the land into cattle ranches.

And, although he has now placed a 60-day ban on burning and deployed 44,000 troops to fight the ongoing blazes, critics fear it is too little too late.

Tasso Azevedo, who runs the deforestation monitoring group Mapbiomas, said the legislation’s focus on fire means developers clearing the forest would continue to legally chop down trees – and then simply burn them after the prohibition period ended.

Writing in O Globo newspaper, he called for the ban on the use of fire to be extended until the end of the dry season in November. He said: “What we are experiencing is a real crisis, which can turn into a tragedy that will feature fires much larger than the current ones if not stopped immediately.”

Meanwhile, Indigenous groups are on the frontlines doing all they can to save their native lands.

As the fires ravage the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, some indigenous tribes are turning to prayer in a bid to halt the destruction and protect their environment for future generations.

“Our rituals pray for planet Earth, to always keep it healthy and safe,” Bainawa said. “We pray for mother water, for father sun, for mother forest and for mother earth, whom today feel very wounded.”

The Amazon also supports tens of thousands of species of animals who are losing their lives in the massive infernos.

Some animals may be able to escape. Large mammals, such as jaguars, stand the best chance of getting away because they are able to run fast enough to get away from the fire in time. But many other animals will be killed almost straight away.

Dr Claudio Sillero, professor of conservation biology at the University of Oxford, tells BBC News that he’s particularly concerned about the smaller creatures in the forest: “They don’t stand a hope in hell.”

“Different groups of animals will fare differently,” he says. “But we really need to worry about amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. They live in microhabitats, and if these microhabitats get hit by fire then they will disappear completely, and these animals will die.”

Many are also upset with the international community for not doing enough to force progress on the fires.

The G7, which forms a coalition of the world’s most powerful and most wealthy nations has so far pledged just over $22 million to help fight the fires. Just $22 million. Let that sink in. It may sound like a lot of money but there are several sports players who make that in one season. There are CEOs who make that in one month. Twenty-two million dollars won’t even make a dent in the immense battle that is taking place across Brazil and Bolivia right now.

Trump Campaign Email Refers To Protecting Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer Statue

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Trump Campaign Email Refers To Protecting Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer Statue

Buda Mendes / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has recently made defending and protecting Confederate statues part of his campaign. However, someone on the Trump campaign didn’t realize that Christ the Redeemer is not an American statue, nor would it be one people could take down on their own. At least, that’s according to a recent campaign email.

A recent email from the Trump campaign is promising to protect Christ the Redeemer.

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign sent subscribers an email calling for them to add their names to a list of supporters. The email promises that President Trump himself will receive the letter of ardent supporters and asks people to sign ASAP.

In the email, the Trump campaign promise that they will protect this accompanied with a photo of the Christ the Redeemer statue. The thing is, however, Christ the Redeemer is a statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and there is no concerted effort to tear down the 98-foot tall statue.

People are really trying to figure out the strategy behind this email.

People are trying to figure out what the Trump campaign might have up their sleeves. Recently, Trump has sided with Confederate sympathizers, even saying that waving the Confederate flag is “freedom of speech.” Saving Confederate monuments and statues as more and more cities and states dismantle their Confederate monuments.

President Donald Trump has placed himself squarely against the majority of Americans on the issue.

The Black Lives Matter movement is shining a spotlight on all of the inequalities our country faces on a daily basis. One of those injustices being corrected is targeting and dismantling things that exalt the Confederacy and racism.

States have taken down statues to Confederate leader Robert E. Lee and other Confederate soldiers. Confederate symbolism is representative of a rebellious uprising against the United States of America. Much like the Third Reich in Germany, the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery and keep a legacy of the dehumanization of a group of people. Slaves were subjected to horrible treatment that stripped them of their humanity, destroyed families, and led to the deaths of millions of people.

A lot of people have a lot of questions about who would believe the email.

Mainly, people on social media want to know why the Trump campaign used this image to represent the movement to save statues. There are so many statues in the U.S. that the Trump campaign could have used. The campaign’s embrace of preserving Confederate monuments is telling of the base the Trump campaign has decided are most crucial to his reelection.

Some people are giving the campaign the benefit of the doubt in that they just picked the wrong statue.

The Christ of the Ozarks does resemble Christ the Redeemer from Brazil. However, there are no current calls to take down that statue. In fact, there hasn’t been a concerted effort to go after religious iconography in general. The statues and monuments people are targeting have racist histories and backstories that people are tired of seeing.

As these statues fall, the public is calling for people who fought for the U.S. to replace them. Some have pointed to Black heroes during the Civil War that freed slaves or pushed Civil Rights forward. There is no shortage of Black American heroes who have pushed our nation forward in the constant search for freedom and equality.

READ: The Difference Between The Confederate And Pride Flag? One Represents Hate The Other Represents Love And Inclusion

Brazilian Media Group Files Lawsuit Against Bolsonaro For Exposing Journalists To COVID-19

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Brazilian Media Group Files Lawsuit Against Bolsonaro For Exposing Journalists To COVID-19

Andressa Anholete / Getty Images

Update: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently told the press that he has tested positive for COVID-19. During the press conference, President Bolosnaro removed his face mask and he’s being sued for exposing the journalists.

President Jair Bolsonaro is being sued for exposing journalists to COVID-19.

The Brazilian Press Association is filing a lawsuit against President Bolsonaro for removing his mask while telling the press that he has tested positive for COVID-19. The group, known as ABI, argues that the president blatantly ignored health standards and put the press at risk when he took off his mask. By his actions argues the lawsuit, President Bolsonaro knowingly risked the health of the journalists who were present despite the known dangers.

The lawsuit argues that it is a continuous behavior that must end.

“The country cannot watch continued behavior that is beyond irresponsible and constitutes clear crimes against public health, without reacting,” ABI President Paulo Jeronimo de Souza told the press, according to CNN.

Original: After months of downplaying the severity of COVID-19, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for the virus. Bolsonaro drew ire from the international community as he campaigned against stay-at-home orders and joined anti-lockdown protesters.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19.

Brazil has become the epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak in South America. The country, the largest democracy in Latin America, has the second-highest infections and deaths in the world. More than 1.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Brazil. More than 65,000 people in Brazil have died from the virus.

Bolsonaro’s positive test comes after a 4th of July celebration he attended with the U.S. ambassador.

Health experts have warned against in-person gatherings for prolonged amounts of time. That includes family and social gatherings at houses or any other indoor venue. In LA County, spikes in hospitalization rates, a number that experts monitor closely, have been traced back to these kinds of high-risk exposure settings.

And, yes. There is a photo to prove the lack of masks and social distancing.

Bolsonaro spent months downplaying the true severity of the pandemic. The far-right leader spent some of his time actively riling up his base to protest against lockdown orders in the country. The president’s actions sparked anger throughout the international community and Brazil’s scientific community. Critics blame Bolsonaro’s lack of action to combat the virus to the country’s growing infection and death numbers.

Bolsonaro announced his positive result quickly to the press.

“On Sunday, I wasn’t feeling very well. On Monday, it got worse when I started feeling tired and some muscle pain,” Bolsonaro told reporters. “I also had a 38-degree [Celsius] fever. Given those symptoms, the presidential doctor said there was suspicion of Covid-19.”

The virus is not gone and the rapid spread is still setting off alarms for health officials around the world, especially in the Americas.

Stay safe and healthy. Follow health recommended guidelines. Safeguard your health first. The best advocate for you will forever be you. This virus is still spreading and numbers in the U.S. continue to climb.

READ: Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video