Things That Matter

Brazil’s President Openly Admits That This Super Right-Wing Personality From Virginia Influenced His Politics

Olavo de Carvalho / Facebook

With over 750,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, Virginia based Olavo de Carvalho has become a siren caller for the conservative right in Brazil. When Carvalho first moved to Virginia from his home of Brazil, he was unfamiliar with the American right-wing culture. Since his move, he’s taken up hunting, donned cowboy hats, and enjoyed the liberties of lax gun laws in the U.S. He’s also been listening to a lot of Rush Limbaugh, and is effectively serving as the Brazilian, Portuguese-speaking spokesperson for Limbaugh’s ideology.

Without American conservative politics, as we know it, there wouldn’t be an Olavo de Carvalho. Without Carvalho, Jair Bolsonaro likely wouldn’t be the current President of Brazil.

Credit: Olavo de Carvalho / Facebook

Carvalho is a published author on a range of topics from astrology to literature to philosophy. Once he harnessed his own social media platforms, his conspiracy theories spread, along with his ideology. He has published 32 books, many of which are just collections of his publications. 

Carvalho is proud to be a “self-taught” philosopher and his expansive library alludes to his way of thinking.

Credit: Olavo de Carvalho / YouTube

His study is filled to the brim with philosophical texts. Like many Virginians, he has more than one rifle and boasts of the animals he’s hunted and killed. Like many Catholic Latinos, every room has a space for a crucifix.

Bolsonaro’s own son, Eduardo, credits Carvalho as a critical influencer in his father’s rise to power.

Credit: @AndrewDFish / Twitter

“We couldn’t have won the election without Olavo,” Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo said in March. “Without Olavo, there would be no President Bolsonaro.” That’s a pretty bold statement, and it’s not without truth.

Eduardo even traveled to Virginia to take a private class with Carvalho in 2013.

Credit: @reaconaria / Twitter

Since then, the Bolsonaros and Carvalho began a critical relationship that has affected all of Brazil. Jair and Olavo have been in both private and very public communication like YouTube published video discussions. Now, Carvalho gets the seat beside Bolsonaro at official dinners at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington.

Bolsonaro is such a fan of Carvalho’s political thinking, he’s awarded him the highest civilian honor during a top-shelf ceremony.

Credit: Olavo de Carvalho / Facebook

In May of this year, Bolsonaro gathered the country’s vice president and justice minister to award Carvalho one of Brazil’s highest honors. In Bolsonaro’s first Facebook live video as President, he pictured one of Carvalho’s books within the frame, signaling the clear influence Carvalho has had on his politics.

At one point, there were rumors that Carvalho would be nominated as the Brazilian ambassador to the United States.

Credit: Olavo de Carvalho / Facebook

That did not come into fruition because of Carvalho’s own divisive rhetoric. Carvalho created an enemy out of Vice President Mourão by calling him a “traitor,” “idiot” and accused him of being “pro-abortion, pro-disarmament and pro-Nicolas Maduro.” All of these clashes pulled him out of the running to become an ambassador. 

To be clear, Carvalho’s intellectual contemporaries include the likes of Steve Bannon.

Credit: @Edourdoo / Twitter

Between the two of them, conspiracy theories about the fallacy of climate change and the false concept that the Inquisition never happened have been spread across the Americas. Carvalho also helped spread the lie that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., and spread a rumor that Bolsonaro’s opponent promoted incest. 

Carvalho has spoken out against what he calls “gayzismo,” or ‘gayism’ as a threat to society.

Credit: Olavo de Carvalho / Facebook

He says that it is ‘incompatible’ with democracy. In his political philosophy, democracy first (and seemingly only) serves the majority. So if a trans person needs to pee in the bathroom that matches their gender, and it conflicts with the values of the majority, his version of democracy leans toward the majority. Democracy is majority rule, even in relation to basic human rights.

In many ways, Carvalho is to Bolsonaro as Fox & Friends is to Trump.

Credit: @ernestofaraujo / Twitter

Bolsonaro regards Carvalho’s opinion in the highest regard. So high, in fact, folks have called Carvalho the guru and “ideologue” of Bolsonaro. Carvalho has rejected these claims, though they have certainly fed his ego. In a recent interview, he told The Washington Post reporters, “I’m the most-read writer in Brazil. . . . I’m a tremendous writer.” He’s certainly being read by the right people.

READ: It’s Been Six Months And Brazil’s President Is On A Tear Stripping Rights Away From Every Vulnerable Community

The Amazon Is Burning And The People In Power Don’t Seem To Care

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The Amazon Is Burning And The People In Power Don’t Seem To Care

The Amazon rainforest in South America has been burning for more than two weeks. The majority of the fires are located in Brazil, but neighboring Bolivia has also been affected. Fires in this time of the year are common, but they are usually controllable and die off when rain comes. 

This year is different: climate change, experts argue, has translated into a drier summer spell, which is to blame for the severity of the fires. The incendios are also a result of human action, as they are often used as a method of clearing land for farming and industrial purposes. This time, however, things have gotten out of control. 

The Amazon, which works as our planet’s lungs, are experiencing unprecedented fires.

Credit: Instagram. @costa.vicentina.oficial

Experts argue that the massive South American rainforest provides around 20% of the world’s oxygen. As reported by The Sun, if the Amazon is threatened a process of “dieback” could be triggered. This means that the rainforest would spew carbon back into the atmosphere, speeding up climate change. British researchers have said that “If 20 per cent of Brazil’s rainforest perished it could exacerbate this process in such a way which would dry trees, leaving them unable to absorb as much carbon and making it more flammable and likely to spread fires”. So this could actually be the beginning of the end. 

So how bad is it? 

Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod

In short: pretty damn awful. There are more than 70,000 fires burning as you read this. The amount of smoke is so huge that one of Brazil’s biggest cities, Sao Paolo, has been covered by a dark cloud. The sun is nowhere to be seen. As The Economist reports: “Social-media users posted pictures of the gloom, juxtaposing the dystopian afternoon sky with fictional apocalyptic places such as Gotham City from Batman, Mordor from Lord of the Rings and “the upside down” from Stranger Things”. 

Las cosas se encuentran de la fregada, to be honest.

Credit: Twitter. @WMO

The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nation’s weather arm, tweeted about the fires Thursday: “Fires release pollutants including particulate matter & toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides  and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere”. The organization has also been updating satellite imagery of the fires which shows the extent of the damage. Half of Brazil is covered in smoke. 

The main culprits: the cattle and logging industries.

Credit: Twitter. @DaniRabaiotti

Wildfires in the Amazon are not natural events at all. They are caused by two main factors: droughts, a product of climate change, and human industrial activities. The farming industry often starts these fires (sometimes illegally) to clear land for animals to roam. The logging industry is also to blame, as an article in The Conversation explains: “These changes are exacerbated by ‘selective logging’ of specific tree species, which opens up the canopy and further dries out the understory and forest edges, which are drier than the interiors. The result: normally fire-proof rainforests become flammable”. Yes, profit is the force behind the deadly force of fire. 

And obviously environmentalists and activists are muy encabronados!

Credit: Twitter. @MuseWendi

Wildfires concern us all. They will affect the prospects of human survival on Earth for generations to come. To be honest, we should all be very upset about this. 

The whole world should be paying attention, but if you Google “Amazon Fire” this is what you get

Credit: Screenshot. Google Search. 

Seriously. Algorithmic searching does not always work best when it comes to raising awareness on important issues that concern the whole of humanity. As digital natives, we experience news events according to our own media consumption, so we risk living in a bubble where everything seems fine while the world is quite literally on fire. 

Yeah, Notre Dame sure is an icon, but the Amazon keeps the planet alive.

Credit: Instagram. @maribricenod

Sure, the Notre Dame cathedral, which was severely damaged by a fire on April 15, is an icon of Western Europe and a source of pride for France. When the building was burning down, millions of people took on social media to send prayers and express their alarm. The response to the Amazonian fire has been small in comparison, which begs the question: what do we value more, culture or nature? Food for thought!

The fires are a sort of apocalypse for indigenous Brazilians.

Credit: Twitter. @karielaing

The Amazon is inhabited by indigenous populations that have survived centuries of colonization and pillaging first by the Portuguese and then by corporations and the Brazilian government. These fires spell disaster for original owners of the land, whose home and survival is at risk. They blame industry and indiscriminate land clearing for the disaster. 

The Internet is pretty angry at Brazil’s new president, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro, who suggested that NGOs might have started the fires! 

Seriously, WTAF! Even if he has since somewhat retracted from what he said, Bolsonaro has said that the fires are being set by his critics to make him look bad. He said: “The fire was started, it seemed, in strategic locations. There are images of the entire Amazon. How can that be? Everything indicates that people went there to film and then to set fires. That is my feeling”.

Pretty egocentric, eh? No wonder he is often compared to Donald J. Trump. In the latest developments, Bolsonaro has said that his country does not have the resources to fight the fire. Damn. 

The fires could accelerate climate change, according to the UN, but the Brazilian government seems to be ignoring the extent of the catastrophe.

Credit: Instagram. @amnistiapt

The United Nations and European countries such as France are now raising their voices, urging the Brazilian government to act. As reported by Agence France Press: “France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the wildfires were “an international crisis” and called on the globe’s most industrialized nations to address it at their summit this weekend”. 

Macron said on Twitter: “Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning”. 

Bolsonaro’s response? He criticized the UN and France for having a “colonialist mentality”. El burro hablando de orejas. 

Celebrities Like Camila Cabello Are Calling For People To Pay Attention To What’s Happening In The Amazon

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Celebrities Like Camila Cabello Are Calling For People To Pay Attention To What’s Happening In The Amazon

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. Done with being quiet, celebrities have been attempting to raise awareness of the destruction of the rainforest and its beautiful ecosystems through the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia.

The hashtag was created by environmentalist Nick Rose Dertsas, and hopefully, it will catch on quickly.

The environmentalist expressed his outrage over the lack of media coverage over the tragedy in a post to Instagram.

iamnickrose / Instagram

“Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth’s oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why? @unitednations who is running your page? Influences??? Where are you when it actually matters?????
@cnn @bbc @guardian @forbes#deforestation #climatechangePLEASE REPOST,” he wrote.

Camila Cabello caught wind of the post after it was retweeted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

camila_cabello / Instagram

“This is heartbreaking and terrifying 💔💔💔 ‪This makes me want to cry with frustration. what are we DOING? We’re literally destroying our miracle of a home 😭😭😭 I’m so sorry, earth 💔💔💔‬#AmazonRainforest#Repost@leonardodicaprio with @get_repost
・・・
#Regram#RG@IamNickRose: Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth’s oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why?” Cabello wrote in her repost.

Cabello’s former girl group mate also shared the post.

laurenjauregui / Instagram

“Although I’ll admit prayer helps me breathe most days,
It can’t quite do the same job the Amazon in Brazil does for the human populace (not to mention all the life forms on this planet that also need oxygen to survive.) The Amazon has been burning for the past almost 3 weeks with little to no media coverage. The Amazon is responsible for 20% of our oxygen. Gaia is screaming. We are truly so disrespectful to our children, and our grandchildren, and their children. Awareness is one thing but I truly wanna know when we’re all going to wake up and feel the poison in our lungs. 
I honor mama Gaia today and pray for our collective healing and growth towards understanding that this is our only home. We borrow it from our children, and the mess we have made on it is so carelessly destructive. All in the name of the almighty dollar. It alarms me that so many in possession of power on this planet truly do not care about or even believe in the crisis we face. It pains me that they continue to deny, suppress truth and spew out false information. To roll back policies that protect our environment and native people’s rights all while profiting off the lands and people they continue to destroy. What is happening in the Amazon, what is happening in Hawaii, is all connected. We should all be paying very close attention to the way our chosen leaders treat the planet we live on and only have one of. We should be very very aware during election season so closely upon us, but we should also be figuring out ways to be conscious of our environment and our interaction with it every day. My heart hurts for all the animals whose homes have been destroyed, for all of the indigenous peoples who have been affected by the loss of this land, for all of the unique plant life and beauty that we have just lost as a collective family on this planet. Offering up all the healing energy I can muster. ❤️🙏🏼✨” Jauregui wrote in a post about the fires.

https://www.instagram.com/laurenjauregui/?utm_source=ig_embed

Songstress Ellie Golding also posted about the fires.

“There was worldwide outcry when Notre Dame was on fire,” she wrote highlighting the way so many were quick to pour funding, tears and support for the building of the Catholic structure in Europe. Her post highlights how little care there is not only for the environment but also for institutions in Latin America.

Today he president of Brazil announced that the government would not have enough funding to fight the fires.

Here’s hoping our world leaders and institutions will reach out to Brazil and offer the same help that they did just a few months ago when Notre Dame was under fire.

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