Things That Matter

Want To Save The Planet? Brazilian President Bolsonaro Suggests Simply Holding Your Poop To Show You Care

If you’re weren’t aware yet, our environment is suffering a major crisis. It isn’t something that if we ignore it will just somehow magically be okay. We are experiencing climate change right now. Weather patterns are off, there are more floods, more wildfires, a lot more earthquakes, and this is just the start of it. This year the United Nations released an extensive report on climate change and say that the next two to three years are a “critical window when many of the policy and investment decisions” and whether world leaders jump on board to help — or not — the result will be the end of us, roughly 10 to 15 years from now, or it could be a turning point.

To get to change, as we said, world leaders have to delegate legislation. All eyes are on world leaders as they have to come up with ways for their own countries to contribute to a plan to save the planet. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro has one theory about how to improve the environment.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggests a way to remedy the environment issue — and obesity all in one snap: if people eat less, they will poop less.

Credit: @Carlos_PT_Lula / Twitter

Come again? Did a world leader just suggest restrict people’s right to go number 2? Yes, he did. During a press conference, Bolsonaro said, “It’s enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It’s enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world.” Hmmm, let’s ponder that for a second. Eat less, poop less, environment fixed. His response was so cut and dry that people could not tell if he was being sarcastic. 

Bolsonaro’s eye-opening response came after a reporter asked him if the country could grow while preserving the environment. It’s a very odd answer, but this is also a man who has, in the past, made “derogatory remarks about women and minority groups,” according to Yahoo News

Would pooping less actually help the environment? 

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We do know that cow poop, and their farts, contribute more toxic fumes than cars. No joke! Due to the 1.5 billion cows on the planet, they contribute to “18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together,” the Independent reports. 

However, humans also contribute a hefty load (no pun intended) to the world’s trash every time we flush. Slate released an article about a 1999 study that showed “1,188 American homes, toilet flushes accounted for 27 percent of an individual’s daily indoor water consumption—more than washing machines (22 percent) or showers (17 percent).” 

So perhaps pooping less would help somewhat but Bolsonaro is avoiding something a lot more critical to our environment. 

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While going number two every other day would help with less trash and reduce the use of water, it would not be healthy for our own bodies. Pooping every day is part of having a healthy digestive system, and reducing that would just back you up and that would not be good for anyone. 

A healthy bowel system is also dependent on the foods we eat, in particular fruits and vegetables. If our environment continues to decline the way it is, we won’t be able to grow our fruits and vegetables, which therein will make people poop less. Is that Bolsonaro’s ultimate vision?

Bolsonaro, as the leader of Brazil, is in charge of one of the most precious ecosystems in the world: the Amazon.

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Brazil controls 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, which makes up 40 percent of Earth’s rainforests. The New York Post reports that Bolsonaro’s policies will only further damage the Amazon, which is already in a decline. 

The Economist reports that Bolsonaro isn’t helping nurture nature at all, he’s actually seeking to develop on the sacred forest.

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“The ecological collapse [Bolsonaro’s] policies may precipitate would be felt most acutely within his country’s borders, which encircle 80 percent of the basin—but would go far beyond them, too. It must be averted.”

The climate and the planet are reaching the point of no return when it comes to protecting life. The temperature is rising and places, like El Salvador, are facing a water instability that is forcing migrants to seek safety in another country. If you are concerned about the environment, you have to get involved by contacting your political representatives and making changes in your own life to save the earth.

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

It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

Culture

It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

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Two of Latin America’s most important ingredients – staples of cuisines across the region – are in danger of possible extinction thanks to climate change. Tomatoes and chilies both make up a huge part of traditional recipes from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina to Cuba – and they’re close to disappearing from grocery stores everywhere.

We know that tomato and chili are two fundamental ingredients in Mexican cuisine. Due to the threats suffered by its main pollinator, the bumblebee, these basic ingredients could disappear forever.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. But one of the most at-risk species is the humble bumble bee. These often feared insects are a vital source of pollination for thousands of plant and flower species around the world – if they disappear so too do the species of plants that depend on them.

Pollinators are species of great importance for a healthy environment. They are responsible for the the diversity and health of various biomes. Across Latin America, the bumble bee is largely responsible for the pollination of modern agriculture and this could have a major impact on the production of tomatoes and chilis.

Unfortunately, bumblebees are currently threatened, resulting in the possible extinction of different vegetables, including tomatoes and chili.

But why does the tiny bumble bee matter at all?

The bumble bee belongs to the insect family Apidae, which includes hundeds of different species of bumblebees. In fact, the bumble bee can be found on every continent except Antarctica and plays an outsized role in agriculture. The insects are often larger than honey bees, come in black and white varieties and often feature white, yellow, or orange stripes. This genus belongs to the Apidae family that includes different species commonly known as bumblebees. They’re almost entirely covered by very silky hairs. An adult bumblebee reaches 20 millimeters or more and feeds primarily on nectar from flowering plants. A curious fact is that females have the ability to sting, while males do not.

Bumblebees are epic pollinators of the tomato and chili plantS. Together with different species, the bumblebee helps produce many staple foods that are part of healthy diets around the world. If these become extinct the eating habits of all Latinos would suffer drastic changes as several vegetables would disappear.

So why are bumblebees in danger?

The main threat of these insects is the pesticides used in modern agriculture. That is why it is necessary to avoid consuming food produced in this way. We can all help the bumblebee planting plants, protecting native species and especially not damaging their natural environment.

But climate change is also wreaking havoc on the breeding patters of bumblebees – leading to colony collapse. With fewer colonies there is less breeding and therefore fewer bees around the world to pollinate our global crops.

Can you imagine a world without tomatoes or chilies?

Salsa. Moles. Pico de gallo. Ketchup. Chiles rellenos. Picadillo. All of these iconic Latin American dishes would be in danger of going extinct along with the bumblebee – because what’s a mole without the rich, complex flavors of dried chilies?

Several groups are already working hard to help fund programs that would work to conserve the dwindling bumblebee populations. While others are working out solutions that could perhaps allow tomatoes and chilies to self-pollinate – much as other plants already do.

Pablo Escobar Once Had Four Pet Hippos, Now There’s More Than 80 And They’re Destroying Colombia’s Ecosystem

Things That Matter

Pablo Escobar Once Had Four Pet Hippos, Now There’s More Than 80 And They’re Destroying Colombia’s Ecosystem

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Pablo Escobar is known for many things, among them being one of the world’s most prolific drug lords. His Medellín cartel basically invented the modern-day drug business model – which continues to plague communities around the world.

However, there’s one part of Escobar’s life that few know about – the drug kingpin also had a menagerie of exotic animals that he kept as pets, including four giant African hippos.

The former drug lord‘s pet hippos have exploded in population and are wreaking havoc on the environment.

Escobar kept a large number of exotic animals – including lions, rare birds, giraffes, and hippos – as pets at his Medellin compound. When he was killed in 1993, most of the animals were moved to zoos, however, the hippos were left to fend for themselves. And apparently they’ve thrived on their own.

It was not possible to move the hippos and the animals soon lived near the Magdalena River. Their number has grown over the years and is now nearly 80. According to a study published in the journal Ecology, the hippos have become an invasive species and are destroying the aquatic ecosystem.

The region’s water supply is under threat thanks to hippo waste.

A team of researchers from the University of California at San Diego and the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia investigated the water quality of the lakes where hippos live, and compared them to lakes where they are not.

According to the study, hippos separate large amounts of waste into the lakes, changing the chemistry and oxygen levels of the water. This is because the excreted waste fertilizes harmful algae and bacteria.

According to Jonathan Shurin, lead author of the study, the hippos have a major impact on the ecosystem in their native Africa. He said a similar impact was seen when they were imported into an entirely new continent.

The Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was known for his love of exotic animals.

He was once the owner of a grand estate, Hacienda Nápoles, just under 100 miles east of Medellin. In the early 1980s, Escobar built an illegal zoo full of rhinos, giraffes, zebras and hippos on his estate.

After his death it was seized by the government and now acts as a safari theme park. Most of the exotic animals that he housed in the on site zoo were re-homed. Except the hippos. Now, scientists say, the four original hippos now number around 80 and are having a detrimental effect on Colombian waters. 

While some remain in the current theme park, some slipped through the flimsy gate and are now feral. 

Escobar bought the hippos from a zoo in California and flew them to his ranch in the early 1980s. Left to themselves on his Napoles Estate, they bred to become supposedly the biggest wild hippo herd outside Africa.

Escobar’s hippos have become feral, living in at least four lakes in the area and spreading into neighboring rivers – confounding the problem.

The crime lord’s hippos are also much more sexually active than their cousins in Africa because of the perfect conditions, shallow water and no drought. 

All the fertile females are reported to be giving birth to a calf every year, the BBC said in 2014. And this is a problem for the water, if not local farmers who risk their wrath while working.  

“If you plot out their population growth, we show that it tends to go exponentially skyward. In the next couple of decades there could be thousands of them,” according to Jonathan Shurin, of UCSD.