The Amazon: More than 100,000 Fires This Year, Causing Spike in Air Pollution

A Journal of People report

This satellite image by European Space Agency shows levels of carbon monoxide pollution caused by the fires in the Amazon rainforest, between the second half of July 2019 and the first half of Aug. 2019.

The number of Brazil’s forest fires soars past 100,000, a 45 percent increase from this same time last year, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.

Statistics from the NISR – whose director was sacked last month after clashing with Bolsonaro – show deforestation has surged in recent months with a Manhattan-sized area lost every day in July.Read More »

Bolivia Bans Profiteering in Lands Affected by Amazon Fires

teleSUR | August 28, 2019

Evo Morales speaking to media after having helped frontline staff combat the fires in the Chiquitania.
Evo Morales speaking to media after having helped frontline staff combat the fires in the Chiquitania. | Photo: Twitter: @telesurenglish

“I want to tell you that I have decided to declare an ‘ecological pause’, which means that in areas affected by the fires, land sales are prohibited”

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has announced that the sale of land will be banned in regions affected by the Amazon fires, in order to stop ranchers and agro-capitalists from profiting off the fires once they recede, and so that those areas can be reforested rather than exploited. Morales also announced that fires in one forest area of Bolivia’s Amazon region have been entirely extinguished thanks to the work of the ‘Supertanker’.

Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | August 23, 2019

Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests
Powerful ranching and farming interests encouraged by Brazil’s right wing president, have been setting fires in the Amazon forests to “clear” the once protected land for capitalist development. | AP

BIARRITZ, France—The continuing controversy over international action – or lack of it – to deal with climate change, and the latest big threat to the environment, the massive Brazilian Amazonian wildfires, will descend on the G7 summit here this weekend.

The object: To force the leaders of the world’s top industrialized nations to do something about the issue, and to repudiate right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s snide lies that environmentalists have set some of the 72,843 wildfires (so far) in Brazil this summer.

Read More »

Thick smoke from human-caused fires in the Amazon spreads across South America

by Brasil de Fato

Peoples Dispatch | August 22, 2019

Wildfires become more common as the dry season approaches in the Amazon; ranchers and farmers use them to clear land for crops and pasture.

As wildfires increase at a record rate in the Brazilian Amazon, a black smoke plunged São Paulo into darkness on Monday, Aug. 19, thousands of miles away from the rainforest, turning day into night in the country’s largest city.

Before reaching the south and southeast of Brazil, smoke particles hit the Andes, creating an even thicker smoke as they combined with pollution from fires in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Brazil is recording the largest wave of wildfires in the last five years, according to its National Institute for Space Research (INPE).Read More »