Amazon and climate science threatened if Bolsonaro elected Brazil’s president (commentary)

Amazon and climate science threatened if Bolsonaro elected Brazil’s president (commentary)

first_imgFake news and pseudo-science have been used as propaganda by supporters of the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro during his presidential election bid, according to a group of 17 Latin American scientists.The lack of defined environmental positions within the candidate’s political platform is of great concern to the scientific community.The pledge to fuse the agricultural and environmental ministries, expand agricultural and mining activities especially in the Amazon, and the promise made in the media to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, could make a Bolsonaro presidency dangerous not only for Brazil but for the world.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay. A full list of authors is presented at the end of the commentary. Eighteen Latin American scientists have expressed concern over the environmental policy proposals of presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who will be in a runoff election with candidate Fernando Haddad on Sunday, 28 October. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Brazil is the guardian of the largest tropical forest on Earth, lays claim to one of the largest cultivated land areas in the world, and possesses the largest population of any South American nation. As a result, a rising politician there who is ignoring global climate change issues and the environment should be of great concern not only to Brazilians but all humanity.Time is running out for the world to take action to mitigate climate change. Especially, with superpowers like the US and China doing virtually nothing to decarbonize their economies. Now, Brazil is on the way to electing Jair Bolsonaro president – its own version of Donald Trump, with all the global implications this could involve.According to a political platform registered with Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Bolsonaro’s proposed political positions suffer from an important lack of measures with respect to the environment and on how to mitigate climate change. His platform does, however, support policies which are of great concern to the scientific community, including the fusion of the agricultural and environmental ministries (with a ministerial head who would be “suggested by the agribusiness producers”), as well as the stimulation and expansion of agricultural and mining activities in the Amazon. Additionally, there is no mention of a transition to green energy.Rio Negro in the heart of the Amazon basin, as seen from space. Image courtesy of NASA.Importantly, although it isn’t mentioned in his political platform, Bolsonaro has declared during interviews with the press his intention of withdrawing Brazil from the Paris Climate Agreement, avoiding any future national commitment by Brazil to greenhouse gas emission reductions, adaptation and mitigation plans. This climate-denial policy – encouraged by Trump’s example – puts the planet at high risk given the short timeframe that we now have to drastically change global society in order to keep global warming below the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, as established in the recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.In particular, the exploitation and deforestation of Amazonia supported by Bolsonaro, could lead to drastic negative changes at many ecological levels. Those policies could increase direct warming effects; lead to a dramatic loss of biodiversity; exacerbate climatic extremes; and negatively impact regional weather dynamics.In addition, Bolsonaro fails to present efficient measures for empowering science in Brazil. According to the candidate, universities and science should step in line behind entrepreneurs and companies. He says that basic science and the environmental sciences will not be a priority for his government, likely meaning more budget cuts.Hyacinth macaws in flight. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Meanwhile, fake news in support of Bolsonaro is spreading fast and efficiently in Brazil, with supporters using pseudo-scientific arguments. Even as misinformation surges, almost out of control, the presidential candidate and his team confuse things further with contradictions regarding policies and positions.Whether the candidate has changed his mind on some fundamental environmental issues, or is only altering his statements to get more votes, it is difficult to say. However, any stated position that is not supportive of the environment; traditional and indigenous populations and their cultures; and the protection of basic human rights, stands against the Brazilian Constitution of 1988.A Bolsonaro presidency – with its lack of social-environmental protections for the Amazon and for the global climate – represents a huge setback for Brazil and for the planet.Commentary authors: Eliane Gomes-Alves; Ana María Yáñez-Serrano; Jorge Saturno; Samara Carbone; Pamela Dominutti; Sebastián Diez; Stefan Wolff; Janaína Nascimento; Ana Paula Pires Florentino; Natália Targhetta; Blanca Yáñez Serrano; Lucas Emilio Hoeltgebaum; Simone Silva; André Luís Diniz dos Santos; Nora Zannoni; Cybelli Barbosa; Marcia Munik Mendes Cabral. Correction: This commentary was originally credited to 18 authors. However one of the writers originally credited asked after publication to have his name removed from the piece. Mongabay has complied with this request.Citations:Barlow, J., Lennox, G. D., Ferreira, J., Berenguer, E., Lees, A. C., Nally, R. M., … Gardner, T. A. (2016). Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation. Nature, 535(7610), 144–147. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature18326Barlow, J., França, F., Gardner, T. A., Hicks, C. C., Lennox, G. D., Berenguer, E., … Graham, N. A. J. (2018). The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems. Nature, 559(7715), 517–526. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0301-1Chambers, J. Q., & Artaxo, P. (2017). Deforestation size influences rainfall. Nature Climate Change, 7(3), 175–176. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3238Lennox, G. D., Gardner, T. A., Thomson, J. R., Ferreira, J., Berenguer, E., Lees, A. C., … Barlow, J. (2018). Second rate or a second chance? Assessing biomass and biodiversity recovery in regenerating Amazonian forests. Global Change Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14443Scott, C. E., Monks, S. A., Spracklen, D. V., Arnold, S. R., Forster, P. M., Rap, A., … Wilson, C. (2018). Impact on short-lived climate forcers increases projected warming due to deforestation. Nature Communications, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02412-4Banner image: Hyacinth macaws. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.A Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi). Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay. Article published by Glenn Scherer Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Controversial, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. 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