Bolsonaro says Amazon nations should decide region's future (copy)

A firefighter walk past burning brush in the Chiquitania Forest in Santa Rosa de Tucabaca, on the outskirts of Robore, Bolivia, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. While some of the fires are burning in Bolivia's share of the Amazon, the largest blazes were in the Chiquitanía region of southeastern Bolivia. It's zone of dry forest, farmland and open prairies that has seen an expansion of farming and ranching in recent years.

I think of a terrifying drill I had as a child in school. Sirens blared and all traffic stopped. We covered ourselves with our coats and huddled together on the floor. The U.S. and the Soviets held our Earth in their hands as they postured and bullied.

Years later, our Earth is facing destruction once again — this time, at an alarming rate. The Amazon fires have jarred many of us out of our complacency. There is an urgency to protect our source of oxygen and biodiversity. Trump started a trade war with China, a huge importer of soy. This left a hole to fill and Brazil rushed to fill it. Farmers took to burning the forests to make room for fields.

We looked to the G-7 for guidance and quick delivery of financial aid and equipment. Instead, we saw an empty seat at the climate change discussion where our president was supposed to sit. Only $22 million was allotted for aid, which is a drop in the bucket. Now France and Brazil are exchanging barbs. Will the posturing end before the end of the world?

Toni Lindahl


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