Two Demagogues With Fragile Egos And A World On Fire

President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro, two self-obsessed wannabe authoritarians driven by greed, are propelling us towards climate catastrophe.

President Trump hands out a personalized jersey to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. (Photo: Isac Nóbrega /PR)

President Trump hands out a personalized jersey to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. (Photo: Isac Nóbrega /PR)

This week, President Donald Trump and his partner in climate denial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro showcased to the world the threat they both pose to humanity.

The Amazon rainforest, which produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen, has been suffering from record-breaking fires. This year has seen an 84% increase in fires from 2018. These most recent series of fires are man-made fires triggered by farmers doing seasonal burning to expand their agriculture. Naturally, in Trump-like remarks, Bolsonaro falsely blamed his critics for the fires, saying they were lighting fires to make him look bad. Along with his bigoted screeds during his bid for the Brazilian presidency last year, Bolsonaro campaigned on the expansion of deforestation to focus on the growth of mining and agriculture. It appears he has gotten his wish.

At the G-7 summit this past weekend, the countries held a climate change meeting that President Trump did not attend. They decided to offer Brazil $20 million in aid to help combat the fires. Seemingly incapable of seeing past his own destructive ego, Bolsonaro rejected the offer, calling it “colonialist.” Bolsonaro then said he would reconsider the offer only if French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew his “insults.”

Leading up to this, Bolsonaro had replied in approval of a Facebook post that claimed his wife was more attractive than Macron’s, a move that Macron called “extraordinarily rude.”

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Trump threw his support behind Bolsonaro on Twitter, and the Brazilian President replied, echoing Trump’s false cries of fake news.

Hours after this, news of President Trump’s latest move sparked outrage. Trump, a notorious climate change denier, is now reportedly seeking to lift logging restrictions on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, which is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. For this move to be revealed in the context of the Amazon fires is nothing less than demoralizing for people who care about Earth’s climate.

There was also another moment the G-7 summit that highlighted Trump’s climate denial:

As we’ve seen with the man-made fires in the Amazon rainforest, human’s contribute to climate change in profound ways. We are rapidly approaching climate tipping points and unless significant action is taken, there will be irreparable damage done to our planet and life on Earth as we know it.

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As Rantt has previously reported, climate change will alter every level of our existence. We’ll see rising sea levels, massive floods, stronger hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, poisoned food, an increase in terrorism, mass extinctions, the list goes on. In 2016, the first mammal went extinct due to climate change. If these warming trends continue at the rate they are currently trending, large regions like North Africa and the Middle East could become uninhabitable by the end of this century, creating an unprecedented migration crisis.

In spite of this, President Trump has called climate change a hoax, left the Paris Climate Accord, and rolled back countless environmental regulations. Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro cheers on the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and plays petty games while it’s on fire. These two right-wing egomaniacs are thwarting human progress, or as Author Soraya Chemaly more eloquently put it…

These two men rose to power on the back of bigotry, lies, and regressive ideas and are governing in the same way they campaigned. We need to make sure they do not see two terms.

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Opinion // Amazon Rainforest / Brazil / Climate Change / Donald Trump / Jair Bolsonaro / Science