[Marxism] Fwd: Brazil Wavers on Environment, and Earth’s Largest Wetland Starts to Wither - The New York Times

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Dec 24 13:03:59 MST 2017

(The article states that under the Workers Party, Brazil "was celebrated 
abroad for its aggressive efforts to curb rampant Amazon deforestation." 
That's a crock of shit. In the same way that Obama paved the way for 
Trump, Lula and Rousseff paved the way for Temer.)

Brazil’s booming soy industry and cattle ranches are threatening one of 
the richest wildlife havens on the planet, where packs of jaguars, 
caimans, marsh deer and macaws have roamed freely for eons.

The Pantanal region, the world’s largest tropical wetlands, is starting 
to wither. Over the last 15 years, about 8,700 square miles of the area, 
which straddles Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, have been altered, with 
fast-growing patches of yellow, arid land introduced into the lush 
biome, which covers roughly 70,000 square miles, or about the size of Syria.

This degradation of the Pantanal is seen by critics as one sign of 
Brazil’s weakening resolve to protect its environment.

While the Brazilian government earlier this year hailed a modest 
achievement in its signature environmental fight — containing the 
deforestation of the Amazon — it has been embarrassed by other trend 
lines. The country’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 9 percent 
last year, compared with 2015, marking the highest output since 2008.

Fueled in large part by the conversion of forested land for farming and 
other commercial purposes, last year’s emissions increase has called 
into question Brazil’s ability to honor its international commitments to 
combat climate change, including those under the Paris agreement.

Additionally, mapping data compiled by the Brazilian Institute of 
Geography and Statistics released earlier this month showed the country 
lost 9.5 percent of its forest land between 2000 and 2014.

The expansion of agriculture into areas with few environmental 
regulations, or lax enforcement, has coincided with a politically 
turbulent period in Brazil during which a powerful coalition of federal 
lawmakers, representing farming interests, has had its way on a number 
of controversial land-use policies.

Most susceptible to their lobbying, environmentalists say, is President 
Michel Temer, who spent much of the past year trading favors with 
lawmakers in a successful bid to convince Congress to spare him from 
standing trial on corruption charges.

“In practice, Temer has removed Brazil from the Paris agreement, just 
like President Trump did, with the difference that he doesn’t have the 
courage to assume that position publicly,” said Marina Silva, who was 
Brazil’s environment minister from 2003 to 2008. During that period, the 
country was celebrated abroad for its aggressive efforts to curb rampant 
Amazon deforestation.


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