Editorial: Brazilian government at fault for Amazon fires

The devastating Amazon Rainforest fires that are literally so prominent and out of control that they’re visible from outer space are a result of the dysfunctional Brazilian administration.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been a punching bag (not totally undeserved, mind you) for people around the world who are looking for someone to point their fingers at.

While Bolsonaro is certainly not entirely responsible for the fires, he has at least some blame in the political hysteria surrounding them.

He has been problematic with leaders at the G7 meetings (countries in the group include the U.S., France, the UK, Canada, Italy, Japan and Germany) who are trying to organize a way to help Brazil with the fires.

However, experts are saying the direct cause is likely fires set by farmers to prepare for the next year of planting, according to the Associated Press and The New York Times.

AP reported Sunday that the Brazilian federal police force agency would investigate a possible farmers-led “day of fire” in the state of Pará on Aug. 10.

Trade has a lot more to do with the Amazon Rainforest fires than people realize.

TIME reported that agriculture has been a bulk of the Brazilian economy’s sustainment for years, and it is agriculture that’s putting the pressure on deforestation in the Amazon.

Additionally, Brazil’s environment budget was cut almost in half in 2017, back when Michel Temer was president. 

TIME reported that “In 2017, Temer cut the federal science budget by 44 percent and took nearly the same amount from the discretionary budget of IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency. In April 2019, Bolsonaro continued the trend, cutting IBAMA’s budget by 24 percent. Those cuts left the agency unable to cover its fixed costs and left it without resources for patrolling and enforcement.”

Still, Bolsonaro has taken a step in the right direction and announced that he’s sending 44,000 soldiers to assist in putting out the fires.

Countries and prominent leaders across the world have established that the Amazon Rainforest fires aren’t just a Brazil issue; they’re a global issue. People are calling the rainforest the “lungs of our planet” and insisting that its preservation is in everyone’s best interest.

Brazil’s administration needs to put aside its unsubstantiated gripes with other nations and its self-entitlement to focus completely on getting these fires under control.