A SECOND OPINION: BREATHE — How many Rainforests are there left in the World? Fewer and fewer…

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Breathe: How many Rainforests are there left in the World? Fewer and fewer…


By Mary Foran

Spain is not known for its rainforests, but like all the world, it is quite aware of the devastation occurring in South America from wildfires there.

The focus is now on Brazil where it almost seems that forests are being cleared for ranching and other purposes. Forests are a pain in the neck to people who see nothing but profit and progress.

But forests fill a basic need for human life: O2. We breathe because of the oxygen produced by trees and plant life and especially the rainforests of the world.

It just so happens that there is a small rainforest in the Pacific Northwest in the Olympic forest, but it is nothing like the tropical rainforests of the Amazon and Brazil. They are the real “lungs of the world”. And fires are consuming them. Who knows if the fires were set—so many negative forces exist.

Macron, left, and Bolsonaro at the G20 Summit in Osaka, 28 June 2019. Bolsonaro invited Macron to visit the Brazilian Amazon. But in July he lambasted European leaders for interfering in the Amazon. More of the same in Biarritz.

The G7 leaders, who just met in Biarritz, France (G7 Summit 2020 will be held in the U.S.), pledged some $20 million dollars to fight the blazes, but were stymied by a spat between French President Emmanuel Macron and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro which got a lot of press and made one wonder who really cared about the Rainforests. Some Brazilian officials were grateful for the much-needed help; others viewed it as a colonial gesture that would undermine Brazil’s control of its own lands.

Just a clarification straight from Reuters.com: “The fires are not limited to Brazil, with at least 10,000 sq. km. (about 3,800 sq. miles) burning in Bolivia, near its border with Paraguay and Brazil.”

Says French President Macron on his official Facebook page, August 22, just before the G7 Summit in Biarritz: “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet, . . . is on fire. It’s an international crisis. Members of the G7, [let’s] talk about this emergency.”

According to the Presidential spokesman for Bolsonaro, Rego Barros, “The Brazilian government is open to receiving financial support from organizations and countries. This money, when it enters the country, will have the total governance of the Brazilian people.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Bolsonaro’s efforts with the wildfires, saying “He and his country have the full and complete support of the U.S.A.” Macron’s contribution to the cause has been hinged on an apology to Bolsonaro for a comment made in haste, which may or may not be forthcoming.

Well, in my second opinion, obviously I believe in saving the rainforests and in the biodiversity that they harbor. I’ve always been aware of the importance of plant and animal life and I for one won’t apologize for that now.

Bolsonaro may just have to deal with the world on the issue of the wildfires.

Economics and pure science don’t always see eye-to-eye!

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Images
Featured image/Nicolas Rénac, CC BY-SA2.0
Macron and Bolsonaro/Palacio do Planalto, CC BY2.0
Amazon burning/Macron Facebook post, Fair use