“Captain Chainsaw”, this is the strangely affectionate nick-name given to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. While in some parts of the world such a name might be given as an insult, in Brazil it is a celebration of Bolsonaro’s economic policies and exploitation of natural resources as a way of boosting the faltering economy. These policies were brought to the attention of the world in August as fires blazed across the Amazon region, blacking out the sky in Sao Paolo, over 1,500 miles away, stirring international outcry. It quickly became clear that many of the fires were started deliberately, but while there is a presently a ban on starting new fires, many continue to rage, with over 121,000 being reported in 2019 up to mid-September, an increase of over 50% on previous years. The fires themselves have already fallen out of the headlines, but the political and economic policies of Brazil and the rest of the world remain, and without an examination of these, we will see further destruction of the Amazon and other resources vital to human existence.
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