On a micro level, evil is a term used to describe a person who believes they are doing the right thing, while simultaneously ignoring the negative and harmful consequences their actions have on others. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, also known as “Captain Chainsaw”, has cut back on regulations protecting the Amazon Basin and other remaining rainforests in Brazil; thus, regretfully, personifying the aforementioned term.
Rainforests have been in danger for decades due to human induced climate change, and a vast increase in farming, timber, mining and lodging needs due to a booming population on the climb. Brazil is home to over 55% of the rainforests on earth, 40% of that being the Amazon Basin. In order to prevent the danger of extinction, governments and organizations from around the world have aided Brazil with preservation and protection efforts for what remains of their rainforests. Without the delicate ecosystem of the rainforests, we are at risk of losing 50% of the existing species that call it home, 25% of the world’s oxygen, and at least 20% of common plants used in everyday medicine.
Bolsonaro refuses to expand and enhance the protection of the Amazon; allowing more clearances, hack & burn farming, illegal logging, mining, and other detrimental activities to get prime economic use out of the land. Bolsonaro’s corrupt ideals have made his country the third greatest carbon dioxide emitter in the world, trailing only the superpower nations of China and the United States.
With Bolsonaro cutting back regulations that protectthe rainforest, other countries such as Germany and Norway have cut back or removed their efforts; seemingly asking why they should invest millions of dollars in environmental protection if the Brazilian government isonly ensuring further destruction. Before Bolsonaro came to power, enacting more lenient laws and retracting protection, we were already losing over 70 million acres of rainforest annually. With his new regulations, minimalinterference in illegal activities, and internationalorganizations and countries uninvesting in rainforest protection, the scale of deforestation has sky rocketed to it’s highest rate in the past ten years.
What’s next, you may ask? This world is ours, but not for taking. Despite any borders, barriers, religion, or culture, the rainforest is something all forms and walks of life need for a sustainable and decent life. If we, as a whole, are willing to work together, help organizations that have not backed out, put in effort despite “Captain Chainsaw’s”refusal to, we can save what is left of our rainforests.
Written by Shira Karney