Brazil is not entirely an environmental villain

It is unfair to single out Brazil for criticism. It is one of the world’s greenest countries: over 60 per cent of its territory is covered with natural vegetation, its agriculture grew based on productivity gains and technology rather than land expansion, and about 45 per cent of its energy comes from renewables, compared with a global average of 14 per cent. It also has one of the world’s most stringent land usage regulations, known as the forest code. How many farmers around the world are required to leave aside 20-80 per cent (depending on the biome) of their native forest land?

That is from Sylvia Coutinho from the Financial Times.

Comments

It could have been easy for Bolsonaro to hire a consultant to make a speech like that. But no he prefered to comment on the French first lady's physical appearance.

He was replying to a Twitter follower. It was not the Diário Oficial (their Federal Register). And, as Brazil's Economy Minister Mr. Guedes pointed out, she IS ugly.

You may win elections in Brazil by changing subjects and looking for controversy all the time. It is pretty easy btw with a mixed poor population that is dumb enough to gather in stadiums to prey an non-existent white god. But it does not work that way with the international community. You just look stupid.

Again, it was a side comment that would have slided unnoticed if the lamestream media were not hungry for controversy and opportunities to bash Brazil.

"You may win elections in Brazil by changing subjects and looking for controversy all the time. "

Do you mean only in Brazil? Seriously?

Still trying to change subject haha. What else after Macron's wife and Trump? La casa de Papel? Neymar?

Actually Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, President Captain Bolsonaro's son, has officially suported Mr. Neymar. My point, however, is that the confluence of religious and political interests is legal, legitimate and it hardly a Brazilian peculiarity.

Anyway, Brazil's President Captain Bolsonaro's comment was just an aside and not meant to muddy the waters. It is a shame the French feel the need to be petty and vindicative about that. Maybe they should just let it go already.

The only thing uglier than that woman is the sight of inferno'd wreckage where once stood rain forests teeming with life. Brazil is a culture of death. It is written on the land in ashes and blood.

Americans are ones to talk about praying to white gods and seeking controversy with their megachurches and televangelists and Trumps and AOCs.

The point is, this land is ours, God gave this land to us. This brave and ancient land to us.
And when the morning sun reveals her hills and plain, then we see a land where children can run free. With the help of God, we know we can be strong to make this land our home. If we must fight, we'll fight to make this land our own. Until we die, this land is mine.

God does not exist. You just stole this land from native Americans.

Not true at all. God has entrusted us with the land. And we gave plenty of land to the natives. Suffice to say that, despite their populaces being tiny, they were given reservations bigger than whole European countries. They probably have more land than they need.

" God has entrusted us with the land."
Cool that you think this. Do you have any kind of evidence? I would LOVE to find out. But, color me skeptical...

By the way, keep on burning the Amazon. We can all meet up in Hell afterwards. (If you are right about God and all that, of course.)

I think it is clear we have been given domion of the Brazilian territory as a reward. How else can we explain the fact a people who never waged a war of aggresion is master of a terrritory bigger than the Roman Empire at its height?

Brazil genocided its natives. You have an empire built on blood.

Not what god told me. He mentioned the other day that the squatters really were disturbing his view and wished they would go elsewhere.

He didn't say that. Quite the opposite. There is good reason to believe he has chosen Brazilians as his people.

I will smite Brazil one of these days but they already did enough of that by burning down their own rainforests. I'm ashamed to have these Brazilian idiots as followers. Go melt some gold and shape it into a calf. Worship that instead. Leave me out of it.

Yet, no other people in the world has been subject to so much prejudice and so many slanders. Let me ask something. When Americans were fighting against Nazism and Fascism, who supported America? Brazil! Where were alleged paragons of virtue such as Germany, Japan, France and Norway back then when we needed them?
Brazil is selflessly spending money it doesn't have to protect rainforests it doesn't need, and yet all a banch of ungrateful foreigners do is complaining day and night about how Brazilians rule their own land. Are we so tone-deaf we can't understand the terrible effect it has on our closest and loyalest ally? Are we so conceited and delusional that we think we don't need Brazil's friendship? Are we so entitled that we think we deserve said friendship no matter what we do and say? What do we think is the effect when Red China is praised to the skies for being a totalitarian, polluting regime who killed young Americans, steals our jobs and IPs and threatens our very existence while Brazil is punished for being a pro-Western, international law-abiding democracy and for taking care of the rainforests? Can't we see all we are accomplishing by criticizing their regime and their leaders is radicalizing Brazilians? As Brazilians like to say, those who sow winds will harvest storms. And, as Brazil's Independence Anthem puts it,
"Brave Brazilian people!/Far begone, slavery's fear!/Either keep the Fatherland free,/Or die for Brazil./Either keep the Fatherland free,/Or die for Brazil." By attacking Brazil, we are riding the tiger's back and we can end up waking up a sleeping giant.

All that and giant rodents!

Brazil's fauna is widely considered the best in the world.

Brazil's fauna is best served as BBQ after a huge rain forest fire.

Rodents of unusual size? I don't think they exist.

"It is unfair to single out Brazil for criticism."

If you look at the numbers of Brazil yes. If you look at the marketing image Brazil tourism office tries to create, no. Just look at Brazil tourism office twitter: https://twitter.com/VisitBrasil When tourists went there for lush vegetation, big cats and big parrots, don't be surprised when said tourists are worried about wildfires. The expectations of tourists were carefully managed to get income from them, don't call them idiot ignoramus now.

Perhaps the lesson here is that the Brazil tourism office should also be actively communicating the conservation efforts, the real numbers.

Most tourists won't see a single forest fire during their stay. Whay we are seeing is downright hysteria running amok and stoking the flames of unthinking anti-Brazilianism.

They're up against a world press with an agenda.

Exactly. An anti-Brazilian agenda.

Bolsonaro has only been President for 9 months and his the path his policies will take is already clear. The praise is at best premature and most likely just wrong. The author is the head of UBS in Brazil so hardly a neutral voice I would think.

Looking at a satellite pictures, I see what looks like a lot of devastation. But it's possible I'm not interpreting what I see correctly. What would be horribly eroded land in Australia may not be the same thing in Brazil.

It's been established by multiple sources that Brazil's fires actually cover less area than in previous years and, as in most years, largely involve farmers clearing existing farmland rather than new forest. In other words, there's been nothing unusual this year; this is a fake issue spun up entirely as a political club to use against a right-wing government.

Good points.

Erosion is a big problem in Brazil, overwhelmingly caused by overgrazing land with cattle. Beef is a huge industry in Brazil, dominating the business pages of major newspapers.

I personally was going to buy rural acreage in Bahia, and most of what I saw was land denuded and eroding into waterways, all due to cattle.

I didn't buy any land, but not because it was eroded, rather because you have guard it 24x7 or the local people will steal everything you own, even if it is bolted down, like your stove.

Don't believe anything you read about Brazil. Go there and see for yourself.

The erosion issue is under control. Crime is a relatively uncommon occurence in Brazil. Rural entrepreneurs are getting easier access to gun licenses to fight crime.

Be serious.

Serious and important people read this blog, and they are being misled wrt Brazil.

The issues are serious and have serious consequences.

I stand for everything I said. Most Brazilians have never commited a violent crime. Rural entrepreneurs are being issued firearms so they can defend their land from criminal and leftist guerrilas (Movimento dos Sem-Terra, Landless Movement). The erosion issue is being addressed by the proper authorities, whomare succeeding in stopping it. Panicking will not help anyone at all.

Utter nonsense, but that's your thing anyway, so whatever ...

No, it is not. I say it as I see. I am not interested in bashing Brazil. The point is, Brazil is doing a great job.

According to Thiago "Crime is a relatively uncommon occurence (sic) in Brazil" because "Most Brazilians have never commited (sic) a violent crime."
Readers of this blog, please regard Thiago's posts as trolling. This guy has a great sense of humour. :^)

My point is, most Brazilians are law-abiding, good people. It is not like America's Comptons and Detroits. When the lights went off, in 1977, New York City rioted. I can imagine Brazilians rioting.

Most people in Compton and Detroit have never committed a violent crime either you f*cking retard.

A much higher proportion of the Detroit commits crimes in Detroit and Compton. In Brazil, crime is a rare occurence. I myself have neither commited a crime nor have been the victim of a crime. The situation is undrr control, and civilians are being issued firearms to deal with crime.

Brazil is the world leader in crime. Moving Compton and Detroit next to Sao Paulo would actually reduce crime for your shitty little nation.

Trump should call for an invasion of Brazil, overthrow and imprison their fascist leaders, and protect their rainforests so the world can breathe freely.

No, he shouldn't. Brazil's leaders are not fascist, quite the opposite, actually. Brazil is already protecting the forests. We did not start the fires. They were always burning since the world's been turning. We didn't start the fires. No, we didn't light them, but we tried to fight them.

Brazil is a nation of Thiagos. Nothing will come of it.

Quite the opposite, everything will come of it.

Crime and burnt forests have come out of Brazil.

Attacking Brazil for this does seem unfair. The US cut down many of its own forests for development in the 1800s. Brazil only has this much forest today to cut down is because it didn’t do so earlier.

Fortunately, development does seem to lead to some re-greening (forest cover reached a nadir in the US in the early 1900s and has bounced back slightly; re-forestation is also occurring in China and India as those countries get more developed). So if Brazil is able to get out of its economic rut and begin growing quickly, they should experience some re-greening later on too.

Exactly, but some people just want to use the forests issue as a stick to beat Brazilians with. It is disgusting.

Unfortunately those in the tropics with incredibly rich biodiversity will and should be held to higher standards than northern countries with lots of cosmopolitan species that will survive anywhere and no endemics (at an extreme, Ireland for instance).

Is life "fair" to Brazilians in this sense? Perhaps not, but it seems rather more important to be "fair" to millions of years of evolved biodiversity.

It is not our business what Brazilians do or fail to do with their own land. And Brazil is doing a fine job taking care of the rainforests.

Brazil is doing a crap job. Impeach Bolsonaro!

This isn't about fair but environmental reality. Much of the US lacks the forestland that countries closer to the equator enjoy. The Southwest is desert, the Southeast is swamp, the Midwest is grassland. Droughts happen all the time. The native Americans never built large cities like the ones south of the border did because the vegetation was too sparse and the weather too unpredictable making nomadic life the only real option. The natives down south including the Incans had the opposite problem of vegetation taking over their big cities.

The point is, Americans and Europeans became rich by destroying forests and polluting and now are bullying Brazil, whose environmental redord is much superior!!!!!

Not to mention that the Europeans cleared nature away to get where they are.
BTW Nature wants to kill us.

Exactly. Yet, some people blame Brazil first.

Surely criticisms should at least partially be based on the direction chosen by the current government, rather than looking purely at absolute measures. Is the marginal effect of an additional year in power for the present administration particularly bad (in environmental terms)?

"Is the marginal effect of an additional year in power for the present administration particularly bad (in environmental terms)?"

Not at all. The situation is under control? Panicking won't help anyone.

"Brazil is not entirely an environmental villain"

Tyler, that's a pretty unfair headline. Classifying Brazil as an "enivronmental villain" even to a partial degree is bullshit. Your own post clearly indicates that they do a good job for a developing country.

Yet, lots of people, as Jeane Kirkpatrick would say, blame Brazil first. They hold Brazil to impossible standards they hold no one else to.

>over 60 per cent of its territory is covered with natural vegetation

Ergo, nearly two-fifths of Brazil has been paved over.

Which is not much as countries go. And the Portuguese aggressor was responsible for much of the destruction anyway.

"Ergo, nearly two-fifths of Brazil has been paved over."

Doesn't that mean that two-fifths of Brazil is covered with farms and ranches with a few cities in between?

Roughly speaking, farms, ranches in the North and MidWest. Cities innthe Southwest.

Way too much illegal stupidity. This entire comment thread has been declared a forfeit, all participants are docked 10 internet points. People, you are disrespecting the sport.

It's a Thiago thread. Full of manipulations, lacking in facts, and way too much Thiago sock puppetry. I find it worse than the cuck guy, honestly.

Regulationa are meaningless in Brazil - there is no enforcement. A law without enforcement is merely a suggestion safely ignored. Even if a law was enforced, sanctions are unlikely. As one of my numerous (my wife has 11 brothers and sisters living throughout the country) brother in laws says - there is no enforcement, officials are embarrassed to enforce the law, and that is part of the culture. He doesn't like it but he is an outlier.

It is routine for ranchers to hire thugs to go in and burn the forest, especially on weekends and holidays. The country could burn up during Carnival and nobody would notice. Once burned by "vandals", all a sham, the rancher can put as many cows on the land as he wants, erosion be damned.

Don't be complacent.

Evidently, mistakens may have been committed, but the government is eager to punich any improper behavior by farmers. Evidently, there are inherent difficults in patrolling Northern Brazil. Altamira city for example is bigger than Cuba. All things considered, however, Brazilians have achieved unncanny success inntheir anti-fire efforts. Federsl troops have launched surgical attacks against fire spots to prevent the friee from spreading.

Hi Thiago!

I am not Mr. Ribeiro. I am Mr. Lee.

I'm glad you lefties are coming around...

Exactly.

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