The fires that burned through the Amazon rainforest last month sparked international outcry and offers of help, but as world leaders meet in New York, the planet’s largest rainforest remains engulfed in flames. The latest satellite data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows 131,600 fires burning since January within the country, where 60 percent of the Amazon lies. The fires, which are mostly caused by humans with the goal of clearing land for farming and cattle ranching, are having a grievous effect on the forest: the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has nearly doubled since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro came to power on January 1, with the equivalent of 110 football fields of land being cleared every hour. “It’s sad to see Brazilians attacking me for fires in the Amazon, as if they hadn’t always existed,” Bolsonaro wrote on Facebook Thursday. We “remain below the average of the last 15 years. But I’m accused of being a Nero, who sets fires everywhere.” Yet fires are at a seven-year high, according to INPE data, and despite a slight drop at the start of the month, the number of active fires recorded in Brazil from the start of… Read full this story
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