Earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, NASA said that based on 20 years of ground and satellite data, “human activities are drying out the Amazon.” The rainforest, said study co-author Sassan Saatchi, “may no longer be able to sustain itself.” 

But this year’s “deforestation surge can definitely be blamed on the Bolsonaro administration,” wrote Philip M. Fearnside, an American biologist at Brazil’s National Institute for Research in Amazonia.

Noting in his commentary at Mongabay that INPE’s 2019 data ends with July, Fearnside wrote that “the deforestation rate in the succeeding months has exploded to levels far above those for the same months in the previous year: in August 2019 the deforestation rate was 222 percent above the 2018 value, and the September value was 96 percent higher.”

“As a result,” he continued, “this part of the ‘Bolsonaro effect’ will only be reflected in the data” that comes out next year.

Cristiane Mazzetti, Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazon Campaigner, said in a statement Monday that Bolsonaro’s “anti-environmental agenda favors those who practice environmental crimes, and encourages violence against forest people. His administration is trashing practically all the work that has been done in recent decades to protect the environment and end deforestation.”

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