Tuesday, September 03, 2019

'Our House is burning'

Jeremy Corbyn's excursion into the Amazon during this morning's crucial Brexit debate was irrelevant, borderline nonsensical, and so typical of his inability to knuckle down on the essence of the current contention.

Westminster may yearn for sovereignty, but that does not include sovereignty over Brazil. Bolsonaro is surely Brazil's problem. (At least until the world finds a way to respond institutionally to globalised capitalism and the worldwide environmental challenges. G7 aint it.) 

It's worth pointing out that the Amazon forest's contribution to global oxygen production is around 6% gross, net levels closer to nil. All that biodiversity consumes the stuff as well. Macron's 20% figure is fake news and an excuse for Gallic grandstanding, if not outright meddling. His motives were possibly quite cynical, but along the way he has set off the more naive protestor instincts of Magic Grandpa.

When coverage of the fires came to my own attention, some time before the matter was taken up by CR7, Macron, the Beeb et al, the crux of the issue was the impact on indigenous reserves.

Brazil has reduced deforestation considerably over the last few years, but Bolsonaro's policies signal a possible up-tick for 2019 and a re-opening of the oldest wound in South America: the conflict between the modernising state and the patchwork of less modern, pre-Hispanic societies it would like to subsume. (Remember The Mission?). This is indeed a complex matter for careful consideration...by Brazilians.

By the time the media outside the region had hold of this story it had been re-worked to significantly bother their own educated metropolitan elites. "Lungs of the Earth' and all that. The indigenes had vanished into the intellectual underbrush.

A part of Brazil (Peru etc.) that is almost the size of Australia somehow now belongs to all of us, minus the knuckle-draggers of course.

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