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Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro And The Amazon by zyx066

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· @zyx066 ·
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Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro And The Amazon
### The Amazon is on fire. Yesterday, Friday the 20st of September 2019 masses of young people protest against their political leaders' inability to arrest the climate crisis... I can only hope they understand that it's the economy, and politics in service of the economy, that are to blame here.<br>

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![Amazon_fire_satellite_small.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmXSfm34Ukjmihs5euQiJmDQ3Xqc8FSL2gWDYy49hWMGKf/Amazon_fire_satellite_small.jpg)<br><sub>source: [Wikimedia Commons](https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amazon_fire_satellite_image.png)</sub>
</center><br>

100,000 people in Berlin, Melbourne and London and an estimated 60,000 people in New York City, and countless others in cities on every continent [took to the streets](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/climate/global-climate-strike.html) in a desperate cry for action from their governments. Even a group of scientists stationed in Antarctica rallied against the world's collective inaction. The protests were mainly organized by young people, the ones that will have to build up their adult lifes in the mess we're presently creating for them. And meanwhile the Amazon is still burning.

What follows is by no means the entire answer to the question why so much of the Amazon is burned down right now; Bolsonaro, Brazil's political head honcho, is not known for his progressive stance on climate, or anything else for that matter, and has stripped much of the funding of his country's environmental agencies. Also, agriculture has been Brazil's strongest performing sector in the economy, which will inevitably result in incentivizing the Brazilians to transform even more rain-forest into farm-land. Jair Bolsonaro also declined millions of Dollars in aid, to help quench the fires, claiming his country is treated like a colony (and he's not entirely wrong there). Like Trump, Bolsonaro is also a nationalist populist who doesn't take kindly to criticisms from the outside, saying: "No country in the world has the moral right to talk about the Amazon. You destroyed your own ecosystems" (and he's not entirely wrong there either).

The Amazon not only acts as "the lungs of the Earth"; it's estimated that it holds nearly 15% of the world's fresh water and therefore is also a major factor in cooling the planet. The significance of this part of the planet's ecosystem can not be overestimated. What could be more important than that, one might ask. Well, soy beans are. To be more precise, soy beans are important for the Chinese in particular, as China is the world's largest buyer of soy beans. While running for president, Trump claimed that climate change is a conspiracy theory fabricated by the Chinese (but he still got elected... how will history look back on this, I often fearfully wonder...), and he has gone on to blame the whole world for America's woe's. Like everywhere else in the western world, Trump retreated behind his own borders and started issuing all kinds of tariffs to protect his own economy; this is called [isolationism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isolationism) and [protectionism](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protectionism) in economics, and is the preferred course of action of many right wing nationalist populists, who react negatively to globalism on behalf of their voter-base.

Xi Jinping is no dummy though, and retaliated with a 25% tariff on American soy, causing a lot of soy farmers in America to store much of their product as their largest buyer has moved to Brazil to get their soy beans. Trump [spent 16 billion Dollars of the American people's tax money to alleviate the pain for these farmers](https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/us-soybean-farmers-trump-tariffs), probably in a bid to not lose their votes in the 2020 elections... The rest is history. And the world takes to the streets, asking their politicians to change their ways. And everybody's getting mad at Trump, Bolsonaro and Xi Jinping. Yet they're all just doing what they're incentivized to do by the economy, the economy that's effectively ruled by the multi-billionaires of this world; they're the ones who decide who produces what and where, and their singular aim is growth of the world economy. All else be damned. But protesting them is useless as long as we keep abiding by the rules of a socioeconomic arrangement that's centered around and focused on maximizing one's personal material abundance.

I know it's difficult. We've never know anything else but this arrangement; if we are fish, capitalism is our water. But still, try and take a step back and you'll realize these billionaires do exactly what they're supposed to do, so we can't blame them. We can't blame Trump, Bolsonaro or Xi Jinping; they do what they think is best, not for their country or citizens, but for their economy. So... I wish I had an easy solution to this mess, but there just isn't. What I do know in my bones, is that this failed economy can't last very much longer; either we will change or we'll throw ourself back in time for centuries. I'm hopeful though; the fact that all these protests were organized by the young is encouraging. But we'll need more, we need a paradigm shift away from individualism and capitalism; for globalism to work, we need to de-fragment ourselves first, we need to understand in our deepest core that we're not separated from the rest of us or the rest of the world, or the rest of the universe for that matter. Take this chance to realize just that; as much as all our fates are related to the burning Amazon, they are equally related to each and every one of us, and not just to Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Jair Bolsonaro...

<center>
<iframe width="1955" height="1109" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7vdMU18k72k" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe><br><sub>Is the US-China trade war fueling the Amazon fires?</sub>
</center><br>

***

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@skramatters ·
Haven't had time to properly steem so I apologize I haven't read this article yet. I just wanted to say 100s of millions of US in SE Asia have been breathing hazardous air all month due to open burning to clear land for palm oil but it's probably not a hot topic like the amazon fire... 

I'll pop in later after I read your article. I'm just too aware how complex the issue is here and that banning products and holding up signs isn't going to fix an issue most of the world isn't even aware of.. 
👍  
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