US News: Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsNear the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry

02:30  24 august  2019
02:30  24 august  2019 Source:   nationalgeographic.com

How Did the Amazon Rainforest Fires Start?

How Did the Amazon Rainforest Fires Start? Brazil has experienced a record number of wildfires this year, more than half of which occurred in the Amazon region. That's according to data collected by the country's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). © Thomson Reuters Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, Brazil August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino The figures show an 83 percent increase in comparison to the same period in 2018, representing the highest number of blazes since the agency began collecting such data in 2013, Reuters reported.

Fires in the Amazon have risen 84% amid growing deforestation, Brazil's space research agency says. Conservationists have blamed Mr Bolsonaro for the Amazon 's plight, saying he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land, and scientists say the rainforest has suffered

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Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry © Photograph by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil, on August 17.

Porto Velho, Brazil—A popular hymn describes the sky above this Brazilian city of more than 400,000 people as forever blue. But this week, Porto Velho, along with much of the Amazon basin, has been shrouded in gray smoke as forest fires continue to rage across the region.

Fires are common in the Amazon during this time of year, which is normally marked by dry and cooler weather. While some fires occur naturally, many are set by ranchers and farmers seeking to clear land for cattle grazing and agriculture. This year, however, satellite data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has shown an increase of almost 85 percent in fires across the country from 2018, mostly in the Amazon region.

Amazon fires: Brazil's president accuses world leaders of 'interfering'

Amazon fires: Brazil's president accuses world leaders of 'interfering' Brazil's president has accused other countries of interfering as they express fears for the burning Amazon rainforest. The number of forest fires in Brazil - more than 74,000 - has increased by 83% compared with the same period last year, with smoke that is visible from 400 miles up in space. World leaders are increasingly worried about the situation, as the Amazon - described as the world's lungs - is a vital absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Residents have not experienced a similar phenomenon before; not even in the darkest days of the According to the Global Fire Emissions Database 8,668 fires have been detected in the Amazons People around the world who are worried about the environmental effects of human activities and the

Fires have been ravaging the Amazon rainforest for three weeks and at a record rate, according to the National Therefore, scientists are reportedly worried that the fires could accelerate global warming, hindering the fight Search for yourself, talk to people about it, make noise, be angry and be scared.

Video: NASA captures charred earth from Amazon fires from space (Reuters)

The situation is particularly acute in northwestern Rondônia state, of which Porto Velho is the capital. Here, fires are up 190 percent from last year, INPE reports, despite weather conditions being roughly the same. The state is known as cattle country and is among the most deforested in Brazil. This year, ranchers appear to have set far more fires than in previous years and as a result, large swaths of the state have been burning, seemingly out of control.

Smoke everywhere

Earlier this week, Porto Velho’s airport had to be closed as the fire raged right up against its perimeter, barely skirting a fuel depot. Charred palm trees now greet visitors on their arrival. In the city, the smoke is noticeable even deep within a large shopping mall and inside sealed hotel rooms. The number of people admitted to state hospitals with pneumonia, severe coughing and other respiratory illnesses has tripled in the last week, according to local news reports.

The blazes in the Amazon are so big they can be seen from space. One map shows the alarming scale of the fires.

The blazes in the Amazon are so big they can be seen from space. One map shows the alarming scale of the fires. The Brazilian Amazon is burning at a record rate. Nearly 10,000 fires have sparked in the last week, and satellites have spotted the blazes.

Fires have been ravaging the Amazon Rainforest for three weeks, at a record rate. Therefore, scientists are reportedly worried that the fires could accelerate global warming, hindering the fight against climate Search for yourself, talk to people about it, make noise, be angry and be scared.

Residents who live near the country’s busiest ports are getting a new lens on the pollution in their backyards A new study suggests excess carbon dioxide is shrinking the Amazon . As small-scale solar starts to shine in the Southeast, some residents are getting a first taste of energy independence.

Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry © Photograph by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Fire smolders in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, on August 21, 2019.

On Friday morning, life on the streets here appeared normal; people took no precautions to shield themselves from the smoke. At a fruit stand along the busy Imigrantes Street, Laine Polinaria de Oliveira catered to a steady stream of customers stopping to buy pineapples, papaya, watermelon, and guayaba, the Brazilian version of guava.

“Business is normal, but everyone is talking about the fires,” she says. “We are used to fires during this time of year, but this year is so much worse than before.”

Hailing from Nova Mamoré, a small town 186 miles away, where the fires are even more intense than around Porto Velho, de Oliveira says she is particularly worried about her nine-year-old son inhaling the dirty air.

Shipping route aflame

Situated not far from the Bolivian border, along the Madeira River, a 2,000-mile-long tributary of the Amazon, Porto Velho is a major shipping hub in the northwestern part of the Brazilian Amazon. Smoke from the fires had led to poor visibility for boat operators on the river, elevating the risk of them crashing into other boats or running aground on exposed sand banks.

Brazil must protect Amazon rainforest, or I will seek to block EU Mercosur deal - Varadkar

Brazil must protect Amazon rainforest, or I will seek to block EU Mercosur deal - Varadkar Ireland will seek to block the Mercosur trade deal between the EU and South American countries unless Brazil protects the Amazon rainforest, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned. Mr Varadkar also attacked controversial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his claim environmental groups were starting fires in the forest to make him look bad. The Taoiseach branded the unsubstantiated allegations as "Orwellian".

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Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry © ASSOCIATED PRESS This photo released by Mato Grosso Firefighters, shows the Chapada dos Guimaraes wild fires, in Mato Grosso state, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said he might send the military to fight massive fires in the Amazon as an international outcry over his handling of the environmental crisis grows. (Matto Grosso Fire Department via AP)

Jerrison da Silva Cruz, a local boat driver and fisherman, recounted a harrowing incident on Wednesday evening as he and a crew on board a ship traveling upstream ran into a wall of fire at a major bend in the river about 12 hours from Porto Velho.

“We could not see anything because of the smoke,” he says. The captain of the ship decided that the best course of action was to stay in the same spot, alongside land that had been set on fire to make room for watermelon farms, and let the smoke clear, which it eventually did.

While the wide Madeira River may act as a barrier against the fires, the small roads that crisscross the vast Amazonian forests provide little protection for people traveling by car.

Brazil dispatches troops, military aircraft to battle Amazon forest fires

Brazil dispatches troops, military aircraft to battle Amazon forest fires The Brazilian military is deploying troops to the Amazon to fight the massive wildfires that have swept the region and sparked an international outcry. Brazil's defense minister has said that some 44,000 troops will be available for "unprecedented" operations to put out the fires, and forces are heading to six Brazilian states that asked for federal help. The states are Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Para, Acre and Mato Grosso. "The protection of the forest is our duty," Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said in a televised address Friday.

fire had reached the road only a few kilometres. were excited about the fire in the distance and kept. from the village. Lisa tried to remain calm, even. begging their mother to take them there to get a. though she felt sick with fear. As there was no way.

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Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry © ASSOCIATED PRESS Fire consumes the jungle near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018. Brazil contains about 60% of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Indigenous people in danger?

Of even greater concern is the fate of the Amazon’s many indigenous communities. One million indigenous people live in the Brazilian part of the Amazon basin, many in complete isolation from the outside world.

“Nobody knows what’s going on with them … they have no firemen to call to go there and put out the fire,” says Ivaneide Bandeira Cardoso, the well-known founder of Kanindé, a Porto Velho-based advocacy group for indigenous communities.

Cardoso and many others say Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is directly responsible for the escalation of forest fires throughout the Amazon basin this year. Since taking power at the beginning of the year, Bolsonaro has made it clear he prioritizes the interests of industries that want greater access to protected lands. His critics say he has emboldened ranchers and farmers to burn even more land by cutting back on law enforcement and signaling that his government will not impose fines for illegal land-grabbing.

G7 leaders vow to help Brazil fight fires, repair damage

G7 leaders vow to help Brazil fight fires, repair damage RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Leaders of the Group of Seven nations said Sunday they are preparing to help Brazil battle fires burning across the Amazon region and repair the damage even as tens of thousands of soldiers got ready to join the fight against blazes that have caused global alarm. French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit leaders were nearing an agreement on how to support Brazil and said the agreement would involve both technical and financial mechanisms "so that we can help them in the most effective way possible.

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Gallery: These Photos Show The Devastation Taking Place In The Amazon Rainforest (Esquire UK)

“What causes this tragedy are the words of the president,” says Cardoso, adding that while the greatest victims of the fires are indigenous people and nature, it is a “tragedy that affects all of humanity,” since the Amazon plays such an important role in the global ecosystem as a carbon sink to stem the effects of climate change.

Bolsonaro for his part has dismissed the criticism of his government’s actions in the Amazon as hysterical. Without offering any evidence, he has even suggested that foreign NGOs have deliberately set fires to “bring about problems for Brazil.”

While Bolsonaro retains strong support among his conservative base, many Brazilians appear increasingly concerned that the government’s actions will hurt Brazil’s reputation internationally and could eventually lead to economic hardship if other countries decide to boycott Brazilian products, including beef. Protests against the government’s policies on the Amazon are reportedly scheduled in many cities in Brazil over the next three days.

Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry © ASSOCIATED PRESS Fire consumes an area near Porto Velho, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Brazilian state experts have reported a record of nearly 77,000 wildfires across the country so far this year, up 85% over the same period in 2018. Brazil contains about 60% of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

At the fruit stand in Porto Velho, de Oliveira says attitudes regarding the deliberate setting of forest fires could be changing among ordinary people. “This is something that people have been doing for many years,” she says. “But now we can really feel the repercussions of this practice and people are changing their opinions on this.”

Residents here don’t appear to let the smoky air stop them from going about their normal lives. On Thursday night, a young crowd at an outside bar attached to the main shopping mall in Porto Velho sang along loudly to a live band as the smoke whirled around the street lights. The title of the song? “Everybody will suffer.”

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Brazil has angrily attacked offers to help it put out the huge fires in the Amazon — here is why it is pushing back against global outrage.
The record number of fires consuming Brazil's Amazon rainforest has prompted demands from around the world for drastic action. But Brazil's leaders have pushed back, both downplaying the seriousness of the fires, and insisting that it is an issue for Brazil alone to manage. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, said world leaders have a "colonialist mentality" for trying to offer funds to help. Brazil has in the past worried that other countries may try to seize it and deny them use of its resources, a narrative Bolsonaro has used in the past, and is evoking once more.

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