Donald Trump does not know how to lead. At the Group of 7 Summit, other leaders looked to the U.S. for top leadership, but they found POTUS missing in action. Everyone has been walking on eggshells around Trump and breathed a sigh of relief when this happened.
The commander-in-chief simply did not bother to show up at the meeting to address the terrible fires decimating the Amazon rain forest. In his absence, the G-7 decided upon a $20 million aid package for Brazil and neighboring countries to fight the raging fire, according to France’s President Emmanuel Macron.
Twenty million dollars may not cover the need to deal with the tens of thousands of acres on fire. Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera noted that specialized aircraft and fire brigades that were trained to deal with this sort of disaster and well-equipped.
This fire has been taking down a forest that provides one-fifth of the world’s oxygen producers. As that happened, the fires released carbon dioxide in a tragic circle of destruction. Not only that, wildlife, its habitat, and Indigenous people have been threatened.
The French and Chile presidents announced that they had decided upon an “agreement in principle” with the countries lining the Amazon basin, according to The New York Times. They said it was for a “long-term program of forest protection and reforestation of cleared lands.”
The two leaders said that it was possible they would have additional information when the United National General Assembly next month. The G-7 members and representatives of countries not in the group met to discuss “climate, the oceans, and biodiversity.”
Trump indicated that he had a conflict of interest, a meeting with other world leaders, that prevented him from attending the environmental meeting. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the president sent a senior White House member to take his place.
Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both said that the Amazon fires constituted a global crisis that could tip the scales in climate change. Macron indicated that America was behind the initiative, but he acceded that Trump had not attended the working session about the environment.
Environmental groups have accused Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro of encouraging the burning of Amazon forests to provide more agricultural space. Farmers and ranchers ostensibly cleared the forest to provide farmland or grazing land. Bolsonaro does not believe in climate change, and some believed that those who set the original fires were doing so to gain favor with the Brazilian president.
According to the satellites, there were over 41,000 fires in the Amazon basis in 2019. In August alone, over half of those fires occurred.
Unfortunately, the cleared land was not fertile. Once the surrounding foliage has been cleared, the environment that created the rains evaporated and created near-desert conditions.
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