Bolsonaro – the environmental villain

Image: Catherine Sheila


Bolsonaro's fascist denialism chooses as a privileged target those who produce information and knowledge

The Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention, COP26 (31/10 to 12/11 in Glasgow, Scotland) did not even have to start for President Jair Bolsonaro to achieve the unprecedented status of the greatest global environmental villain since 1972.

The United Nations (UN) conference held in Stockholm (Sweden), 49 years ago, began the long cycle of major UN conferences on environment and development and marked history with the moment from which the concept became popular. of physical limits to economic growth, which marked all global scientific production, geopolitics, the way of producing energy and which, ultimately, justifies the holding of this Conference in the Scottish capital.

In order not to expose Bolsonaro to even greater constraints than he has already witnessed in Italy this weekend, when he was removed by the heads of state at the G20 meeting and did not even appear in the official photo of the event, a now-denial Itamaraty acted.

In Glasgow, he tried to reduce the damage to the already shattered image of a denialist and opportunistic president, who laughed at the death of almost 610 Brazilians during the pandemic, for refusing a brand of vaccine to his own people while his cronies at the Ministry of Health defrauded bids for buy immunizations from complicit suppliers.

It is the same Itamaraty that, after having been one of the promoters of the idea of ​​common but differentiated responsibilities five or six governments ago (which guides the Climate Convention), now suggested to former captain Bolsonaro to retreat to Brasília, even before the climatic event, which all important heads of state make a point of attending.

However, as is the logic of Bolsonaro's way of being, he did not miss the opportunity to star in Rome, before fleeing to his country. bunker in Planalto, typical scenes of political violence that have been witnessed in Brazil since the President's campaign, in 2018.

A scenario, incidentally, that tends to become more radical as, among other social phenomena, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions increase in Brazil, the political and economic crises worsen and the occupier's voting intentions continue to fall. do Palácio still holds for the 2022 presidential elections.

In the capital of Italy, he exceeded the limit of verbal aggressions that he made mainly against female journalists and outsourced to his security guards the tactic of attacking reporters, now physically. The picture, get ready, already indicates that violence on the part of Bolsonaro's worshipers will increase at the speed at which next year's elections approach.

Yesterday, at the end of the G20 meeting, when he went to the street to meet half a dozen uncritical supporters, Bolsonaro gave the password to his riot police to attack reporters, when he responded violently to TV Globo correspondent Leonardo Monteiro.

In the immediate aftermath, Leonardo was punched by a security guard and pushed. Ana Estela Pinto, from Folha de São Paulo, was pushed violently at least four times, and Jamil Chad, from UOL e Country Brazil, who filmed everything with his cell phone, had the device stolen and later thrown away by another Bolsonaro security guard.

These attacks prove that the tactic of violence on the part of the President and his supporters has become even more radical. Bolsonaro's fascist denialism logically chooses as a privileged target those who produce information and knowledge and who, thus, opened up the President's anti-democratic vision.

Journalists, scientists, teachers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists, with their professions, denunciations and militancy, take care – or let those who can run away.

On Monday (November 1) morning, the Italian political police went even further and turned the heat on. In Padua, where Bolsonaro would have political commitments. Platoons typical of the Mussiolini Era violently attacked hundreds of people with batons and water jets who denounced Bolsonaro for the crimes of genocide in the pandemic and the dismantling of public policies, including environmental and human rights.

Aware that this climate of rejection is even more acute at COP26, where the denunciation of dismantling and violence would be amplified, reaching the open encouragement of illegal mining even in demarcated indigenous lands, Bolsonaro fled. He banned the presence in Glasgow of even his deputy, retired general Hamilton Mourão, who since February 2020 has chaired the Amazon Council.

Comprised only of representatives from various ministries and without any participation from civil society, the Council was just another militarized space in the Bolsonaro administration. A mouthful, one of those in which senior officers, starting with Mourão, unconstitutionally accumulate jetons, DAS, per diems and all sorts of privileges that the military who have never fought since Captain Bolsonaro managed to reach the Palace.

In fact, during the Mourão period at the head of the Council, hundreds of military personnel were employed in costly operations (which cost six times more than the budgets of the environmental regulation agencies ICMBio and Ibama), replacing experienced environmental agents, and deforestation rates and greenhouse gas emissions broke historical records twice.

Data like these do not scandalize and concern “only” world public opinion, but also the markets that import Brazilian products (increasingly labeled as anti-environmental) and the heads of state who have already isolated Bolsonaro in the G20.

Their opinion, by the way, was summarized in an interview with Sheet by George Monbiot, influential columnist for The Guardian: “Bolsonaro is a threat to human life. It poses a threat on many levels to Brazilians, but also a global threat in protecting not just the Amazon, but the cerrado as well.”

This is not just a gringo opinion. The internal public, the one that seems to be Bolsonaro's only concern because it can guarantee or deny him votes, has repeatedly shown that it rejects the government for its role in the climate and environmental field.

According to research published by the journal Examination, in partnership with the Ideia Research Institute, for 78% of Brazilians, “climate change is a risk for all of humanity, leading to extreme events such as floods, fires and hurricanes”.

“Most people think that the solution to the problem of global warming passes through the Amazon”, said Maurício Moura, director of Instituto Ideia. This is very important, since it seems that it is a subject far from the big Brazilian centers, but that the research showed that it acquired a lot of substance in the search for the solution of the problem”, he added.

There is no worse news for a denialist. The informed conscience of voters, especially against that 20% that all polls indicate to be the hard core of those who insist on uncritically supporting any Bolsonaresque advance on forests and indigenous rights, is the greatest obstacle for those who make hate blind and pre-formed opinions about everything the only strategy to get and stay in power.

This means that Bolsonaro and Mourão may remain isolated and elusive at international events and gatherings. These forums will yield nothing more to the culprits, if anything, extensive, haunted and useless letters of repudiation. Other people's opinion doesn't matter to those who have a post-graduate degree in preparing and disseminating fake news in which they themselves believe as if they were in a parallel Brazil.

But the political reality in Brazil, which tends to become a concrete and acute reality as the struggle for power narrows, will result in several consequences. Starting with the increase in the intensity of official violence, as seen with the episode of attacks committed against journalists in Rome at the weekend, an unprecedented degree of aggressiveness can also be expected on the domestic scene against those who are on the edge of resistance to the dismantling of the minimum state of social and environmental protection that the 1988 Constitution still guarantees to Brazil.

In addition to journalists, scientists and professors, this group also includes environmentalists and indigenous people.

*Carlos Tautz is a journalist.


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