"It’s June, the start of burning season in the Amazon. Fires are beginning to rage all over the forest, the final stage of clearing land for pasture. The smoke gets so thick it’s visible from space, and hard to breathe down here on the ground. But from where I sit, in a dented pick-up headed south, I can barely see through a storm of dust."
It’s poisoning fresh waters across the United States, as well as elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Blue-green algae is on the rise, lingering later and later into the year. Our new Issue Backgrounder explains the contributing factors behind the potent toxin’s scourge, its societal and public health ramifications, and the many angles and resources to tell the story.
"As thousands of fires ravage the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, some indigenous tribes are turning to prayer in a bid to halt the destruction and protect their environment for future generations."
"Climate change and man-made fires could set off a cycle of self-perpetuating deforestation, scientists warn."
"Hundreds of government workers on the front lines of enforcing Brazil’s environmental laws signed an open letter warning that their work has been hampered by President Jair Bolsonaro, contributing to a rise in deforestation and the fires sweeping through the Amazon."
"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 as tens of thousands of soldiers got ready to join the fight against blazes that have caused global alarm."
"Federal prosecutors in Brazil said on Thursday they will investigate a spike in deforestation and wildfires raging in the Amazon state of Pará to determine whether there has been reduced monitoring and enforcement of environmental protections."
"More than 74,000 wildfires have been detected in the world’s largest rain forest this year, an 84 percent increase from the same period last year, Brazil’s space research center said."
"Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 fires detected so far by Brazil’s space research center INPE, as concerns grow over right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy."