Lula da Silva and zero deforestation

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the presidential election in Brazil against right-wing Trumpite Jair Bolsonaro. So many issues, problems, and policies to discuss. Will Bolsonaro, and his supporters, go quietly in the night? What will the IMF impose? Is Lula good for the US empire?

Graphic: Vox Media

The graph above is a powerful image to understand the impact of political ideology on the earth's health and the capacity for human survival. The image illustrates how deforestation increased under the Bolsonaro regime. Privatization ideologies of extractive capitalism created policies and laws to expand and increase the further destruction of the Amazon in the name of profit and progress.

As Diana Roy explained, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations, "Large-scale deforestation of the Amazon began in the 1960s, but it has accelerated under Bolsonaro, reaching a fifteen-year high in 2021. Since taking office in 2019, his government has scaled back the enforcement of environmental laws and pushed to open Indigenous lands to commercial exploitation. When widespread fires broke out in 2019, Bosonaro rejected millions of dollars in aid from the Group of Seven (G7), claiming the G7 sought to infringe on Brazilian sovereignty.

As reported in Vox, "Under President Bolsonaro, deforestation accelerated, threatening not only wildlife and Indigenous communities but also the global climate. But Lula has promised to give the forest a second chance. "Let's fight for zero deforestation," Lula said Sunday night after his victory. "Brazil is ready to resume its leading role in the fight against the climate crisis, protecting all our biomes, especially the Amazon forest."

For more on Lula and the Worker's Party, check out, Without Fear of Being Happy, and Lula and the Workers Party in Brazil.

Check out CFR's Deforestation in the Amazon project with videos, summaries of studies, graphs, and timelines of the effects of extractive industries and other educational tools. This project provides a detailed and in-depth history of extractivist politics in Brazil.