US President Donald Trump said he spoke with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday and offered help, if needed, in dealing with the Amazon rainforest fires.
Just spoke with President @JairBolsonaro of Brazil. Our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong, perhaps stronger than ever before. I told him if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand ready to assist!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
"Just spoke with President @JairBolsonaro of Brazil. Our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong, perhaps stronger than ever before. I told him if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand ready to assist!" Trump said in a post on Twitter. Bolsonaro said he will use federal troops to fight the flames, Reuters reported. He also claimed the fires are the result of dry weather and high temperatures.
Brazil’s Amazon is burning at a record rate, according to data from Brazil's National Institute of Space Research, which has intensified domestic and international scrutiny of Bolsonaro’s environmental policies.
INPE, as the institute is known in Portuguese, recorded an 84% increase in fires between 2018 and 2019, with well over half taking place in the Amazon rainforest. It was the highest level since records began being taken seven years ago.
Bolsonaro has come under intense pressure to contain the spread of the record number of fires currently burning through the world’s largest rainforest, many of them set by loggers incentivized by his government. Much of the pressure stems from the apocalyptic darkness that descended on the megalopolis of Sao Paulo on Monday afternoon, unnerving locals and triggering a fierce debate between meteorologists and climatologists over its exact cause.
Some researchers argued that the hazy gloom was the result of a combination of a cold front over the city coupled with smoke from fires in the Amazon, more than a thousand miles away. The hashtag #PrayforAmazonia has dominated social media in Brazil over the past few days.
Social media users from around the world are angry over the fact that the burning of the French cathedral of Notre-Dame got massive media attention, as well as generous donations for rebuilding, while the animals and plant diversity of the Amazon are in flames.