There are many reasons why the rise of right-wing populism poses a global threat, but perhaps the most lasting – and most disturbing – effect on the rise of this new generation of nihilists, who will not have a leader, is the environment. The moment human ingenuity and collective will are needed to ward off serious climate change, there is a growing tide of global leaders who believe in nothing. They certainly do not believe in something they can not touch or sell or kill or understand. The deep cynicism of President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro comes at a time when faith, political courage and transformative leadership are in demand. But instead of a big, open-minded mindset, we get a president in Brazil who sets fire to the Amazon rainforest for sport, and an American president who does not believe in something he can not pledge.
It therefore comes as no surprise that a week after the announcement of the Brazilian Space Agency fires burned in the Amazon region at a record rate of 83 percent, an increase from the date before Bolsonaro's seizure of power, in the amount of 72,843 fires this year On Tuesday, we hear that the Trump government is reportedly trying to open up Alaska's Tongass National Forest, the world's largest intact temperate rainforest, for logging, mining and energy production. "President Trump has told Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to free Alaska's 16.7 million acre Tongass National Forest from logging nearly 20 years ago, as three people were doing with the state governor aboard the Air Force," she said Washington Post.
"For years, politicians have been arguing over the fate of the Tongass, a massive stretch of southeastern Alaska littered with mature spruce, hemlock and cedar, rivers of salmon and dramatic fjords," said the Post. "President Bill Clinton banned more than half of the deforestation just days before leaving office in 2001, banning the construction of roads in 58.5 million hectares of undeveloped state forests across the country. President George W. Bush attempted to reverse this policy by holding a handful of timber sales in the Tongass before a federal judge reintroduced the Clinton Rule. "
If this is a global turning point to climate change, we have a gang of right-wing populists jumping up and down the scale.