The Amazon Ablaze

it’s a world crisis, in which the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of the world, is being destroyed by a series of raging fires. Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, who has been openly encouraging deforestation in the name of economic development, blames the fires on the ecologists who oppose his policy. Your first thought is, he’s stupid. He assumes that everyone has the same amorality as he does, because it’s obvious that anyone who seriously cares for the condition of the forest wouldn’t set fire to it. But your second, grimmer thought, is no. He doesn’t believe that. He’s just saying it, knowing it isn’t true, because it doesn’t matter what he says, or what anyone else says. words don’t matter, they simply fill the space. That’s how Putin operates. That’s how Trump operates. Why should he be any different, just because he’s not a superpower? Welcome to the world of 2019.