In 2020, satellites detected tens of thousands of fires burning in Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland. Farmers and ranchers intentionally started many of the blazes, an act that fell in line with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s agricultural expansion plans, clearing more land for planting and pastures in an ecosystem dried to tinder by the worst drought it had endured in almost 50 years. Even before the fires started to wane, the devastation was palpable. Millions of animals were dead, once-lush trees were left bare. The people living there—many of them from traditional communities that strive to work the land sustainably—felt the heat, too.
Plus, ExxonMobil is proposing to create an entirely new industry to capture carbon and inject it beneath the Gulf of Mexico, all so that energy companies can keep on pumping and burning oil and gas. Last year, Exxon proposed a herculean industrial effort for the Houston area that would allow the region’s fossil fuel infrastructure to continue operating at full throttle for decades while steadily lowering its climate-warming emissions.The $100 billion mega-project would tie together dozens of facilities owned by 12 of the world’s biggest corporate polluters.