Sunday, December 1, 2019

An Amazing Amazon Accusation

Brazil's President has accused Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio of "giving money to set the Amazon on fire". 

Jair Bolsonaro (right) gave no evidence but in the past has accused NGOs critical of his policies of 'starting fires' that ravaged the rainforest this year. 

His Friday remarks appeared to arise from the arrest of four volunteer firefighters from northern Pará state on allegations they started fires to generate NGO donations. 

On the other side, rights groups, NGOs and critics asserted the police operation against them was politically motivated and an attempt to harass environmental groups. 

Fires that burned in August this year caused global concern for the "lungs of the planet". 

DiCaprio (left) who has pledged $5 million for the Amazon, denied Bolsonaro's claim. 

The actor and environmental activist released a statement saying: "Although they are certainly worth supporting, we have not funded the organizations that are currently under attack. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to be part of the groups that protect them".

World Wildlife Fund also said they had received no donations from the actor, whose Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation focuses on environmental projects.

And although reporting might have quietened, the Amazon fires are still not out! According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which are a part of NASA, fires in the Amazon basin continue to burn into November. 

Whether these fires are mainly the result of human activities as land clearing and deforestation or willfully started to get funding, your guess is as good as mine. 

What to believe? Who to believe?

I'm counting that one hundred and twenty-two days remain before I quit Toastmasters!

But in the meantime, I am still collecting Toastmasters awards – the latest being a Competent Leader (#26) and a Competent Communicator (#61) which I earned last week:

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