Our collective response to the burning of the Amazon—the Earth’s most valuable carbon dioxide-sucking asset—has made clear it’s time for a new geopolitical handbook to address the climate emergency.
When Iran threatened to develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. applied crippling sanctions that forced the Iranians to the negotiating table. When Iraq ignored Kuwait’s sovereignty and the Russians seized land from the Ukrainians, we responded militarily and economically. Even the Trump administration applied an arsenal of soft power when Venezuelan elections called into question the legitimate leadership of the country.
But as the world approaches a 2035 “point of no return” for the climate reaching a dangerous and irreversible temperature rise, when one of our last great hopes to reverse the effects of climate change went up in flames this month, global state leaders have done nothing as Bolsonaro, echoing the historic rhetoric of the Russians and the Chinese, has said this is a domestic decision for Brazilians.