Tonight, I want to talk about the Amazon.
The one that’s losing half its assets, but not to divorce.
When I was growing up, I heard a lot abouthow the Amazon rainforest needed saving.
This is the rainforest in 1900, and this is the rainforest today.
Who caused all this damage to the rainforest? Unfortunately, people did.
♪ The rain forest.
The tropical rainforest.
♪ ♪ Unfortunately, some don’t understand ♪ ♪ Like people coming inAnd clearing the land ♪ ♪ Tragically this devastation Doesn’t have to happen ♪ ♪ That’s why I’m on the mic here rappin’ ♪ For the record, I am absolutely finedestroying the rainforest as long as that guy lives there.
Look, I always thought that was the weirdest PSA I had ever seen, until I saw the one with Kevin Spacey.
I am the rainforest.
I watched them grow up here.
They’ve left, but they always come back.
Yes, they always come back.
That PSA aged so poorly, Kevin Spacey doesn’t even thinkit’s hot anymore.
Hey, you didn’t think you’d see himon Netflix again, did you? They didn’t even reshootwith Christopher Plummer.
You had no idea.
Now, the reason you probably stopped seeing PSAs about the Amazonand saving the rainforest is because we actually started savingthe rainforest.
Between 2004 and 2012, deforestation plunged 84%.
Humans actually stepped up and did the right thing.
But let’s not give ourselvestoo much credit.
We didn’t save the rainforestas much as we didn’t fully kill it, but just like Nazis and high-waisted jeans, deforestation is making a comeback.
In the last year alone, Amazon deforestation has jumped 13.
7%, a loss of nearly 1.
2 billion trees.
Now, deforestation rates are on the rise, and this couldn’t be happening at a worse time for the planet because when it comes to climate change, we are, and I cannot stress this enough.
Dire new warnings about the effects of climate change.
Intense heat, waves, storms.
Deadly wildfires, droughts.
Ocean dead zones.
People are dying.
They are dying.
You know Foxis gonna use that against her.
They’ll be like, “Oh, really?You’re talking about death, even though you’re still alive.
Such a hypocrite.
Really, AOC?” Now, look, we have to stop messingwith the rainforest.
The Amazon is home to 10%of all species on Earth.
It absorbs 25% of the carbon emissions captured by the world’s forests.
The Amazon also produces massive amountsof oxygen and water vapor, which serves as the Earth’s cooling system, which is why the Amazon is often called.
The lungs of the Earth.
The lungs of the Earth.
The lungs of the Earth.
I don’t know if you know this, but every part of Earth is actually a body part.
The Amazon is the lungs.
Canada is the forehead.
Iceland is the third nipple.
Malta’s the skin tag.
England is the birthmark.
Italy is not the foot.
Australia is the foot.
Italy’s the bladder.
Germany’s the benign tumor.
North Korea’s the malignant tumor.
Argentina is the sinus, and Fiji is the prostate.
Going there is simply the greatest pleasure you will ever experience.
The Amazon touches nine different countries, but to really understand whydeforestation is on the rise, we have to look at the country responsiblefor most of it.
Now, there are a lot of great thingsabout Brazil.
Carnival, Neymar, some percentage of Hailey Baldwin and the Brazilian wax, which is another kind of deforestation.
But it’s also very painful.
Over the last five decades, almost 20% of the Amazon has been destroyed.
Even though Brazil has lawsto protect the environment, those laws aren’t always enforced becauseof insane amounts of political and corporate greed, and I know as an American, we should probably shut the fuck up when it comes to the moral high ground.
Americans lecturing Brazil about corruption is like Steve Bannonlaunching a skin care line.
It’s just like take care of.
your own shit before you.
dive into the whole face.
But corruption in Brazil is truly on a whole ‘nother level.
Brazil’s last three presidents were steeped in scandals.
Dilma Rousseff, impeachedfor financial misconduct.
Michel Temer, charged with corruption.
And Lula da Silva, currently in jail for stealing DVDs from a Redbox.
I’m just kidding, corruption.
And we haven’t even gotten to Brazil’s massive bribery and money laundering scandalcalled Operation Car Wash.
Now I’ll let Fareed Zakaria, akathe original brown John Oliver, explain.
The biggest corruption scandal everanywhere in the world, $788 million in bribesto various officials, five former Brazilian presidents, nearly one out of three cabinet ministers and almost one out of three senatorshave been indicted or investigated.
This is the country the world is relying on to protect the Amazon.
Thank God, America doesn’t have that responsibility.
Can you imagineif we were in charge of the Amazon? We would probably tear it downand build a headquarters for Amazon.
You just see a bunch of howler monkeys driving UPS trucks with Kindles in their hands.
Now, unfortunately, things are going to get a lot worse because of Brazil’s current president, Jair Bolsonaro.
He’s a former army captain who answers the question, “What if Carl Sagan wasn’t properly embalmed?” And he’s made it very clear where he stands on the environment.
Bolsonaro campaignedto make Brazil great again, to kick-start it’s struggling economy.
And he sees the Amazonas Brazil’s cash cow.
He may open up vast sections of the Amazon rainforest to mining.
He said he’s gonna pardon peoplewho have been fined for deforestation.
“We don’t owe the world anything” sounds like the chorus to an Eminem song.
But Bolsonaro’s stance on the environmentdoesn’t even scratch the surface of his insanity.
Bolsonaro sounds like every last commentbefore someone is blocked on Twitter.
This is why he’s often referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics.
” So think of Trump, but with even more tiki torches.
Bolsonaro also loves Twitter, and his tweets are insane.
The president, who tweeted a videoapparently filmed at a carnival event, showing one man urinating on another man in a sexual act.
On the plus side, at least Brazil’s seen their president’s pee tape.
Now, eventually, “Golden Shower President”started trending online.
Bolsonaro then tweeted out, “What is a golden shower?” I love how there isn’t a Portuguese word for “golden shower.
” Like, you ever been to another country and then you watch TV and they’re like.
[speaks gibberish] “Macaulay Culkin.
” You’re like, “Something’s happening with Macaulay Culkin.
” Now, as dangerous as Bolsonaro’s policies are for the Amazon, that danger is fundamentally being drivenby agribusiness, which is the industry that producesthe food that we eat.
Agribusiness accounts for almost a quarterof Brazil’s economy and is one of the biggest drivers of illegal deforestation.
Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of sugar, coffee, soybeans, orange juice and most importantly, beef.
The Amazon is home to millions of species, and the biggest threatto the rainforest itself is this one.
Cattle ranching is responsible for up to 80% of deforestation.
And to turn the rainforest into grassland, they don’t just cut it down.
They burn it down.
It’s all about creating new pastures.
The Amazon rainforestis being burned down and destroyed.
Elizeu takes pictures of the tragedy in order to tell the authorities what’s going on here.
Anything that can still move tries to escape the inferno.
No no no, don’t worry.
That rat goes on to become a chef in Paris.
Brazil’s beef industry is a huge driverof Amazon deforestation.
And it’s dominated by a single companycalled JBS.
They’re the largest meat processing company in the world.
Last year, JBS made $46 billion.
That’s a double what McDonald’s made.
Even more surprising, Brazil only accountsfor 24% of their revenue.
division generates 76%.
That’s right, America.
Once again, we are fucking shit up.
Look, if it’s terrible, we’re probably in the mix.
We’re like the raisinsof international relations.
Like, the rest of the world is like, “We fucking hate raisins.
” And we’re like, “Raisins are essentialto democracy.
Raisins have to be in everything, raisins need to be in Afghanistan for three plus decades.
” JBS also happens to be one of the mostcorrupt companies in the world, which isn’t shocking because for a long time, it was run by Joesley and Wesley Batista.
The Batista brothers.
Now, come on.
Their names are Joesley and Wesley.
They look like dudes on a yacht Liam Neeson has to rescue girls from.
The Batista brothers are possibly two of the most corrupt people on Earth, and they have history with the Bolsonaro administration.
Bolsonaro’s current chief of staffhas admitted to taking money from JBS, and in the past, the woman who is now Bolsonaro’s Minister of Agriculture gave JBS tax breaks while also doing personal business with them.
The fact that senior members of the Bolsonaro administration are closely linked to JBSis a huge liability because the last president that gotentangled with the Batista Brothers was Michel Temer, and it ended horribly.
In exchange for no jail time, Joesley Batista strikes a deal, providing information about bribing1, 829 Brazilian politicians.
The Batista brothers admitted to bribing almost 2, 000 politicians, spent roughly $150 million just in bribes and agreed to pay a fine of $3.
2 billion, which is almost how much Facebook hasto pay for destroying democracy.
Shouldn’t it be, like, more? It should definitely be more.
JBS’ business practices continue to do environmental damage.
They have been accused of buying cattlefrom illegally deforested land in the Amazon, even though they deny it and investigators recently arrested Joesley Batista again for allegedly bribing officialsat Brazil’s agriculture Ministry.
If that doesn’t make you sick, their beef just might.
JBS bribed Brazilian food inspectorsto give passing grades to spoiled meat.
And on the U.
side, their meat isn’t any better.
A massive ground beef recall is now expanding.
The USDA says the Brazilian company, JBS is now recalling more than 12 million pounds of ground beefshipped to stores across the U.
This past year, JBS beef and chicken from the U.
were found to have been contaminated with hard plastic, rubber and e-coli.
All of which generally cost extra at Chipotle.
But even before that, the US had banned all Brazilian beef imports, including JBS, indefinitely.
Do you know how bad your meat has to be for Americans to notice? We thought Super Size Me was just a normal movie.
It actually just made us hungrier.
The Amazon has never been more vulnerable.
Between political corruption, Bolsonaro’s pro-business agenda and the incentives of agribusiness, the Amazon is going to keep burning.
But there is some hope.
The strongest blockade against deforestation isn’tmore regulation or enforcement or fines, it’s people.
The Javari Valley Indigenous Reserve.
eight million hectaresof Brazilian Amazon, the size of Austria.
It’s home to the largest numberof non-contacted tribes in the world, photographed only rarely from the air.
There are nearly a million indigenous people in Brazil, and almost half of them livein the rainforest.
Research shows that when indigenous people have legal and physical protection, so does the rainforest.
Now, I know this looks like a map of the only school of vaccinated kidsin Orange County, but.
it’s actually a time-lapse of deforestation.
The red is loggers and ranchers, and that part right there is protected indigenous land, and the only reason they stop is because these tribes are not fucking around.
The Guajajara Indians armedand in full camouflage, crouch down for an ambush.
These vigilante patrols begansix years ago as a way to battle the region’s powerful logging mafia.
They call themselves “The Guardians of the Forest.
” The Guajajara are one of 305 tribesthat have official demarcated land that is legally protectedby Brazil’s Constitution, but it is still a war for them.
And look, I know, deforestation has been on the rise well before Bolsonaro, but no modern Brazilian president has ever been this hostile toward the indigenous.
I don’t know, racism sounds weird to me when you use the metric system.
I mean, if they’re like, “Build the wall, one kilometer at a time.
” I’d be like, I don’t.
I don’t get it.
Bolsonaro is not just dog whistling to his base.
He is barking through a megaphone.
On the night of Bolsonaro’s election in October, a hospital and a school on an indigenous reserve were fire-bombed and land invasion, when loggers and ranchers take indigenous land, that has increased 150%.
Protected areas borders are a thorn in the side of many farmers.
They want their cattle to be able to penetrate the reserve.
First of all, I believe in God and then inthe words of our President Bolsonaro.
He promised we would soon be able to enter the reserve.
The department in charge of overseeing indigenous lands is an agency called Funai.
On Bolsonaro’s first day in office, he took that function away from Funai and gave itto the Ministry of Agriculture.
Remember? The same government agency that JBS paid off for years.
And even now, Brazil’s Agriculture Minister wants to open indigenous landto commercial farming, but indigenous tribes are fighting back to defend their land, and no one has brought more attention to the movement in recent years than Sônia Guajajara.
She’s a prominent activist for indigenous rights and was the first indigenous woman in Brazil’s history to run for vice president.
So I sat down with Sôniaand her translator to talk about her fight to protect the Amazon.
Here in America, we’ve already destroyed all of our forests, and we raise millions of cows.
So do we sound like assholes when we say, “Hey, Brazil.
Don’t cut down your trees and don’t raise cows”? But you’re saying we’re assholes? It’s true.
Look, we’re assholes, all right? I admit it.
America, we’re assholes.
We still haven’t given Captain America a promotion.
What does a guy have to do to become Major America? Now, for Sônia and her tribe, protecting their homeland gets more urgent every day.
Last month, tribes from around Brazil gathered in the capital for an annual march to protect indigenous rights and take on Bolsonaro’s policies.
Bolsonaro has escalated the fight against the indigenous, but in many ways, he’s just adding to a dark chapter of Brazil’s history.
519 years after the Portuguese set foot in Brazil, it’s the same fight.
On one side, are the people who live on the land and want to protect it.
And on the other side are the people who see the Amazon as a resource to exploit.
In Sônia’s lifetime alone, over 1, 400 people have been murdered in Brazilbecause of land disputes, but she isn’t backing down.
Sônia doesn’t just take on Bolsonaro in real life, she trolls him online, too.
How did you get into the meme game? Let me guess, it was your son.
I’ve seen a lot of your memes.
You have the classic Pinocchio Bolsonaro meme, you have the golden showers dog peeing in Bolsonaro’s mouth meme, -Sí.
-and then, of course, you’ve got this one.
I honestly don’t know what’s happening here.
So I wanted to help you with your memes.
Is that okay? Claro.
So, let me know what you think of these.
This says, “When you’re Bolsonaroand you haven’t displaced an indigenous person in eight minutes.
” This is Bolsonaro right here, and he’s getting one of those huge veins in his head.
Where he’s like.
It’s like if he doesn’t say anything about indigenous people, he looks constipated.
How about this one? “You can’t be jailed for corruption if climate change wipes out all the people.
” It’s all good.
This doesn’t work.
The meme game is a volume business.
Everything’s not gonna hit.
You’ve seen the girlfriend meme, right? This is the Amazon rainforest.
This guy over here, that’s the agribusiness lobby being like, “Oh, damn!” Okay? And this is oxygen, and oxygen’s like, “Hello.
” What do you think of the meme? All right.
How about this? This is Bolsonaro, he’s like, really staring at the Amazon.
And the girlfriends like, “God, you’re such a dick.
” Sônia, you posted a photo of a dog peeing in Bolsonaro’s mouth, Alright, Sônia may not like my memes but.
I don’t know.
I wanted to take a page out of her playbook.
I wanted to find a way to troll Bolsonaroand help at the same time.
So we thought, “Why not buy a website?” Obviously, goldenshower.
comwas long gone.
comwas also taken, probably by Michael Cohen.
But we were able to get.
Like, how did Bolsonaro’s digital team not beat us to this? It’s just been there the whole time.
If you go to goldenshowerpresidente.
com, you can donate to organizations that help protect the Amazon and its people.
Remember, it’s goldenshowerpresidente, The “e” is very important, because we’re trying to help the rainforest, not get you fired.