Fossil of the Day 05 November 2021 – Brazil and Australia

Brazil slammed with end of first week fossil for unacceptable treatment of indigenous people

First Prize goes to Brazil

First place in today’s Fossil of the Week goes to Brazil, for its ghastly and unacceptable treatment of indigenous people. On Monday, indigenous activist Txai Suruí was lauded for her powerful conference speech telling world leaders about the impact climate change is already having on her tribe.

Unfortunately, this didn’t go down too well back home where she was publicly criticised by Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro, for “attacking Brazil”, prompting online trolls to heap abuse on the 24-year-old. Worse still, she was allegedly subjected to bullying from a Brazilian government environment ministry official, who towered over her saying she “shouldn’t bash Brazil”. Worryingly, days later, another Brazilian state representative, with ties to the rural lobby, was detained by conference security for trying to intimidate indigenous women.

Such despicable behaviour is well documented in Brazil; invasions of indigenous lands have skyrocketed; wildcat gold mining is polluting waterways, intimidation is rife and they have a vice-president who justified denying freshwater to Covid-hit villages because “the Indians drink from the rivers”. We could go on to talk about rainforests and deforestation but think you get the idea.

Bolsanaro didn’t bother to go to Glasgow, preferring to visit his ancestral home in Italy and hang out with a far-right leader instead. That was actually a good thing as it allowed the country’s diplomats to come ready to compromise and even subscribe to deals on methane and forests.

All we can hope is that sanity is fully restored after the elections, scheduled to take place next October and progressive policies are implemented that safeguard the land and rights of indigenous people and protect what’s left of the rainforests.

Second prize goes to Australia

Today we are pleased to announce another first for Australia. They are the first country to bag a fossil awards hatrick and there’s still a week to go. And this prestigious gong is presented to mark their truly unbelievable performance on Energy Day.

Whilst 190 countries were powering past coal, 100 dutifully had their pens poised to sign the global methane pledge and 20 countries agreed to stop funding international fossil fuel projects, what were our antipodean comrades doing?

Well, sometimes bad things do come in threes, apparently. The world’s number one exporter of gas and number two exporter of coal were setting themselves up for number three with plans to become a huge exporter of oil. These busy bees decided to invite consultation on ten new areas for offshore petroleum exploration, extolling the economic benefits this would bring to the land down under.

What these drongos fail to understand is that here’s no economy on a dead planet. Do the right thing; sign up, pledge and announce plans – for a renewable future. Strewth!



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