One of the ugliest pathologies in global politics at the moment is the bizarre connection between climate denialism and right-wing authoritarianism. With some exceptions, authoritarian politicians are the ones most prone to spinning conspiracy theories and lies about climate change while resisting the transition to a green energy future.
This is why Jair Bolsonaro’s stunning defeat in Brazil’s presidential race is a major global event. It should afford us a moment of hopefulness that, under the circumstances, might seem a touch naive or even daring.
It’s been widely observed that leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s razor-thin victory is good news for the battle against climate change. Lula has vowed to preserve the Amazon and reverse Bolsonaro’s deforestation policies, which could dramatically influence how much planet-warming carbon dioxide the world’s largest rainforest stores — or releases into the atmosphere.
But this moment should be seen in a larger context. It’s only the latest sign that democracies are mobilizing to beat back that virulent and destructive international nexus of right-wing authoritarianism and climate denialism. [Continue reading…]