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The Amazon is burning. “The lungs of the planet” are being choked by smoke from a historic number of fires — many, if not most, of them set illegally to clear land for agricultural production.

Facing an environmental catastrophe of epic proportions and in need of international assistance, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has instead lashed out at critics and endangered, as a result, a trade agreement recently concluded between the European Union and Mercosur, the group of South America’s largest trading nations. The price of economic development must not be planetary destruction. A compromise must be reached that allows Brazilian farmers and ranchers to benefit from global trade without endangering the climate.

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