Why we should learn how to listen to other than human beings?

Last month, part of the world witnessed a remarkable solar eclipse. Thanks to scientific knowledge, we now know that this is an astronomical phenomenon involving different celestial bodies – sun, moon and earth –, quantifiable and predictable by astronomy. But for many centuries, before astronomy became a science, such phenomenon was observed and interpreted in…

The Significant Others: A Letter from Coronavirus to GHG

Spring 2020 Dear Greenhouse Gases, Let me first introduce myself. My name is SARS-CoV-2, but you can call me Coronavirus 2. As my name implies, I am a virus, a strain of SARS-CoV-1, possibly born in a wet animal market in Wuhan, China, in early December 2019. I have gone through my usual mutations and…

The Amazon is sending us smoke signals. Will we finally respond?

In 2014 when I was in São Felix do Xingu, Pará, I remember many farmers I was working with saying: “If the government does not fulfil its promises, we will show them who owns the Amazon. And we will do it by burning it.” São Félix do Xingu, the municipality with the largest numbers of…

Bolsonaro: The Messias has arrived, but there is no salvation.

Last October, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, labelled by international social media as ‘the tropical Trump’, was elected in Brazil with 55% of votes. What does this election mean for the world, and why all Brazilian environmentalists are so worried? Coming from a lineage of Germans and Italians, Bolsonaro was elected thanks to fake news that spread…

The Songs of Trees

We’re all — trees, humans, insects, birds, bacteria — pluralities. Life is embodied network. These living networks are not places of omnibenevolent Oneness. Instead, they are where ecological and evolutionary tensions between cooperation and conflict are negotiated and resolved. These struggles often result not in the evolution of stronger, more disconnected selves but in the…

Brazil: The Land of the Future?

It was a moment of hope when I was growing up in Brazil. Although the country has always suffered from corruption and violence, the 1988 constitution was born out of a democratic process. Since 1964 Brazil had been under a military dictatorship, a ‘regime of exception’, in which individual and social rights were restricted and…