Are the fires really worse than previous years, or are we once again being subjected media hype? A Rocha has taken the time to dig into the issue with particular reference to how Christians in Brazil are responding. Here is an important summary paragraph (but do yourself a favor and read the whole thing):
So, whilst it is possible to portray this year’s burning as in some way ‘typical’ or ‘unexceptional’ (i.e. you don’t have to go back too many years to find worse, and there is always a fire season in the region), it is very much out of step with recent years and nonetheless alarming. But crucially, it is the connection with deforestation and land clearance that needs our closest attention. This is not so much a problem of fire control, or a particular climatic event, but a direct result of land management practices. Forest clearance is devastating for forest-dependent biodiversity even in the absence of fire.
Also included in the A Rocha report is the Declaration in defence of the environment issued by the Brazilian Evangelical Christian Alliance in August.