The latest climate crisis has turned the collective environmentalist gaze toward the Amazon, where thousands of fires continue to burn, blackening the skies in Sao Paulo a thousand miles away. In this case, climate change is not the culprit—most of the fires have been set intentionally to clear land for agriculture—but by releasing the large amounts of carbon stored in the rainforest, the fires are a climate crisis of a different sort. Much fuss has been made about climate activists exaggerating the scope of the fires (a number of celebrities have shared horrific photos that it turns out were taken in other countries), and it is true that the prevalence of this year’s fires is only slightly above average. But the outcry stems more from the fact that Brazil’s newly elected far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro, has pledged to scale back environmental regulations in an effort to open more of the Amazon to development. And there is some evidence that locals have taken that as a sign that they can set illegal fires this year without fear of retribution. In a sense, the fires have simply made a momentary media spectacle out of the longstanding issue of deforestation—whether by fire or cha...