Once Seen as Ally, Brazilian President Draws Fire From Enviros

It’s been a roller coaster year for environmentalists in Brazil. Last October, with the election to the presidency of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Lula, for short), they were elated, because he was seen as one of their own. Now, though, enviros say they have been betrayed on virtually every front, from protection for the Amazon basin to prohibitions on genetically modified foods. Lula’s government claims it is trying to address the country’s woes through large-scale paradigm shifts, which it says will require more time than piecemeal solutions. But critics lambaste Lula for having backed dam construction and paving projects in the Amazon, the planting of genetically modified soybeans, and the development of nuclear power, among other controversial projects.