Amazon burns as Brazil government plays with fire


① Smoke obscured the skyline of Sao Paulo on August 19 as fires were raging in the Amazon rainforest 1,700 miles away. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said that the Amazon region accounted for more than half of the 72,843 fires in the country this year - an 80% increase year on year.


② Home to an eclectic mix of flora and fauna, the Amazon produces 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere and acts as a counterforce to global warming. It is not without reason that the Amazon is called the “lungs of the planet.”


③ A senior scientist at INPE said 99% of the fires are caused by humans. Environmental groups have called into question the Brazilian government’s attitude towards the largest rainforest on Earth. However, President Jair Bolsonaro assigned the blame on NGOs whom he suspected of having spread the fires to tarnish the government’s international image.


④ During his campaign last year, Bolsonaro had promised to fix Brazil’s economy by tapping into Amazon’s natural resources. Upon assuming office, he relaxed environmental regulations and gave free rein to miners, loggers and farmers to exploit the rainforest to a greater extent. If this aggression continues unchecked, the Amazon could turn into a dry savannah and start releasing instead of absorbing carbon – the biggest driver of climate change.



丰富性:(metaphoric language充满譬喻性/比喻性的语言)

play with fire 做危险的事-玩火

rage 火-怒烧,肆虐

tarnish the image 破坏名誉-弄脏画面

fix the economy 重振,振兴经济-修好

tap into 开采,发掘,利用-给水源接上水管


act as a counterforce to - offset

produce – be the source of

be called – go by the name/alias of, be known as

call into question – question

assign/put the blame on – blame

give someone free rein to do sth. - allow sb. to do sth.



It is not without reason that…


eg: relax, survive


同比-year on year, compared to the same period last year

环比-compared to the previous week/month/quarter/year

一……就…… - upon with fire 冒险(巨大的危险、风险),(字面上)玩火

2.obscure /əb’skjʊə/ vt. 模糊;使模糊(to make sth. dark, dim, indistinct)

3.skyline /‘skaɪlaɪn/ n. 天际线

4.rage /reɪdʒ, redʒ/ vi. 肆虐(to spread or prevail forcefully)

5.the Amazon 亚马孙流域 带定冠词 the Amazon 亚马孙河流域地区

不带定冠词 Amazon 亚马逊公司,世界上最大的电商企业之一

6.rainforest /‘ren’fɔrɪst/ n. 雨林 补充:热带地区特有的生态系统,生物多样性及其丰富,中国只有云南广西和海南有极少量热带雨林,亚马孙雨林是世界上最大的热带雨林。

7.account for 占据 China accounts for almost one fifth of the world population.


account for 对……负责

accountability /əˌkaʊntə’bɪləti/ n. 责任

I can account for this mistake.


This must be accounted for.


8.year on year 同比,与去年同期相比 同比-year on year, compared to the same period last year

环比-compared to the previous week/month/quarter/year

9.National Institute for Space Research (INPE) 国家空间研究所

10.eclectic /ɪ’klektɪk/ adj. 来源复杂的,丰富多样的(相当于varied, diverse) eclectic原来指的就是古希腊的知识分子从各种学派中选取自己喜欢的观点,后来就逐渐形成了复杂的、来源丰富的意思。

11.mix of sth. 混合(强调混合体中的各个组分) mixture /‘mɪkstʃə/ n. 混合物(强调混合后的状态)

the mix of Arabica and Robusta beans


a mixture of milk and coffee


12.flora and fauna 动植物 flora /‘flɔrə/ n. 植物群

fauna /‘fɔːnə/ n. 动物群

13.act as a counterforce to sth. 成为/作为某事物的反作用力

14.It is not without reason that… 毫无疑问…… into question 质疑

16.assign/put the blame on 责备(=blame)

17.suspect sb. of sth./doing sth. 怀疑某人(做)某事 I suspect that my cat peed on my bed last night.

I suspect my cat of peeing on my bed last night.(过于正式,不建议)


The police suspected him of murdering the storeowner.


18.tarnish someone’s image 损害某人的形象

19.campaign /kæm’peɪn/ n. 活动(文中特指竞选活动) presidential campaign 总统竞选

20.tap into 利用

21.upon /ə’pɒn/ prep. 一……就……

22.assume office 上任 assume responsibility for sth. 担当……

23.relax /rɪ’læks/ v. 放松 vt. 用法:

relax a rule/policy/ban


vi. 用法

Relax. It is no big deal.



survive /sə’vaɪv/ v. 幸存

vt. 用法

He is survived by his wife and two children.


We hope the Amazon rainforest can survive the fires.


vi. 用法

There was an earthquake last night. Fortunately all the villagers survived.


24.give sb. free rein to do sth. 放任某人做某事 rein /reɪn/ n. 缰绳

free rein 完全的行动自由,没有限制 a greater extent 在更大范围内(extent更强调范围的广度) to a bigger degree 在更大程度上(degree更强调范围的深度)

26.aggression /ə’greʃ(ə)n/ n. 入侵活动,侵犯(an unprovoked offensive, attack, or invasion)

27.unchecked /ʌn’tʃekt/ adj. 不受限制的,未受约束的

28.savannah /sə’vænə/ n. 热带稀树草原(非洲的典型景观)

29.driver /‘draɪvə/ n. 电脑驱动程序,推动因素

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