In Olympics Opening Ceremony, Brazil Goes Big on Climate Change

In the midst of celebrations, Brazil offers a stark message about climate change during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, The Washington Post reports.

As the world watched the pomp of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Friday, Brazil used the opportunity to focus on the issues of global warming and climate change, Brady Dennis writes for The Washington Post. During primetime viewing, Brazil showed a video, narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Judi Dench, that used data visualizations, maps, and graphs to show how global warming is spiking temperatures, melting ice sheets, and raising sea levels around the world.

As Dennis writes, “This was not the stuff of celebration and joy, of gold medals and national pride, but rather a stark message about the challenges facing the planet and an unsubtle reminder that the countries of the world are inexorably linked in their fates.”

Perhaps it was fitting for Brazil to put climate change front and center during its opening ceremony, Dennis suggests, as the country is home to one-third of the world’s rainforest, including more than half of the iconic Amazon rainforest, which has seen significantly losses due to deforestation. Also, the global focus on mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika, which is accelerated as climate change makes regions warmer, wetter, and more hospitable to mosquito hosts, may underscore Brazil’s focus on global warming during the Games.

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