The opening ceremony Friday of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro included a lengthy video intended to “raise awareness” of global warming.
The video, narrated by actress Judi Dench, included maps and graphics of the Antarctic ice sheet and claimed that steadily rising sea levels could flood much of the globe.
Environmental activists, including the founder of the environmental group 350.org, immediately took to Twitter to praise the video. A conservative columnist noted on Twitter that the video ignored Brazil’s serious corruption problems, and a meteorologist noted that the display was extremely hypocritical given Brazil’s horrible environmental record, tied in no small part to the aforementioned corruption.
Extreme corruption punctuates the Olympics, as Brazil goes through one of the largest political scandals in the country’s history.
Brazil’s former socialist President Dilma Rousseff has been fighting impeachment since December over over a corruption scandal involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras illegally financing political campaigns. In May, Brazil’s Senate suspended Rousseff’s powers and duties.
Rousseff and other members of the country’s government have been dogged by accusations of high-level corruption and graft tied to Petrobras since she assumed office in 2014. The Petrobras scandal has already led to an investigation of popular former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva and toppled numerous Brazilian political and business leaders. Rousseff and the socialist Worker’s Party deny the allegations.
The scandal began when police identified $3.7 billion in suspicious payments from the oil company last January and many suspect that Rousseff and her political party skimmed billions from Petrobras’ revenues to illegally finance political campaigns. Rousseff is also being investigated for manipulating public accounts to mask a growing government budget deficit.
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