Smoke from the Amazon forest during a fire in Brazil, 23 August 2019. (Image: EPA/Joedson Alves)

In Sao Paulo, on August 19, day turned into night. The sun was blocked as smoke blew in, and the pictures went around the globe.

The fires in the Amazon rainforest are part of the process of land clearing, and they are a regular feature of the dry season, but this year's fires are worse than they have been for several years as land clearing increases under the new regime of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Fires by ecosystem in Brazil (Source: INPW, year to August 28)

That smoky week in Sao Paulo was also the week of the G7 summit and, at its conclusion, the G7 offered US$20 million to Brazil to help manage the fires. The sum was a trivial fraction of a percent of their aid budgets, and the whole world could see it.