Leandro Narloch has to do mea culpa for helping to poison the Brazilian public debate – 21/08/2021 – Reinaldo José Lopes

Yes, kind reader, I was also mortified to learn of the return of our colleague Leandro Narloch to the list of columnists for this Folha. I consider it undeniable that his books and texts have helped to poison the Brazilian public debate. Narlochism is just an auxiliary line of Pocketlavism.

The point is that there is method in the work of the scribe from Curitiba. Whether talking about the indigenous people of Brazil, Zumbi dos Palmares, the glories of economic liberalism or the climate crisis, Narloch’s specialties are:

1) Take a comma and make it a full page. For him, the context of the facts does not matter, only slightly dissonant (and, in general, not very relevant) details that allow him to say “A-ha, here’s what they were hiding from you, reader”;

2) Using and abusing what is called anecdotal evidence: what So-and-so or Sicrano saw once or twice is something that, for him, has the same weight as years of carefully controlled observations and statistical analyses;

3) Sheer inability to interpret complex themes that he apparently does not master.

His debut column here brings good examples of maracutaias 1 and 3. By circumscribing the problem of the climate crisis to the number of people directly killed by natural disasters in the last century, Narloch strains the mosquito and swallows the camel, as the good man would say Nazarene.

That’s because increasing the Earth’s temperature is the kind of change that brings non-linear and chaotic impacts, like the moth that flaps its wings here in São Carlos and produces a typhoon in the Philippines. Our columnist from Paraná does not include in his account the extra deaths from malaria, the lives that will be claimed in civil wars driven by water scarcity, and what to do when it is no longer possible to plant coffee in São Paulo or Ethiopia. And look, I’m setting aside the possibility of really catastrophic changes, like large-scale changes in marine currents.

When talking about the Indian issue, Narloch also loves to use item 2, repeating stories about evil foresters selling monkeys to tourists on the side of the road. This would be an indication of how the supposed good relationship between natives and natural ecosystems should be relativized.

Even if every BR in this country was full of Guarani making lion tamarin sales, however, that would not cancel out the fact, proven by countless satellite data and fieldwork, that indigenous reserves are the main bulwarks against deforestation, both here and in other countries. Interestingly, here’s something he doesn’t usually mention with the same enthusiasm.

But the ultimate work of narlochism was the attempt to argue, on the basis of DNA, that the indigenous people of 1500 were smoothly integrated into colonial society. After all, the Brazilian genome carries an appreciable percentage of Amerindian genetic material.

Narloch just forgot to note that there is a brutal sexual bias built into this data. Only 0.5% of Brazilians carry Y chromosomes (the genetic mark of masculinity) derived from indigenous men. It is a clear signature of violent conquest: women are raped or become concubines, men are executed or enslaved, failing to leave descendants.

Taking advantage of the season of mea culpa, Narloch could do his own. Each cascade coming from his pen became an intellectual justification for the succession now in charge of the country to be doing what she does.​

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