The Amazon rainforest has been burning for 16 days and mass media won’t do a thing to tell its story. When Notre Dame was burning, the world watched and heard its story on every news outlet in the world. Silence fell and the world listened. The Amazon has been burning and even I just heard about this two days ago because it is getting no coverage. We cannot rebuild the earth once it’s gone, we only get one.
The facts, figures and statistics: The Amazon is often referred to as the Planet’s Lungs. This is because the Amazon produces 20% of earth's oxygen. The Amazon is also home to millions of species of plants, insects and animals. In Brazil, just this year, there have been 72,843 fires, more than half of these fires being in the Amazonian region. Last year at this time, there were 80% less fires. THE AMAZON IS VITAL IN SLOWING GLOBAL WARMING AND FOR GOD'S SAKE, THIS LAND IS HALF THE SIZE OF THE UNITED STATES AND WERE DOING NOTHING.
The smoke has now reached 1,700 miles from the forest, making skies in São Paulo smoke grey-black and filling the air with smoke and ash. The smoke is even hitting places as far as Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay.
The political side: Brazil’s far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, is being accused of relaxing environmental controls and exploiting the Amazon for its economic potential. It is said that he is in favor of their industrial farming industry seizing control of this land for economic gain. The environmental enforcement in Brazil has had budget cuts of up to $23 million and their efforts have seemingly gone down since Boldonaro was elected.
What you can do to help: As one single person, it may feel hopeless that you could make a change, it’s not. You can Boycott companies that deplete and actively use our environment in negative ways. You can eat less meat, no meat, or at the very least, you can buy locally sourced meat. You can crack down on fast fashion, what and where you buy and how much you own as to not throw it away next year, thus creating more waste. You can contact your government officials telling them to do more with their power. You can know and spread the facts and you can donate.
We can only do so much when we’re so far away. Please consider donating to the efforts of nonprofits such as The Rainforest Trust. The point is, we only get one earth. If it dies, you do too. It’s time to take matters into our hands like we should have been for years past. It’s time to wake up.