If you’ve been anywhere on social media in the past couple of days, you would’ve seen the devastation being caused by the Amazon rainforest fire. This attention, however, is too little, too late.
When the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our planet, was under threat from climate change deniers who just wanted to fill their own pockets, no one cared. When Amazonian tribes were fighting to protect their home, and in turn protect the planet, no one cared. When Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cut funding for protection of the Amazon and paved the way for unregulated deforestation, no one cared. Now, the Amazon rainforest is battling the worst forest fires ever. This very sentence should strike terror in anyone’s heart, the fact that forest fires are devastating a rainforest which used to be able to generate its own rainfall. But, as has been the case with every natural disaster, mankind’s greed won over the planet’s need to survive.
Watch this horrifying video of the Amazon rainforest fire below:
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The lungs of Earth, our only home, are on fire. Over 9,500 new forest fires have been reported in the Amazon rainforest since August 15. Brazil has seen 74,000 forest fires this year, doubled from last year. The fires are razing the rainforest so fast that the smoke darkened the skies in Sao Paulo, over 3,000 kilometres away. The Amazon rainforest fire is so widespread that the damage can be seen from space.
Here are just 3 reasons why the Amazon rainforest, and its devastation, should matter to us:
- It has been acting as a barrier against climate change for about 50 million years.
- The rainforest is home to 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish and 430 mammals.
- More than 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest. It absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen in return.
The rainforest is vital for our planet for several other reasons, but these 3 alone should have been enough for governments across the world to come together and protect it. But they haven’t. Instead, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro is busy fighting a blame game with environment protection NGOs and claiming that the fires were set by them to defame him. However, reports also say that Bolsonaro, a leader who has appointed climate change deniers in his cabinet and has fired those who disagreed with him, has done everything he could to ensure a sizable chunk of the rainforest is razed to the ground to make way for agriculture and industries.
— WWF UK (@wwf_uk) August 21, 2019
— John Gibbons (@think_or_swim) August 21, 2019
I really wish I had archived the Google Search results 2 days ago for the queries: “amazon fires”, “amazon fires now”, “amazon fires brazil”, “amazon on fire”. It primarily resulted in “Amazon Fire” product listings and generic articles.#PrayForAmazonia #AmazonFires pic.twitter.com/i74lDaHYFd
— Georgios Konstantopoulos (@gakonst) August 22, 2019
More than 12 billion tons of Greenland’s ice sheet melted in a single day. The Amazon rainforest has been burning for weeks. At what point to do we get real about the damage we are doing to this planet and our atmosphere and how our current course is absolutely not sustainable?
— Darryl Stephens (@darrylstephens) August 22, 2019
If they realize that the Amazon has BURNED 16 DAYS burning and everyone is still calm?That place is like a lung for the world and nobody moves a finger to stop burning, there are different species of animals that lose their home, species of plants that are lost pic.twitter.com/D8oFpbMQHL
— Ariadna Cabello (@CabelloAriadna) August 22, 2019
If you won’t be mad just looking at these photos, I don’t know what are you! This world is fucked up!! What did you do these poor animals?!!🤬🤬🤬#PrayforAmazonas #AmazonFire #PrayForTheAmazon ctto pic.twitter.com/zfXyUAPNXv
— Abby Cubilla-Padilla (@belleame1225) August 22, 2019
We can only wait for the fires to be put out and watch our home die in our lifetime. This isn’t the first time that the Amazon rainforest is dealing with deforestation fires. And it won’t be the last time either. After all, what is the planet’s survival in front of mankind’s greed?