The Amazon is burning, and so is the world. On August 19th at 3 pm, the city of San Paulo, Brazil was covered in a black cloud of smoke. The smoke was from fires burning in the Amazon Rain forest.
The recent fires have enraged and concerned many around the world because fires are not a natural occurrence in the Amazon Rain forest. The Amazon is vital, it stores carbon dioxide and thus, slows the warming of the planet. The Amazon is also home to millions of different species of animals and plants, and one million indigenous people.
Between January and the end of July, data shows almost 16,000 active fires in the Amazon according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. This year has seen twice the amount of fires in Brazil compared to 2013, according to the National Institute for Space Research. Many of these fires are started around the Amazon to make way for agriculture, a technique known as “slash and burn”.
On August 19th an unusual weather system carried the smoke from the fires to San Paulo. This had finally brought the issue to light.
Celebrities and activist organizations have used social media to call for action against this harmful practice, as well as its hidden ignorance to the problem at hand. The region’s indigenous people have claimed that it is big oil and corporations that have started the fires single-handedly for not giving up their rightful land. In all, this tragedy has sparked even more aware of the climate crisis and our need to stop climate change before the planet gets worse.
The ignorance is still very much a problem and its still unknown when we will get actual help from our leaders. there are still mass fires being spread and being undocumented. Most recently in Indonesia where the sky is currently a bright red due to the damage. Activists like Greta Thunberg are fighting for our will to keep the earth alive, but scientists have admitted that we have little time. We’ve been learning about climate change and carbon effects since elementary school, we must now wait for politicians to realize the brutality of the situation at hand.