The Amazon Fires
What You Need to Know and What You Can Do to Help
By now the whole world knows about the crisis that has erupted in Brazil. The Amazon, although known to have fires in the past, has had more fires this year than ever recorded before and the government is doing nothing to stop it. For those that live under a rock, or want to know more about the situation, we give you a quick run down below of what’s been happening, why it’s so important and how you can make a valuable contribution.
Things are heating up in Brazil, quite literally, with flames taking hold of the planet’s largest tract of rain forest. As the National Geographic explains, not only does the Amazon contribute to minimising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it stabilises rainfall cycles and more importantly is the home of many indigenous peoples and animal and plant species. Climate scientist Carlos Nobre says, “the Amazon is the most biodiverse ecosystem on land”.
According to Brazil’s space research center, INPE, almost 73,000 fires have been recorded so far this year, making an 80% increase from the year before. Over half of those fires have been in the Amazon and it is believed that most of these fires are intentionally lit by farmers wanting to clear fields for grazing and production.
The Atlantic reports that toxic smoke covers the skies in São Paulo, the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. The fires have been so intense that darkness falls well before the sun sets. The fires have been said to be a symbol of humanity’s indifference to environmental disorder and climate change. Sadly, if destroyed or detrimentally degraded, the Amazon, as a system, will have no way to come back to its original thriving status. No number of replanted trees could replace the diversity of creatures living across Amazonia.
To get involved and show your support there are a few things you can do. The first way you can show your support to the Amazon is to donate to one of the on-ground volunteer or fundraising campaigns. The second, and one of the most important things, is to express your concerns and spread the word, especially by sharing current news on the Amazon fires through social media. The third way is to educate yourself; research the issues behind deforestation, the Amazon and be conscious about your contribution to the environment.
About the Author
Living on the Gold Coast her whole life, she has a lot of hot tips and secret places to share with the public (if they’re lucky). During the week, when she’s not holed up in her room studying, you’ll find her brunching at cute cafes, trying to get a tan at the beach or playing soccer. On the weekend you’ll most often find her at a photoshoot, behind the lens, practising her passion for photography. She’s well-travelled, with 23 countries up her sleeve already and hopes to continue ticking countries off the list over the years to come.