Recently elected far-right President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is allowing massive amounts of people to start massive amounts of fires, around 74,155, so far, in this year, 36,000 began last month, and 9,500 were ignited within the last week alone.
The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported an 84% increase in wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, from the same period in 2018.
38 + species are condemned to regional extinction in coming years, including 10 mammal, 20 bird, and 8 amphibian.
At least two German newspapers have called for sanctions.
President Bolsonaro’s platform was the promise of recuperating the economy by using resources from the Amazon. Just as President Trump rolled back regulations, in the United States, so did Bolsonaro. Loggers and miners are now allowed to tear up the pristine preservation of the land, even though Brazil is a part of, The Paris Climate Agreement. However, the PCA did not set strict enough guidelines to be able to control an outburst like this, and therefore has very limited power to override the damage. President Jair Bolsonaro has a very pro-development mindset and wants the Amazon Rainforest obliterated once and for all, while being completely unapologetic about the global catastrophic effects it will bring to all life on earth, so that he can bridge over the Amazon River and build up in the same location as the wilderness, to comply with his campaign promise to, “Put Brazil first.”
The Amazon Rainforest has been hailed as the lungs of our planet, with its trees supplying 20% of all oxygen for all the life on earth. By not taking note from how the United Nations handled Libya and encouraging the slashing and burning of the entire forest, President Bolsonaro is not only causing global concussions, but also losing any profit he would have made just from selling the logged trees and giving the animals more time to escape and have other places to go. I don’t even want to think of the amount of species we have lost and have will never discover.
The Amazon Rainforest one of the last remaining 70% of wilderness that remains, and only five countries harbor the remaining wilderness. Those are: Australia, Russia, Canada, the United States (Alaska), and Brazil. With two presidents rolling back environmental sanctions, and in the same hemisphere, environmentalists, consumers, businesses, and communities have their work set out for them.
Norway and Germany decided to cut off their tens of millions of dollars in aid, because, of the announcement Brazil made that would take the funding for saving and protecting the Amazon Rainforest and instead give that money to cattle and soybean farmers. Norway cut $33 million, while Germany froze $39 million in aid. The Brazilian reply to Norway’s call-out to the burning of the Amazon Rainforest was sarcastic remark to Norway’s Whale poaching,
“Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.
Learning about saving the Amazon Rainforest is what shaped me into the activist I am today and have been throughout my youth. While it seems like the world is ending, there is still time. Even though the skies are night over cities in South America, such as São Paulo, that are thousands of miles away from the Amazon, there are still things you can do to help, like being consciously aware of what you buy, for starters. Look for Palm Oil ingredients in your food, avoid large fast food burger chains, because Brazilian cows are where their meet is from, and sign all the petitions you can!
Other things you can do to help: (List credit goes to Fast Company)
- Protect an acre of rainforest through the Rainforest Action Network.
- Help buy land in the rainforest through the Rainforest Trust.
- Support the rainforest’s indigenous populations with Amazon Watch.
- Reduce your paper and wood consumption or buy rainforest safe products through the Rainforest Alliance.
- Support arts, science, and other projects that raise awareness about the Amazon through the Amazon Aid Foundation.
- Help protect animals living in the jungle with WWF.
- Reduce your beef consumption. Rainforest beef is typically found in fast-food hamburgers or processed beef products.
- Make your voice heard by signing a petition.
Horowitz, Mark. “The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest Is Burning With No End In Sight.” Anonymous News, 21 Aug. 2019, anewspost.com/brazilian-amazon-rainforest/.
Lopes, Marina. “Bolsonaro’s Amazon-Sized Spat with Germany and Norway Threatens Europe-South America Trade Deal.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 Aug. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/bolsonaros-amazon-sized-spat-with-germany-norway-threatens-europe-south-america-trade-deal/2019/08/20/cc60ee3c-c2b8-11e9-8bf7-cde2d9e09055_story.html?noredirect=on.
Sample, Ian. “Amazon’s Doomed Species Set to Pay Deforestation’s ‘Extinction Debt’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 July 2012, www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jul/12/amazon-deforestation-species-extinction-debt.