The Forest Is Burning
That much is obvious. Clips of the devastation have been posted online, calling for more action to be done.
The Fires Are Continuously Getting Worse
Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) now reports that satellite data shows an 84 per cent increase in 2019 wildfires compared to last year. The institute also reports that there’s been an 88 per cent increase in deforestation in the Amazon. The smoke from the fires has gotten so bad that the European Union's satellite program states it can now be seen from space.
This Is How The Fires Started In The First Place
During Brazil's dry season, wildfires are not uncommon. The difference this time is the fires have been worse than normal and some of them might have "questionable origins". The INPE states it has caught 72,000 fires this year alone, and more than 9,500 in the past week.
Brazil's President Blames NGO's
Jair Bolsonaro is a controversial president, and his claims as to how the fires started fits with that status. Bolsonaro says that non-governmental organisations could be burning the rainforest on purpose to shame the government after he cut their funding. His conspiracy theory is yet to be validated. According to CNN, “federal interference” in Brazil is making it easier for people to exploit the rainforest, and Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency’s operations have gone down since Bolsonaro was sworn in.
Here's How You Can Help
You don't have to be a firefighter or even a diehard climate change activist like Leonardi DiCaprio to help the Amazon. There are plenty of options, so check them out below:
- Head to Amazon Watch, which supports and protects indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin and helps preserve the ecosystem.
- Fast Company reports that reducing your beef consumption can also help because rainforest beef reportedly goes into fast-food hamburgers and processed beef products.
- Protect an acre of rainforest through the Rainforest Action Network.
- Focus on the animals of the rainforest specifically by donating or volunteering with the WWF.
- Sign a petition to encourage governmental action, if that’s your thing. Here’s a Greenpeace one.