The Earth’s Lungs Are On Fire
September 26, 2019
Commonly referred to as “the Earth’s lungs,” the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is large and lush; its biodiverse atmosphere creates a home for a mass of different species. The ecosystem is filled with diverse plants, animals and trees of many kinds. Constituting nearly 3.4 million square miles of land, it releases oxygen and stores carbon dioxide. It makes up less than 2% of Earth’s land but produces ten times the amount of the world’s oxygen. However, this beautiful place has been overridden with forest fires this year, as stated by the organization One Tree Planted. According to The Visual and Data Journalism Team for BBC, this year Brazil has seen its highest amount of fires since 2010. A vast majority of these fires have been started because of deforestation: the action of clearing a wide area of trees.
Deforestation is extremely common in the Amazon and Brazil because it makes way for infrastructure projects, arable farmland and cattle ranching. This tragic event has seized the attention of the world, generating several trending topics and articles across various social media platforms. The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) offered Brazil 20 million dollars to combat the forest fires. As reported by NPR, at first, the Brazillian government rejected this because of their feuds with the French president, Emmanuel Macron. Brazil stated that they would not accept the money until he apologized to them. The country is currently working out reforestation methods and ways to protect the forest’s biodiversity.
There is a broad spectrum of organizations that are putting in their efforts to create a more sustainable environment. One example, named One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization dedicated to universal reforestation. This environmental charity will plant trees around the globe in places such as Asia and Africa. The business is one of many that are trying to get the attention of everyday citizens to focus on reforestation.
The Amazon rainforest fires may not be happening on U.S turf, but there is still a global concern for the lush Brazilian land. One senior, Morgan Laird expresses her opinion of the matter stating, “The amazon rainforest makes up 20% of our oxygen that we breathe, and I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live in a world with only 80% of our oxygen.” Laird feels that there are numerous things that everyone can do to assist in the conservation of the planet. “We obviously don’t live in Brazil and we can’t reelect a Brazilian president. There are things you can do to help the environment,” Laird mentions. Something she is passionate about is how beneficial it can be to reduce how much meat consumers take in. “You don’t have to be vegetarian but it takes up a lot of resources to farm cattle. You can simply notice what resources you are using a lot of and cut back,” She brings up lastly.
The Amazon forest fires have been drawing global attention to the well being of the planet. Whether it be a large organization or a single person, many people are demonstrating that there are ways to be involved in saving Mother Earth.