For more than 3 weeks, the Amazon rainforest has been in an uncontrollable blaze. The rainforest takes up 2,000,000 square miles and 20% of oxygen produced by the land overall. No one is doubting that it is an asset to our planet and if it were to completely burn down then large parts of South America would become unlivable and agriculture would plummet. The cause is believed to be overburning small sections of the forest to provide grazing space for cattle for farming. The accusations have been aimed at the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro for promoting the forest burning for agricultural reasons.
The other consideration is the various groups of indigenous people who live in the forest. They have been attempting to warn the Brazilian government of the consequences that could happen if the burning was left unchecked, but the government neglected the warnings. Along with the 43,00o firemen sent to put out the fire the indigenous people have also been fighting the blaze, even risking their own lives. “There are 400 indigenous groups across the Amazon at large, several hundred are Brazilian-America,” commented a worker from GreenMatters. A member of the Patoxó tribe said to the media “These assholes came in and burned down [our reservation]... I want all of the media here to see this” Brazil's government does have laws protecting the people of the Amazon, though they are not heavily enforced. Andrew Miller is the advocacy director for AmazonWatch had this to say about the politics of the situation and how it relates to the United States "It’s kind of the same way Trump talks about how the U.S. has clean air and water. But the reason that is true is because of the laws and regulations enforced by the EPA, and at the same time, all of the policies he’s rolling out are working to undo all of that, It’s the same thing in Brazil. They’re touting Brazil’s constitutional protections and laws, which, if enforced, do serve as a protection. It’s not perfect, obviously, but it’s something. But this administration is doing everything it can to not obey the existing laws in the short term, and to weaken them in the long term."
But there are ways to contribute to helping the Amazon. One way is to donate to AMAZON WATCH which is a website dedicated to informing people about the situation of the forest and stories of people affected and harmed by the burning. Another way that will actually save you money is to simply minimize the amount of paper and other tree products. One way that is very simple is just to use the back of whatever paper in your notebook you are using and trying to maximize the number of assignments you can do on a computer. The final way is to download a search engine called Ecosia. It works so that every search you do generates ad income for Ecosia which they donate to various causes. You can use it on your Chromebook and phone, and even though it might not be as easy to use or polished as Google it will help whatever cause Ecosia is working towards at that moment. At the time of me writing this Ecosia has planted 67 million 300 thousand trees, with an average of one tree every 0.8 seconds.
Story by Colton Kelischek