The Amazon rainforest has been experiencing a record number of fires this past year. This natural disaster is not only a threat to Brazil, but a threat to the world. The Amazon has been burning at increasing rates with little attention from the press, but people need to start talking about it now.
The Amazon rainforest accounts for 20 percent of oxygen on our planet, according to French President Emmanuel Macron. This rainforest is also the largest in the world, housing millions of species of plants, animals and fungi.
The National Institute for Space Research found that there have been over 72,000 fires in the Amazonian rainforest since January.
A concerning issue surrounding this disaster is that no one is talking about it. The Amazon fires have only recently been talked about in newspapers in the United States. It is receiving so little coverage that any time I bring up the event to family or friends, they have no idea what I’m talking about.
On August 18, the abundance of smoke had grown so much that it traveled 17,000 miles and completely covered the city of São Paulo, Brazil.
A few articles were published by various media outlets such as The Guardian and Scientific American in 2017 and 2018. The articles covering the increase in fires started popping up the past two weeks by CNN, USA Today, and the New York Times.
Since the media has started covering the Amazon fires the past few weeks, some celebrities have been taking to social media to spark awareness.
Leonardo DiCaprio posted a photo of the rainforest fire on Aug. 21 with the caption,
“Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rainforest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth's oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why?”
There isn’t much that the general public can do to prevent the side effects of climate change. However, there are a few organizations that are actively working to help protect the amazon rainforest.
The Amazon Conservation Association requests donations to support the Amazon Conservation Team as they fight climate change and take steps toward protecting the Amazon. If you’re interested in buying a plot of land in the rainforest, you can buy one through the Rainforest Trust. Through this trust, they have saved around 23 million acres of land.
It’s also important to be educated and spread awareness of global issues. Share articles regarding the increased number of fires in the rainforest and the threat it raises.
People share memes that their friends would think were funny on social media. People share racial, political, and social issues. However, people hardly share environmental issues such as climate change and global warming.
Talking about these issues on social media can be difficult since there is little coverage on the environment, but there is material out there. Reliable websitesyou can use to educate yourself on environmental issues are National Geographic, Huffpost Green, Grist, and The Guardian.