The largest tropical forest that produces over 20% of the planet’s oxygen kept burning for three weeks and yet did not receive any mainstream media coverage. With the advancement in technology and growth of digital media, what is astounding is that an international crisis such as this went unnoticed for so long. It was only due to digital media that the issue got picked up and came to notice at a global level. Environmentalists state that the fires are clearly a result of intentional or unintentional human involvement.
Global warming has reached its peak and has far-reaching effects on the climate. Global warming is an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to the excessive use of Fossil fuels. Fire is used as a tool to clear the land for ranching, more trees are cut down and the rainforests become vulnerable to wildfires. Deforestation has seen a clear rise in the Amazon, cattle ranching being the leading cause. Both global warming and deforestation are factors that intensify these fires.
The Amazon fires caused the city of Sao Paulo to go completely dark, powerful winds carried the smoke nearly 1700 miles away and the satellites witnessed plumes of smoke from space. Researchers say such forest fires do happen in the months of July and August due to scorching dry heat. However, the region has experienced more than 74,000 fires in 2019, while it’s just the 8th month of the year.
Brazil has declared a state of emergency due to forest fires in the state of Amazon after 16 days of the situation first came to notice. As the issue has now escalated into a global political crisis, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro mobilized the armed forces to control the situation that wasn’t seen in nearly a decade.
Mr.Bolsonaro said that the government would take a “Zero Tolerance” approach to such environmental issues. Brazil has deployed 44,000 troops to tackle the forest fires in the Amazon. There weren’t any details of what assets the military would carry to the region.
Global outrage over fires has led to various accusations on the president for lying about being committed to fighting against climate change and protecting the Amazon.
Netizens have one question on their minds, why is it that an environmental issue managed to garner so much attention online although there wasn’t enough mainstream media coverage? The only reason is that the severity of the fire would not just affect its surroundings but the whole world will have to face its aftermath.
The indigenous people who had once vowed to protect the rainforest land have now lost all hope. They fear how their children would survive without fresh air to breathe and water to drink.
The amazon rainforest is also called the ‘Lungs of the Planet’ because it produces more than 20% of the earth’s oxygen. The lungs of our planet have been on fire for more than 16 days. This is an extremely serious issue with dire consequences. There are about 10 million species of mammals, birds and insects, known to man and more than half of them are found in the Amazon.
The mainstream media kept away from covering the story, but the fire made its way out to the forefront. It is time that we take climate change seriously and do our bit to save the planet.
- Alarming Agony of The Amazon - August 26, 2019