The Amazon is On Fire – How the world loses its breath.

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“The philosophical study of nature endeavors, in the vicissitudes of phenomena, to connect the present with the past.” – Alexander Humboldt, father of ecology.

 

In recent events of the past month, the world’s most important rainforest, the Amazon, is on fire. The news was kept silent for up to three weeks until Brazil’s president finally proclaimed the country in a state of emergency. The Amazon is the biggest rainforest on Earth, the lungs of the planet, the roots to our breathing, the holder of 20% of the world’s oxygen, and probably our only shield to slow down the dreadful impact of global warming. The effects of its disappearance would be irreversible. The world’s atmosphere is at the brink of destruction. The world cried more tears and donated more money for a French cathedral than a pillar of our survival. To say that this is important news, even when we all know the serious representation of that adjective, would be an understatement. The Amazon affects the weather, agriculture, and oxygen, and it is all burning up in flames.

 

The Amazon Is Not Burning, It’s Being Burned

 

While it is possible that some of the fires were started naturally due to dry season, this is uncommon in the Amazon. It is highly speculated that most fires are started by humans, according to  Christian Poirier, program director of the non-profit organization Amazon Watch. Amazon’s fires have risen by 80% during the last year. Environmentalists blame Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro due to his political campaigns that seemingly support and inspire farmers, ranchers, and loggers to claim more land for their cattle, therefore expediting the destruction of the rainforest.

 

Rain Thanks To Fire:

The Amazon affects all the Americas, South or North. Additionally, Brazil, the very country this began in, is already facing the aftermath. Black rain has hit Sao Paulo due to the fires. The rainforest produces water by feeding itself through the plants, which are burning at this very moment.  While the Amazon is not the only source of water for the Americas, it does have a vital effect on climate change, as rain disperses itself completely and has lasting effects.  So now the Americas will be stuck with toxics, yay!

 

 

Breathing:

No matter what the image may seem, the most important part isn’t less oxygen, but the carbon dioxide that will be left. As already stated, the Amazon produces 20% of our oxygen, which if destroyed, would become 20% of additional carbon dioxide in a world with not enough trees to absorb it due to the extermination of forests worldwide.

 

Nationalism vs. Internationalism Gain:

Brazil’s current political climate is based on Nationalistic principles.  This is best exemplified by Bolsonaro’s proposition to generate profit from the Amazon. He wants to change the equation of owning a rainforest of global importance while having no economic gain. Bolsonaro explicitly discusses how he will lead projects to take the economic value from the ecosystem. This may later develop into the end of the rainforest. Due to the current state of the planet, if this happens the world will only have 17 months to fix it before irreversible damage is done.

 

Evasion Of Truth – World Warming:

 

“There are three stages of scientific discovery: first people deny it is true; then they deny it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.” – Alexander Von Humboldt.

 

For many years, the global warming threat was ignored. This had lasting effects, leaving us with a very short time to save the world from it. And yet, ignorance and greed prevail to the last day with eternal, undying passion. Leaders of the world turn a blind eye, preferring to undermine the importance of our survival because it stops them from economic gain. They stop projects, make fun of discoveries, refuse to produce help for recycling or clean air products, and encourage trades that hurt the atmosphere and natural environments. Denial is a stage many stick to, but acceptance is the only way to move forward, and to live, we must all move together.

 

Deaths:

 

The death and extermination that comes with these fires are devastating. The amount of flora and fauna being destroyed could be irreplaceable.  Scientists aren’t even sure they have seen all the possible species that can be found in the rainforest, and yet, they might vanish from existence without us even discovering them. The Amazon is also home to numerous tribes, which are not only having their home burned and invaded, but are probably dying themselves. Let us not forget how many things are lost other than the trees themselves, for much life took place in there as well.

 

Save The Amazons, Help Against Global Warming:

 

Here are some sites to give Amazon programs donations:

Helping:
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Volunteer
  • Make your voice be heard

 

History Fact Bonus – Who was Alexander Von Humboldt?

 

Alexander Von Humboldt was a Prussian scientist from the late 18th and early 19th century; he was the first to discover ecosystems and the effects of humans on them! He actually predicted that if humankind did not limit itself with its overwhelming use of natural resources, Earth would fall off its cliff, and all hell would break loose. Additionally, he actually was the man to prove the great Amazonian River was all one and the same. He traveled throughout South America and happened to meet the great war hero Bolívar years later in Europe, inspiring him to go fight for his country and give them freedom from the chains of Spain. Humboldt was also a miner, and started all his work through studying it, learning that the planet was just different levels of Earth, some higher than others; he used that knowledge to locate diamonds. He was so good at finding these gems that once, as he traveled, he wished to pass a Russian border and was denied. Frustrated, he offered a deal, he would find diamonds, and if he upheld his end of the bargain, he would have a free entry whenever he wished. Long story short, he became a hero for a few days, and he never got trouble passing Russian borders again.

Alexander Von Humboldt actually wrote a book about the whole world. He named it Cosmos, which means order, and he said it was the perfect definition of the universe. That is actually why people associate these two words presently. He had sent various letters to many scientists across the world who specialized in things he had not, and with their guidance, he wrote a book about everything – and he got all of it right. The first true scientist in history, and while he was respected, he did not die a rich man due to the non-existence of copyrights, meaning translations were just money sent to the re-writer and not the author. And yet, his memory lives, as the man who told the truth without a voice, for everyone around him was deaf.

 

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhESYHHbzsc

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/22/americas/amazon-fires-humans-intl-hnk-trnd/index.html

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1168299/amazon-rainforest-fire-how-did-amazon-fires-start-cause-deforestation-how-long-fire

https://www.businessinsider.com/fires-in-the-amazon-rainforest-were-started-by-humans-2019-8

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1168548/amazon-fires-amazon-rainforest-news-latest-sao-paolo-brazil

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-help-amazon-rainforest-what-charities-to-donate-to-2019#4-volunteer-4