As a species we are known to react to something only after the situation has gone out of control or it creates a lot of noise of chaos. As all the countries and the media was busy reporting news about the internal politics and other such emotion engaging content but there were no reports about the amazon burning down to flames from the past three weeks because no one seemed to think it was news worth being published on the front covers of the newspapers.
Why was it not reported?
Is it because there was nobody to witness it, is it because no knew, is it because no one was aware? No, NASA has all the information and satellite pictures of the Amazon forest burning for three weeks but yet the poor forest could not make it to the front page of the news covers.
This is mostly because of the casual attitude of everyone including the government and the news agencies as the forest fires are a common occurrence year on year due to various reasons and everyone thought that it would come and go like it always does. Although when there was even a small fire that brought down monuments the world was there to support them with Hashtags and prayers, but #prayforamazon has been taking shape only from the past two days while the forest has been burning for 3 weeks.Also when one searches for Amazon fire on Google we are bombarded with a million pages of the Amazon Firestick instead of the news about the Amazon rainforest.
In a fight between economy and ecology, it is quite evidently visible that the world and world leaders seem to care only about the economic development of the country and monetary growth but are blinded to the fact that the economy also plays an equally significant role. We recently crossed the world overshoot day which tells up that we have finished all the resources that we were supposed to utilize even before August.
If we move at this pace no matter how much economy or money the countries hoard, we would have exploited nature far beyond repair to even get anything in return for all that money that has been hoarded.
We are letting forests burn, temperatures rice, ice caps melt, cities flooding, famine and draught, these are signs that such news and awareness is more than the need of the hour at this point in the world. The economy that the world is so concerned about will be meaningless if we do not take care of earth. This news is important.
When did Amazon Fire get the spotlight?
As already mentioned, we as a species react only when things go out of hand and the situation precisely got spotlight when the city of San Paolo that is in close vicinity to the Amazon forest was suddenly covered as a thick blanket of black smoke put the entire city to darkness when there was supposed to be broad daylight at 3pm in the afternoon where there is enough light in the city on a normal day as opposed to now where the motorists and car drivers were to switch on the headlights to travel through the city as though it was night though the sunset was hours away.
This is when the spotlight on the Amazon forest started picking up and the news, social media and others modes of communication started discussing about the incident.
Who is responsible?
The previous government of Brazil ensured that the Amazon forest is conserved and protected. But with the appointment of the new president Mr.Bolsonaro the activities of forest conservation have decreased drastically after he announced to convert the Amazon forest a land for farming and mining activities. There are no environmental policies or stringent rules to check the anthropogenic activities in the Amazon forest. There have been loggers, miners and farmers who have been setting fire on the land for various reasons such as cattle grazing, land clearing etc. which could have been one of the reasons that the catastrophe happened it the first place. The president is not taking any responsibility for this incident and says that it is a common occurrence in the dry weather.
But according to the information received by Inventiva, it is not a natural occurance since the Amazon forest is actually fire resistant due to the deep moisture that it holds and even if the fire break outs do happen, they have never occurred in such large extents. Hence thre needs to be a focus on the environmental policies and anthropogenic activities in the Amazon Rainforest in order to avoid such further incidents
How Bad is the situation?
It is true that the Amazon forest does catch fire every year mostly around this time of the year but the gravity of the situation in this particular scenario is unsurmountable. It has spiked to a whopping 83 % more than the fires that have occurred previously in the past years. This is the biggest fire that broke in the Amazon since the 2013 incident.
The situation is so bad that the smoke produced by the Amazon fire can be seen from the space and it looks like clouds but in reality, it is the thick layer of smoke due to the burning of the Amazon forest. This has not happened ever before. The fire has been burning for 3 weeks and there have been over 73, 000 fire breakouts in the Amazon forest so far and it is still spreading at the speed of burning down the size of one football pit every 20 seconds. At this rate we will not be able to do much to help curb the damage and moreover this is going to choke up the already choking environment and add to the global warming. The smoke will end up choking all the neighbouring cities and a countless number of animals will be dead due to the fire and the smoke by the time the smoke dies down.
What is the importance of the Amazon Rain forest?
We may assume that we are in a different part of the world and the Amazon Forest fire may not affect us, but it is not that simple. When it comes to global warming and climate change every part of the earth is connected to every other part and there is equal contribution from every part of the world.
Amazon rainforest is especially important because it produces 20 % of the oxygen of the world comes from the amazon rainforest and the single stretch of green cover that is so largely and widely spread. So even if the smog will not affect you directly the large scale fire is going to increase the global warming which will increase the average temperature of the earth which will lead to the melting of Ice caps, in turn leading to the rise in sea or ocean water which will end up in floods. This is just one example of how everything is related and how the burning of the forest is going to affect you. Apart from the decreased oxygen levels and increased carbon levels in the atmosphere.
If action is not taken against these things the future of earth does not look bright