O pulmão do mundo is on fire and has been for a little more than two weeks. After news spread that the incessant blaze in the Amazon was so potent it could be seen from space and that even those abroad would be greatly affected by the site’s partial demise, everyone was suddenly concerned. And they should be considering the world’s largest rainforest is responsible for producing about 20 percent of the world’s atmospheric oxygen (take a breath and let that sink in). But for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, these fires don’t inspire a sense of urgency.
When Bolsonaro was elected in 2018, Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil’s public policy coordinator, predicted a possible disastrous outcome for the country’s vegetation saying, “The forecast for the Amazon and the climate are not good. Measures that historically helped to refrain deforestation are at stake: He plans to undermine the power of Brazil’s environmental inspection agency, aims to liberate the exploitation of Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units and, if put in practice, [these] measures could lead to an explosion of violence in the field and endanger the planet’s climate hope.” That prophecy, unfortunately, came to pass.
Though Bolsonaro blamed environmental NGOs for the outbreaks, the blazes are more than likely the fruit of selfish agriculture plans and irresponsible leadership than self-sabotage for the sake of embarrassing his administration.
With Amazonia being the 11th most-searched term in the last 24 hours and #PrayforAmazonia continuing to trend, it’s important to put action to words. Here are a few ways you can help.