The Amazon Continues to Burn… Who Knew?

by Jonah Sachs ’20

The flames engulf hundreds of thousands of organisms every day, leaving three-toed sloths and armadillos to attempt their brave escapes. To no avail, though, as these animals don’t stand a chance against the unstoppable fire power of the Amazon’s newfound dry heat. Plant species continue to die out, faster than the media can say “SharpieGate,” yet many people just don’t know just how bad it’s gotten. The media just doesn’t cover it. Regardless of whether or not the amount of news coverage is justified, the truth of the matter stands: people need to stay informed about the true devastation of these fires in the world’s largest rainforest.

Ask anyone, and it’s pretty likely that they’d know the Amazon had been in flames. Recently, though, it seems like it has been all but forgotten, holding the limelight for a split second before stories of political warfare and economic boom gain the public eye. In reality, the Amazon is still burning strong. Despite international aid to the Brazilian and Bolivian Governments, flames continue to steamroll through the forest, clearing paths never meant to exist. Recent statistics show that the strength and quantity of the location’s fires have increased by 84 percent in just one year. What many people don’t know is that these fires are controlled, purposeful. There’s nothing accidental about them. Whether that be for logging, agriculture, or livestock production, the fires are an environmental catastrophe encapsulated by prospects of economic bliss.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continued to deny foreign aid until the world began to sully his name, marking him as the one who did nothing to save the Earth. The cause of these fires comes primarily as ‘controlled’ flames to make way for meat production and livestock feed. Described as a ‘slash-and-burn approach to deforest land for agriculture’, the fires seem to merely be a result of supply and demand for meat, dairy, and human ‘necessities’. The Brazilian government has it’s own self-interest in mind, disregarding the millions of organisms losing their lives and their homes to the devastating effects of capitalism. The truth stands: we need to stay informed and on top of climate crises such as this, to prevent the Earth–along with its rainforests–from going up in flames.