Saving the Amazon: What You Need to Know

Amazon Rainforest Fires: What You Need to Know

If you’re a fellow Seedling who has been following our blog, you know we just recently began a miniseries about the seven chakras. But we need to take a break for something important. Something serious. Something so dire it affects us all, but yet, not many seem to know about. The Amazon Rainforest is burning, and has been burning for nearly a month. Now, it’s not entirely your fault if you weren’t aware; the media has provided little to no news coverage on this catastrophe. It’s been about a month and we’re just now beginning to hear about it because the world is obsessed with bass-ackwards politics, celebrity drama, and “fake news.” Lucky for you, we’re here to update you and inform you on how you can get involved to help. 

Deforestation in the Amazon

Throughout this year, Brazil has seen an unprecedented series of thousands of independent wildfires. The Amazon is currently experiencing its tropical dry season, and it’s not uncommon for wildfires to occur, but never with this much ferocity. Just this year, there have been more than 74,000 fires in Brazil, a roughly 80 percent increase from this same time last year. More than half of those fires are raging throughout the Amazon rainforest. But what caused this?

Unfortunately, the answer is quite simple. We did. Our actions as human begins has caused this devastation, with the biggest culprit being deforestation. Patches of the rainforest are being cut down, dried out, and then set ablaze to create room for agriculture and other land development. Fires are being set intentionally in the most important ecosystem throughout the world. And for what? So we can make more land to raise cattle and other livestock to be slaughtered and eaten. As if there weren’t enough already. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Brazil is the world’s top exporter of beef, so this all leads back to money. But this is not the appropriate solution. 

Importance of the Amazon

Our entire planet benefits from the health of the Amazon. The lush greenery is called the “lungs of the Earth” for a reason. The trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which plays a major role in extracting greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. And what do we know about greenhouse gases? They speed up the process of climate change. As the planet warms up, we lose more and more of our natural resources. And we’re directly contributing to the destruction of our planet by allowing farmers, ranchers and developers to burn the world’s largest rainforest. As the Amazon becomes smaller, it loses its ability to perform its job and provide a buffer against these manmade enemies. Somewhere along the way we lost sight of what’s truly important. We’ve allowed logging, mining, and agribusiness to become more important than what our Earth naturally provides us to survive and thrive. It’s absolutely devastating and insanely shocking to see how selfish and careless we’ve become.

On top of all that, consider the people who live there. The Amazon is home to millions of indigenous people. Sadly, their homes and livelihoods are being destroyed. It should be in everyone’s human nature to want to help our fellow brothers and sisters, in addition to protecting our environment. 

How to Help

You see, we’ve created this problem. We’ve taken this beautiful planet for granted, treated Mother Nature with such disrespect, and stood by while we watch her burn. Literally. Society’s carelessness needs to stop, and soon. Here’s a few ways you can start to help:

  • Donate, donate, donate! Check out this list of charities helping the cause.

  • Reduce paper and wood consumption

  • Reduce oil consumption

  • Reduce meat intake, especially beef

  • Support socially and environmentally conscious businesses

Climate change is a real thing, and if we aren’t careful, there won’t be anything left for us or our future generations. Let that sink in. We’ve all contributed to this devastation in some way or another, maybe even without realizing it. But it’s time to start ACTUALLY caring. Not giving a shit is not cool, and quite frankly, it’s no longer an option.

If there’s a bright side to any of this, it’s this: we may be the problem, but we’re also the solution. It’s a pretty profound paradox, but it’s the truth. The world is a mess right now; it’s literally burning, and we’re the only ones who can fix it. We need to step up to the plate and change our ways. Everyone can take action. Everyone MUST do their part, in any way possible. The world depends on it. 

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon