The Amazon Is Burning And Here’s How That Will Actually Affect You

The Earth’s lungs are on fire :(

The Amazon is the biggest rainforest in the world, and one of the very few left.

And right now, it is burning.

The National Institute for Space Research said the forest is burning at the highest rate they’ve seen since tracking, with almost an 80% increase since just last year. Almost 2 soccer-fields worth of forest are burning every single day, and it just keeps getting worse.

And it’s been burning for WEEKS. Around 3, to be exact.

It made international headlines yesterday when cities thousands of miles away were plunged into some straight up apocalyptic shit as their skies went completely dark from smoke. Again, thousands of miles away.

Environmental activists are holding Brazilian President Bolsonaro to blame, which makes sense. The guy has been relaxing environmental protections and encouraging exploitation of the forest  for some quick dollarydoos. He’s also against scientists talking about the dangers of deforestation because it’s bad for trade.The environmental enforcement agency’s budget was cut by a whopping $23 million, and he also recently had a go at a scientist for reporting the 80% increase in logging by accusing him of lying. Cool.

And now, Bolsonaro is blaming NGO’s for the fire, saying they’re using it to bring attention to the criticism of the government.

I dunno about you, but this whole thing sounds very familiar. *cough* Trump *cough*. I wanna say I’m surprised or shocked that someone could be so careless with the environment, but… yeah.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering how this will affect you, all the way here in little ol’ Oz. But the thing is, the Amazon will effect everyone, because it’s such a huge natural resource for the world’s survival.

You Need The Amazon To Breathe

The Amazon creates 20% of the air that we breath. An entire fifth of our actual Earth’s oxygen comes from its forests, prompting the nickname ‘the planet’s lungs’.

With polluted air being an issue for decades and only getting worse with the onset of climate change, it’s actually imperative to have these forests (and to grow more) because the oxygen they give out battles high rates of carbon dioxide.

Forests Fight Global Warming

One of the main drivers of global warming is all the CO2 we have trapped in our atmosphere, which increases because of things like fossil fuel mining. When you have more carbon dioxide stuck in the atmosphere, it traps more sunlight, which makes the planet hotter.

Trees obvs “breathe in” carbon dioxide, which takes it out of the air, so the Amazon rainforest is one of the key fighters against global warming – something which us Aussies are def feeling the heat of, as our country gets hotter and hotter every year. Is anyone else really freaked out by how sunny and warm the days have been this winter?

The Amazon Also Provides Fresh Water

A fifth of the worlds fresh water comes from the Amazon Basin. Like. That is a lot. We’re currently facing a global crisis around water scarcity, and with the drought culture in Aus, we know how concerning that is. The forest needs to be protected because it stores and generates 20% of the world’s water through its water cycle, and we really can’t afford to fuck that up.

Okay Thanks Now I’m Freaking Out, What Should I Do?

Freaking out a little bit is okay, because it’s legit a scary issue. But that being said – It’s not the end of the world (yet). This is one of those things where you need to be in the know-how, and just keep yourself educated and remain on top of the issue. That way, you can spread the word and keep the conversation going, keeping the issue in the limelight and hopefully pushing those in power to actually act on it. The next time there needs to be action on climate change, you can be in the thick of it and help create change. Because we sorely need it.

Image Sources: Twitter: @shannongsims, @LidoPimienta, @AestheticsJapan, @kilFee. 

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