It’s been many weeks since news of the Amazon Rainforest fires has surfaced, meanwhile, concern continues to spread among students and staff and questions regarding solutions begin to rise.
The rainforest in Brazil is not new to fires, and because of its rainy forecast, they don’t last for very long. So, this normally wouldn’t be a problem, however, this is the highest amount of fires since 2010, according to Express.
With the increasing number of fires, the wildlife inhabiting the rainforest has become endangered and, as the Washington Post states, a big loss in species found only in the Amazon is lost. Whether it be from being unable to escape the flames or inhaling smoke, reports National Geographic, there will be immediate deaths or lucky survivors.
The issues surrounding the topic raise many questions among students and staff. Latasha Louis, an 11th grader asked, “I just want to know, how did it start? What’s going on with the animals there? Most of those animals out there are endangered species, so you never know what’s going on.”
Her concern for the animals inhabiting the land goes back to one of the main reasons any fire is started in the Amazon; to clear land. For a long time, there have been fires ignited by farmers and cattle ranchers in order to clear land for agriculture, cattle farming, and parts of the rainforest to help it develop. However, many started fires are done illegally, according to the Washington Post. It can be assumed that the start of this snowball effect of fires was because of humans, or more specifically farmers. Though not proven, it is highly unlikely it was caused by some other source. According to Express, the latest months, June and August, happen to be the Amazon’s driest months, which would mean a higher risk of more fires to initiate.
The Amazon is mostly known for being a big part of giving the Earth oxygen, a benefit for everyone. With these ongoing fires, mining, and deforestation of the Amazon, the ability to take in carbon depletes according to The Verge. If the trees, which take in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, decrease in numbers, it’d raise the question: What would that mean for us?
Dani Guerrero, 10th-grade History teacher asked, ”We need to talk about why is the Amazon on fire, the causes of the Amazon on fire, and then let’s hear people’s ideas about, okay, how can we help? What can we do to protect the Amazon?”
According to Business Insider, there are several ways to help and protect the Amazon. Some ways include educating yourself and others, recycling, being aware of paper/wood use, donations to charities and organizations, and letting you and other voices be heard.
“The best way is to deal with these policies and mindset that [Jair Bolsonaro] has placed in the administration in Brazil right now and we’re going to need the global… and political community to rise up against his administration, to push back and actually fight for the rainforest,“ stated Guerrero.
By helping the rainforest, we help ourselves and each other, but it may not be enough to stop the oncoming global warming and changes to our world.
“We need to get to know the land, learn about the plants, animals, and things that we have here so that we can take care of it, and in return, it can take care of us too,” stated Guerrero.