(Set) Fire To The Rain

Victoria Eduardo, Staff Writer

If you’re good at keeping up with the media, you may have noticed that the Amazon Rainforest was on fire for about two weeks in a row, breaking its record of forest fires. On the contrary to the title of this article, no, Adele has nothing to do behind the events. The Brazilian government is completely guilty of the fires for their act on deforestation.

The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s biggest rainforest. Judging by this fact I’m sure you can pick up that it’s also home to plenty of biodiversity and wildlife. It is rich in rare valuables and goods. The Brazilian government was once a role model to other nations for their effort towards climate change. However, this all changed primarily due to the election of Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro is a populist who many know for having violated environmental regulations. For those of you who don’t understand much about Brazil’s controversial president and his views, he is similar to our current US president, Donald Trump. Bolsonaro was elected in October 2018, about two years after Trump’s election. Both are very controversial presidents who publicly share their opinions themselves through the use of social media (ahem… Twitter), and both have an intense history of offensive statements against women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Bolsonaro has openly shared his plans to open up the rainforest to agricultural development. Bolsonaro has also stated publicly multiple times that his actions, of expanding land for agriculture, weren’t harming the rainforest. He has made it clear to his audience that the media is lying when they cover reports on him about his plans. 

However, in the article “Under Brazil’s Far-Right Leader, Amazon Protections Slashed and Forests Fall” by Leticia Casado and Ernesto Londoño, Casado and Londono state, “Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January.” All of this loss happened after Jair Bolsonaro became president, clearly showing that he has a significant role in this occurrence. It’s clear that President Jair Bolsonaro has left much more of an impact than President Donald Trump’s contributions to climate change. He demonstrates no sympathy for the Amazon Rainforest and is forcing his power among the rainforest.

There are a number of reasons to be appalled by this year’s Amazon fires caused by the intense deforestation. American journalist, David Wallace-Wells, compared rapid deforestation to “putting a match to an entire rainforest of stored carbon.” His comparison came out to be very accurate as that is exactly what occurred recently. The Amazon Rainforest was caught on fire for days on end and it took backlash on social media for the Brazilian government to send in military troops in to stop the fires. The article, “As 2019 Amazon Fires Down, Brazilian Deforestation Roars Ahead” by Mauricio Torres and Sue Branford claims that all together, 7,604 square kilometers (2,970 square miles) of rainforest were felled during the first nine months of this year, an 85 percent increase over the same period last year.”

If we allow this to continue, the fires will spread and the world’s biggest rainforest home to wildlife and biodiversity will disappear. The Brazilian government’s lack of support for their environment is gearing their nation backward, and no progress has been made by them to improve so. It’s clear that in today’s society, inside and outside of Brazil, we can no longer completely rely on the government to fix anything. We are in a time where the people take matters into their own hands.

 

Hear from our very own students at Prospect Hill Academy:

“The Amazon Rainforest fires are bad because they ruin trade discussions with other nations and they also kill most or all of the wildlife in the rainforest. The deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest leads to the world overall getting less oxygen which will eventually be the doom to all people. The government is only doing this to gain land for agriculture but they can improve agriculture by just trading more with other nations to receive what they would want to grow. A possible solution is to make some zoos and greenhouses to preserve the life in the rainforest.”

-Kenneth Smith (Junior)

 

“The Brazilian government should put a half to this immediately. The effects of causing deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest are extremely detrimental … One of the most relevant ways to spread awareness is by having all nations affected by issue sign a treaty or an agreement.”

-Kimberly Esteban (Junior)

 

“I think [Bolsonaro] is dumb and doesn’t think his actions through. It’s sad that the indigenous people of Brazil have to experience the after-effects of his wrongdoings.”

-Tsega Wondwossen (Junior)

 

“I feel as if the Brazilian government should’ve handled the situation better. There wasn’t much effort put into the situation to better it and I personally felt like our president [Bolsonaro] should’ve united with the indigenous people and came up with a solution”

Gabby Martinez (Junior)

 

“Every time they get rid of someone in power because they’re corrupt, they just end up putting someone else who’s corrupt in power. It feels like there is no scrutiny when evaluating political figures. The country is having a complete environmental crisis and no one seems to care.”

Jordan Brandao (Senior)

 

“When I heard about the fires, I was pretty sad because I know how much Amazon rainforest contributes to the world since it’s known as the ‘lungs of the earth.’ And not to mention that this happened where I was from. I knew I couldn’t do a lot but I donated as much as I could to companies trying to help restore the rainforest. I guess what could be done is that we should teach others about the importance of the rainforest and probably donate to companies who focus on protecting it. We could also change our ways to be more environmentally friendly because if more people are aware of how we can save the environment, then we can definitely make an impact.”

-Jullie Lima (Senior)