Amazon Rainforest Burns at Record Rate
Over 74,000 fires have burned in parameters of the Amazon rainforest in 2019, an 84% increase from the same time period last year
8/22/19, 8:33 pm EDT, Updated 9/4/19
By John Corry, photo from The Weather Channel
Home to the production of 20% of the world’s oxygen, the Amazon rainforest has been burning at a record rate over the past few months, hitting a pinnacle in the last week. The Amazon river holds 20% of the world’s fresh water, and, covering just 4% of the earth’s surface, it is home to a third of the world’s terrestrial plant, animal, and insect species.
The smoke from the fires is so big, it can be seen from space (!). Despite this being the time of year one would expect wildfires, many are blaming Brazil’s recently elected president, Jair ‘Trump of the tropics’ Bolsanero, for the increase, noting that it started when he took office last January. Bolsanero has taken pretty much every action available (ish) to increase deforestation in the area, from campaigning on the idea that robust environmentalism has led to a weakened Brazilian economy, to firing the head of the agency responsible for tracking upticks in the Amazon’s satellite moderation simply for informing him of the increase, to even referring to himself as ‘captain chainsaw’ at campaign events. He said today "forty men to fight a fire? There aren't the resources. This chaos has arrived,” and subsequently refused to acknowledge any part he may have played in the situation reaching this point, arguing further that nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
The Amazon rainforest covers an area 3.4 times bigger than that of Europe, and represents 54% of the total rainforest area on the planet. It covers nine countries in South America–Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname–Brazil being home to the largest portion, 60%. It’s home to over 316 billion trees and up to 17% of the world’s carbon stores, so: if it goes up, not only does it pave the way for less carbon to be absorbed over time, but adds a bit to that number as well. Bolsanero said against his criticism: "There is a war going on in the world against Brazil, an information war."
While experts warn against decrying DOOM as a result of this information, it is still vital information.
In more important news *TheMostImportant #RelevanceJustDoesntHaveAnythingToDoWithWhatsImportant: President Trump is pissing people off, and the Young Turks’ Hasan Piker called the terrorist who shot Dan Crenshaw’s eye out a ‘brave fucking soldier’. He also said America deserved 9/11, which saw over 3,000 innocent people killed (this is not a slight on that; just reporting the news, man ;D)..
Some people don’t care about environmental stuff–fair enough (truly)–but some people (maybe even the non-environmentalists??) realize that if ‘everything is connected, maaaan’, or that production is decreased with a lack of resources: burning forests is generally a bad thing, which means this news of the Amazon burning at record rates is just not very cool, no matter what your biases may be.
Yes, the other Amazon (like: the business) ‘burning’ is a big deal too (if that’s a thing), but: luckily we still live in a world where business and science matters are generally kept separate–meaning: we know that if the planet goes up in flames, nobody is going to be making any money anymore–or at least if we’re still being optimistic.
Let’s keep it that way (optimistic (Hasan (Trump…)…)…)...