As Amazon burns, activists fight back

As+Amazon+burns%2C+activists+fight+back

© HAWKEYE Lin Miyamoto

By Theresa Van, Business Manager

The Amazon rainforest, known for being the world’s largest tropical rainforest and located primarily in Brazil, has been burning at an unprecedented rate due to a record number of fires this year according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research) and CNN. Over 750 square miles of land has been burned since the fires began.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Amazon rainforest is home to 10 percent  of Earth’s living creatures, but with the raging fires burning down their habitat, some of these creatures are in severe danger. Experts say the animals in the rainforest that are unable to escape will most likely die due to either the flames themselves, the immense heat being given off by the fires or smoke inhalation. And because of the loss of some of these creatures, this will cause a dramatic change in the Amazonian food chain due to it being out of balance. 

As these fires continue to rage on, the people of Brazil are protesting to have them put out, with over 30 protests occurring across Brazil on August 24 to demand aid for the Amazon and the ousting of Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has frequently expressed resentment toward environmental advocates and was elected partly on promises to open more of the Amazon to commercial logging, mining and agriculture.  

People across the world are pleading Bolsonaro to take some action to put out the fire. According to the New York Times, leaders from across the world gathered at the G7 summit from August 24 to 26 to discuss their actions to help combat the fires in the Amazon rainforest, among many other issues concerning global trade and economics. The G7 leaders pledged over $22 million to combat the fires, which was soone rejected by Bolsonaro due to feeling personally insulted by other nations supposedly interfering in Brazilian affairs, who also took to Twitter to attack the head of the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron.. It was later discovered on August. 27 that Bolsonaro accepted a $12 aid package from Britain, wishing to save face with the Brazilian people.