The Amazon is burning. The fire is of staggering proportions and was deliberately set.
Irreplaceable rainforest land being cleared for, what, so it can be farmed, developed?!
Seventy-five thousand: The number of Brazilian fires this year alone! Seven-thousand-two-hundred: Nearly that many square miles (more than 4.6 million acres) burned this year so far.
Add to this the roughly half (or about 3,600 square miles or 2,304,000 acres) of the densely-wooded area charred in 2018.
Smoke from the fire is pouring into and overcoming one of Brazil’s largest cities – Sao Paolo. From what I’ve heard in news accounts, that smoke had completely blocked out the sun. Virtually the same effect as 24 hours of nighttime.
It’s an inferno that’s been raging for three weeks now!
Threat to air, threat to health
What’s more, the Amazon rainforest produces 20 percent of the world’s supply of oxygen. Not just this but the trees on fire are releasing carbon that has been locked up inside.
Released carbon molecules combine with those of oxygen to form carbon dioxide adding to other carbon dioxide releases from fossil-fuel burning thus increasing the concentration of CO2 in the air overall. It’s a double-whammy.
If you count yourself among the group of persons who haven’t bought into or accepted the premise that increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide are contributing to a warming planet, it should, at least, be recognized that smoke from said fires is negatively impacting the lives of those people affected living nearby.
Pollutants like fine particulate matter and others released in smoke can damage lungs, hearts and in the case of fine particulates, can work their way into the bloodstream which can then travel to the brain. The release of oxides of nitrogen or NOx, meanwhile, can combine with hydrocarbons and in the presence of sunlight, can form atmospheric ozone, an ingredient or element that can contribute to smog.
And, of the wildlife that makes that part of the world its home, in the part of the jungle on fire, such wildlife gets displaced, obviously.
Continued destroying of one of Earth’s prized possessions and resources compromises air that we breathe, and so, from this, lives are put at risk; an utterly senseless and totally unnecessary practice.
The world is watching
The fire situation in the Amazon rainforest is not good and the world, in taking note, doesn’t like what it’s witnessing.
I can understand the need to have land to grow food and other types of crops, but there are more sustainable ways in which that can be done.
But burning down large swaths of jungle that alters the chemical composition of the area atmosphere by doing such, this I don’t get.
The conflagration, meanwhile, has sparked huge protest the world over and with good reason.
This practice must end
With an Amazon going up in flames, the idea that is absolutely and abundantly clear here is that there are no winners – nada, not a one.
Without a doubt, the wake-up call that this truly is, must not go unanswered. And, that there’s the bottom line. It’s time to put this foolhardy practice to bed for once and for all time!
And, the sooner this happens, the better!
Image above: Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, NASA
This post was last revised on Jun. 15, 2020 @ 6:37 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
– Alan Kandel