Fire In The Amazon

Elizabeth Houlihan, News and Copy Editor

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On August 12th, 2019 the largest rainforest in the world caught fire; the Amazon.

The Amazon, home to millions of living creatures, home to one in ten species on earth. The fire in the Amazon has burned down hundreds of homes and has killed thousands of animals habitats. Researchers say that if the species lose their homes they will not be able to adapt to any other type of environment. In other words, thousands of animals will have gone extinct. Question is, who’s fault is the fire in the first place?  According to environmentalists, humans are the ones who started the fire. 

According to Roberto Troya, Vice President of World Wildlife Fund Latin America and Caribbean World, this includes forty-thousand plant species, more than four-hundred mammals, three-hundred reptile, four-hundred amphibian, and three-thousand freshwater fish species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, two new species are still discovered every day in the Amazon. The Amazon is also home to over thirty-million people and holds at least ten percent of the world’s biodiversity. 

The Brazilian Environmental Minister, Ricardo Salles, says, “The fire was started from climate change.” But the Amazon has never had a self lit fire before, even in its drought seasons due to its humidity. CNN and other news companies say, “It was definitely human lit.”

Environmentalist are almost positive that it was started by cattle ranchers. In the 1980s, deforestation began in the Amazon. Ranchers would burn down parts of the Amazon that were clear and dry so ranchers could own more land for their cattle or other animals. Environmentalists believe that this fire may have gotten out of hand. 

The Amazon is nicknamed “The Planets Lungs” because it produces twenty percent of the world’s oxygen and also helps regulate the earth’s temperature. According to the WWF, it can horribly damage the earth’s atmosphere by releasing large amounts of carbon into the air which is a major contributor to climate change.

Instead of planning ahead on how to help the Amazon, the Brazilian government plans to construct bridges and roads throughout the Amazon which, according to environmentalists, will only make the situation worse by releasing toxic chemicals into the air.  

The Amazon can only be saved if Brazilian forces and other nations, like the US, come together to fight the fire. If action is not taken, the Amazon will continue to burn and the entire planet will  be in danger. 

As of September 10th, 2019, the Amazon continues to burn. If you would like to help defeat the fire in the Amazon, you can go to https://www.worldwildlife.org/ and help by donating one dollar to support the preservation of the Amazon.