Lungs On Fire

A tract of Amazon jungle burning near the city of Novo Progresso, Brazil. |  Nacho Doce / Reuters

A tract of Amazon jungle burning near the city of Novo Progresso, Brazil. | Nacho Doce / Reuters


The Amazon Rainforest is on fire! It's been 3 weeks now of the rainforest being depleted at a rate of one football field per minute. Per Minute! That is insane, stop to think about how devastating that really is. It is home to about 10% of the worlds species and it is the largest and most bio-diverse tropical rainforest in the world, with approx. 390 Billion different trees. These are the very trees that produce more than 20% of the worlds oxygen, think of the Amazon has part of Mother Earth’s lungs. It is so vast that scientist only think they have studied only 0.5% of its flowering species.

Is your mind blown yet. Well, just wait. These fires are set by humans, the country typically works hard to prevent or contain the fires. But the countries new President, Jair Bolsonaro does not care, he has been called the “Trump of the Tropics” and has rolled back protections in favor of the cattle business and logging, he is not working hard to stop the fires and even fired the head of the Agency that collects data about the fires because he didn’t like the figures.

 
Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money
— Cree Prophecy
 
 

Click to view these two videos from @paulrosolie

It’s heartbreaking to watch but it’s important to see and understand.


 

"Even if we could put out the fire, which we can't, it wouldn't solve the problem. It would douse the symptoms without treating the disease. This is a long term problem that is the result of decades of apathy towards the deforestation we knew was taking place. The Amazon produces the rains that water it. It's a system. And when we cut too much of that system, we damage that self-sustaining loop. We are approaching the Event Horizon of the Amazon tipping point. The only way to stop these fires is constant and sustained respect and protection for these forests - and the refusal to let a globally significant life-giving system damaged by anything" - Paul Rosolie

 

so what can you do?!

I know that every time we turn on the news, there is always something else. It always feels so overwhelming like there's nothing that YOU can do. Well, doing nothing is defiantly not a solution and if anything you have now become the problem.

1. Educate yourself + others

The Amazon fire is a situation that has gotten very little media coverage. It's only now after three weeks of devastation that we're starting to hear about it and that's thanks to the public. Public outcry and pressure is needed! When the historical Notre Dame caught on fire, the world knew instantly, and billionaires opened their pockets immediately. This human-made structure as beautiful and magnificent as it is holds nothing to what the Amazon Rainforest means to our sustaining life.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Focus on reducing and reusing first, leaving only to recycling when you have to. Your day-to-day life can have lasting effects on the rainforest - like reducing the amount of paper and wood you use. Look at your labels and purchase from recycled products when you do have to buy new, avoid plastic, all plastic all the time.

If you really want to tackle the issue take it to the next step by limiting or eliminating the amount of beef and meat you consume. Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of the Amazon destruction/deforestation. The fires were started to make more space for cattle and crops like soy to feed them.

3. Donate

There are several charities and organizations you can donate to, here are a couple:

Amazon Conservation

Amazon Conservation Team

Amazon Watch

Rainforest Foundation

Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Action Network

Native as Folk will be rotating these organization for the next six months with a portion of our shop's proceeds in our efforts of Giving Back. You don't have to be a billionaire to donate, but I understand not everyone has the luxury of expendable income either. If money is not something, you can do, look into volunteering. Do a quick Google search to help find environmental organizations near you.

Lastly, just by doing any one of these items listed will be beneficial to us all in the long run. “Lead by example. Do anything but shrug it off”

- Ashlee Piper, eco-lifestyle journalist