The fires that spread wildly in the Amazon rainforest this week have me absolutely shook up. I don’t exactly know how to help, or be of value in such an intense situation, and I’m sure many of us are feeling the same way.
Rainforests are the oldest ecosystem on earth, almost 60+ million years old! They are by far the richest ecosystems on earth, providing us with nearly ALL OF our resources - you would not live your life the same without healthy rainforests.
There are two types of rainforests, temperate and tropical. While both are important and provide us with life sustaining resources and oxygen - tropical rainforests are more at risk. They provide us with ingredients for every single product (food, beauty, every industry) we use, medicines (70% of all cancer drugs discovered come from rainforest origins, EVERY TIME WE BURN RAINFOREST WE RISK FINDING CURES), health because most of the earths oxygen is provided by rainforests and they take in carbon (carbon sequestration is the holding of pollution by trees, every tree burned releases that stored carbon).
They are located in tropical regions, typically regions that have less laws on protection, and also typically in povery ridden regions. This causes an imbalance - if a poor farmer makes a living burning land to farm more cows - he will then sell more beef and be able to live more independently - this is NOT his fault, it is the fault of his government loose laws on exporting, farming and land protection, our government because of loose laws on importing and beef / rainforest unfriendly goods consumption quotas - AND OUR fault as consumers for buying the products - and lack of education.
Forests fires are primarily caused by land clearing - this happens globally and it’s a very common farming method. In 2019, we have dry soil, deforested land, over consumption and high rates of poverty all contributing to these fires - land that is dry doesnt burn the same, it will spread…
So, what does this all come down to… awareness, consumption patterns, protection of impoverished people and so much more.
This is such an immense tragedy on so many levels, the potential for life saving cures is burning my the minute, carbon is being dumped into our air through burning and release of carbon, soil is being seared and burned beyond use…. but we can all have a part in fixing this.
While I’m still trying to wrap my head around how to do and be better - spreading awareness, donations, living zero waste and choosing better is what we can do right now.