Amazon fires a hint to our own extinction

By: Mehaq Khokhar      Published: 07:57 PM, 4 Mar, 2020
Amazon fires a hint to our own extinction

The world is developing vastly, but we don’t realize that with these rapid advancements comes annihilation. We overlook the damage and downfall of our planet caused by human beings as can be seen through global warming, burning of fires in the Amazon and at the moment the fires in Australia. The downfall mentioned is the most drastic destruction occurring for us which is our own extinction. However, it seems as though our human race thinks the fires in the Amazon and currently in Australia are only adversely affecting trees and animals. What majority of us are failing to distinctly understand is how terrible the fires are, and are said to keep on harming us in the future in the most lamentable way.

The Amazon was burning at its worst after almost a decade due to deforestation so that farmers could monetarily gain benefits and Brazil could progress towards economic development. It’s a vicious cycle that has both its benefits and extreme hazards. The Amazon rainforest is immensely significant to the entire planet even if it may just be located in Brazil. However, its deforestation and burning of the forests for clearing land which seems vital to the people of Brazil in the pursuit of them making money. The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world known to be the world lungs producing 20% of the world’s oxygen, and its flaming is calamitously affecting our carbon intake, the carbon which is also a vital source to slowing down the pace of global warming. Therefore, it’s causing additional momentous changes to the climate as if the ones already transpiring weren’t bad enough and getting closer to becoming irreversible.

When the amazon fires began again in the summer of 2019, they seized the world’s attention. However, there are signs that the problem seems like it is becoming worse with ongoing time. The biggest reason behind this isn’t the burning of the rainforest, but the ongoing deforestation in the Amazon by the farmers, and the weakening and deterioration of the policies since the past few years that were set up to protect the Amazon. Hence, the result is destruction for the entire planet. Since 2008, the deforestation in 2019 has been 30% percent higher. These Amazon fires have also led to fires in the Cerado Savannah, the largest Savanna region in South America, and are not just location wise limited to the Amazon. The Cerrado is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world where 40% of its plants and animal species are not found anywhere else in the world, with their lives being exceedingly sabotaged or wiped out due to these fires. Again, the Cerado Savannah is also playing a vital role in the world climate.

I think so far I’ve made everything sound really cynical, like the world is coming to an end very soon, even if it might, given we continue our insensible, ignorant habits, but then again I don’t want anyone to lose hope in the present. Save and erase resentment that you may be feeling for only the people of Brazil. If it makes you feel any better, or my point about defending them any better, we, citizens of other continents and countries are at fault here too. Yes, farmers in Brazil were rioting and blazing the fields of the Amazon to clear land in order to grow soy, farm the best beef, log wood, and many other resources they believe that consist in the Amazon that could make them money, and develop Brazil’s economy. Of course, people of any country would want to make use of such resources if it means rising of its country’s economy. However, the damage that messing with the Amazon is causing the entire world is far greater than just the benefits they can reap out of the Amazons resources.

The soy, beef, wood, and other resources harvested through the Amazon are not just used in Brazil, but they are also bought by other continents and countries all over the world such as China, Central Asia, Europe, and Northern America. Would we reduce or stop the consumption of a juicy delicious beef burger we crave every time we want to reward ourselves, or use it as comfort food. Or God forbid we have to stop using straws or plastic or paper cups so we don’t have to wash glasses after a party, or a big gathering at home, and so on. However your reason may vary, the conclusion is that this is not just Brazil’s problem, but all these things related to climate change and climatic problems leading to extinction are interconnected in creating these serious issues, and therefore will also require worldwide cooperation to settle for a solution. It would be like Donald Trump to turn a blind eye to a serious issue such as global warming, and not to believe in it. As Trump stated “I believe in clean air. Immaculate air. But I don’t believe in climate change.” And “when will our country stop wasting money in global warming and so many other truly “Stupid” things and begin to focus on lower taxes?” Sounds pretty insane and ignorant to me even while just writing that.

Not to forget the current President of Brazil Bolsonaros racist, insane, corrupt oriented ideologies where he has gotten so many indigenous people in Brazil killed and has passed racist remarks regarding them as they tried to protect the Amazon, just so he could use the Amazon as a money making machine for himself. As he said “it’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminate the Indians.” And “If I become President there will not be centimetre demarcated for indigenous reservations or quilombas (territory for the descendants of African slave communities).” Additionally, he quoted “There is no indigenous territory where there aren’t minerals. Gold, tin and magnesium are in these lands, especially in the Amazon, the richest area in the world. I’m not getting into this nonsense of defending land for Indians”. It’s a shame to see such people in power. It sounds like powerhouses like the United States or America and countries like Brazil which consist of resources vital for our survival are in the hands of people who are willing to bring no change towards protecting the world against such calamities.

Personally, even the initiation of banning the use of plastic bags from shops in Islamabad is a great start and is globally decreasing the problem of climate change, even if it may be as little as that.

Another thing we ought to keep in mind is intergenerational equity, a topic which is spoken about a lot nowadays. UNESCO has stated how the present generations have the responsibility to look after the environment and planet so we are not impoverishing future generations. Therefore, as the humans of today, we must give all we can to protect our planet earth and its future. It has given us so much through the years and still continues to do so. The least we owe to it, ourselves, and our future generations is a safe environment to live in and to protect it from hazards.