The Amazon is burning and has been for three weeks. This is more catastrophic than we could ever imagine. The Amazon is the lungs of our planet.
The Amazon has been on fire for 16 days with virtually no media coverage until the last two days. Land clearing is, sadly, common in Brazil due to land being cleared for cattle due to our ever increasing desire for meat. In 2019 there has been an increase of 84% in the number of fires compared to 2018 according to The National Institute for Space Research.
The Amazon is burning at an uncontrollable rate. In 2019 there have been a record 72,843 fires with 9500+ fires being recorded in the last week. Some fires are natural bush fires, as we see in Australia, but that is the small portion. Most are caused by farmers and cattle ranchers clearing the land for cattle. In Sao Paolo day has turned to night as smoke loom above the city, President Jair Bolsanoro is a climate sceptic and prioritises farming and mining over the environment. I was about to write I can't believe he has this view but I absolutely can. Seemingly driven by money and not by our future he is adopting a short term view and quickly destroying our planet. He has even gone as far as accusing NGO's of setting fire to the Amazon.
Source: Planet Labs
What's The Impact
Not only is Brazil impacted but the entire planet is. The Amazon is the lungs of our planet. The trees absorb carbon dioxide, process it, store it and produce oxygen. The Amazon produces 20% of the World's oxygen and slows down the pace of global warming. Without it, well it isn't a good outcome.
The Amazon is It is home to much beautiful flora and fauna, in fact approximately three million species of plants and animals, along with one million indigenous people. Many of these plants and animals are not found anywhere else in the world. The plants will die and animals and people will be caught up in the fires and lose their homes at best.
Land is being cleared by cattle ranchers for land. As land is populated with cattle we have a double down approach. Not only is that land, and the trees, not capturing carbon the cattle on the land are producing methane worsening greenhouse gases.