Make The Fires Stop

Forest fires never seem to stop these days. Lately the world’s largest tropical rain forest, the Amazon rain forest, has had plenty of forest fires  resulting up to more than 80,000 fires since January. Recently there have been more than 2,000 fires in the last couple of days. The forest is located in the majority of Brazil and because of these fires, the region has been destroyed drastically, destroying 20% of our oxygen supply, and threatens an increase in climate change.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, “the Amazon should not be protected, and that lands reserved for indigenous peoples should not be recognized.” He believes the land in the Amazon forest should be used for farming, mining, and logging. Bolsonaro doesn’t show much support towards preserving the environment. Recently,  he was caught fishing illegally in a federally protected marine-wildlife reserve called the Tamoios Ecological Station, which is a refuge for penguins, seals, whales, and dolphins in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He later filed for legal permission to allow only himself access to fish freely in the reserve, but it wasn’t granted to him. Bolsonaro has also repeatedly threatened to turn the reserve into an area for tourist hotels.

People all over, including celebrities have been trying to get Bolsonaro to help put an end to these fires, but he is not listening. He had turned away an offer of $20 million in aid to help get rid of the fires in the Amazon and even called on loggers to deforest the Amazon more than it already is. These fires have made this into a global crisis that threatens life in and near the forest and climate change. Even with these problems, Bolsonaro hasn’t shown concern and has denied the medias claims about how serious this is by calling it “fake news” and he continues to believe these fires were set to destroy his image and his government’s image.

Many people and organizations have donated money and supplies and helped spread national awareness using social media. Celebrities are also getting involved in this issue. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, donated $5 million to help, while musician Madonna sent a message to Jair Bolsonaro stating, “President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet” on Instagram.

Hopefully these fires will be stopped in the near future and the Amazon will be restored, or at least salvageable. Most hope to see Jair Bolsonaro finally do something to help put an end to these fires as well.