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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Amazon fires cause panic worldwide

    By Annica Wu

    Staff Writer

       The Amazon Rainforest, in South America, burned over 72,000 square miles in the first eight months of the year, according to BBC News. Deemed “the lungs of the earth”, there were around 87,0000 separate fires since January.

       A report by the Braziallian Federal Government shows there have been over 90,000 active fires in the course of 2019, higher than any year since 2010. Many speculate that the fires were intentionally started to clear trees for farming or to open up areas for cattle to graze.

       “Many blame illegal ranchers for setting the fires and conservation groups believe the crisis is man made. They also believe the Brazillain government has tacitly encouraged people to set the fires in order to clear the land for economic development” states

       National Geographic says,“the Amazon generates around 16 percent of oxygen produced on land”. This means the forest is vital for human survival considering climate change and increase pollution that is already happening

       Furthermore, harmful emissions like carbon monoxide are released as a result of the burning. According to Mayo Clinic, carbon monoxide poisoning, or the buildup of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream,  leading to symptoms like nausea, blurred vision and in some cases, even death. 

       However, the recent burnings may have more political implications than one may think. President of Brazil, Jair Bolsorano has been criticized for his lack of action by locals and the global community, according to BBC news. 

       In the past Bolsonaro allowed burning for clearing land for agriculture or cattle herding, however, in light of the recent fires, “President Bolsonaro’s administration signed a 60-day national decree on August 28th, prohibiting people to light up the fires” states the Verge.

       A trade deal between Brazil and the EU accounted for around 20 percent of Brazallian goods, including tobacco, machinery, and pharmaceutical products.

      According to,  France’s President, Immanual Macron, has spoken out that he will stop the EU trade deal with Brazil because of the lack of action by the Bolsonaro government regarding the fires.

        “Research based on NASA images showed that fires broke out in 131 indigenous reserves” states the Guardian, “15 were home to indigenous groups who are isolated or in stages of initial contact.”

       Ane Alencar, a geographer at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute in Brazil states that Amazonian trees are not adapted to survive fire, one reason fires in the Amazon are so problematic.

       According to CNBC,  the average person can help reduce the impacts of the fires by supporting organizations dedicated to helping the amazon rainforest such as, Rainforest Alliance, Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch. These organizations typically work to protect the forests by taking legal defense for protecting indiginous people who live in the forests who are most impacted by the fires. 

       Protests have gathered to fight the issue. “We can’t stand around waiting for the sky to turn black all the way here in London too,” protester Laura Villares House, 33, said to BCC

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    Amazon fires cause panic worldwide