Wildfires have been blazing around the world all summer, but it's the recent fires in the Amazon that have dominated our headlines this week. It's no surprise that this is a different scale to what we've seen before. We've become accustomed to seeing naturally occurring wildfires through parts of Greece, Portugal, Spain and California every summer. They're intense and horrible, but isolated and thankfully not deliberate.
The Amazon is a heartbeat of our planet and livelihood. It's one of our planet's only coping mechanisms for the CO2 that we as humans incessantly create. It's a vision of perfect nature, with 1/5 of the world's fresh water and 50% of the world's 10 million species of plants and animals. Seeing it be deliberately set alight for the purpose of creating land for livestock agriculture and mining is a heartbreaking reminder of man's greed and selfishness. "Where there is Indigenous land, there is wealth beneath it," said Bolsonaro in 2017, according to a report in Brazilian publication O Estado. "We have to change that."
As well as this "ecocide", Bolsonaro's wildfires also mark the continued genocide of the Amazon's indigenous populations. Swathes of public land rapidly becomes privatised, displacing long-established communities who have relied on this land for their livelihood and homes.
The feeling of the Amazon being a distant problem which doesn't affect us is entirely wrong. It is our responsibility as global citizens to fight for the survival and protection of the Amazon and all forests around the world. So we unashamedly have a call to action for you all. We hope you'll join us in these steps to make a positive difference:
2. Protest by supporting Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace
3. Cut down your beef consumption (although it's worth noting that the UK doesn't really import Brazilian beef. 24% of Brazilian beef is exported to Hong Kong, with China and the United Arab Emirates following close behind)
4. Raise awareness. Please share this link, share others' posts, keep reading, and don't forget when something else hits the headlines next week.