Burning forests: Leaving environment and indigenous people to the ashes

The Amazon is burning. The Amazon is burning and for the first two weeks there was little to no media coverage. People were finding out through their friends on social media who suddenly started posting about the massive fires in the Brazilian rainforest. 

Deforestation occurs in the Amazon every year. Controlled fires are the most efficient ways to destroy trees and farmers commonly use this method to make room for planting and pasture, according to an article in Time Magazine. While it is still being speculated and has not been officially confirmed, this is most likely what started the fires we are hearing about now.

Deforestation is also used for highways and mining. Fires in the rainforest are not new. However, now that the number of fires is increasing, along with the size and reach of the fires, the world is becoming more concerned with environmental impacts and what this means for the indigenous people of the Amazon.

There should have been more news coverage of the fires from the start. For two weeks, the forest was burning and hardly anyone knew about it, which is unacceptable. Now that people actually do know about it, there are arguments about how the fires started, which I also find ridiculous. This was not a natural fire. It was a deliberate act in a continuation of the process of deforestation. In the end, it all comes down to greed. Indigenous people’s rights are constantly compromised by farmers, businesses and politicians, who try to take, give and use land that is not rightfully theirs.

The environment is being compromised and the Brazilian government does not seem to care about that either. Burning trees releases carbon into the atmosphere and lessens the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the rest of the forest. Carbon dioxide is what causes the climate to warm. 

President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has been a problem for environmental activists and indigenous people since he took office, according to CNN. Various measures he has passed or is attempting to pass further infringe upon indigenous people’s rights and threaten the health of the environment. He continues to side with farmers, ranchers and miners, who continue to start fires at the expense of the environment and the people living in the Amazon. 

Though these actions are problematic, it is extremely difficult to convince people that the environment is suffering. It is also difficult to convince people that they are not the only people that live on this Earth. They need to pay attention to the needs and natural rights of others and not just their own wants and greed.