Amazon Fires: What, Where And Why It Happens, How to Overcome!

Amazon fires
image via flickr

The French President last week described the Amazon fires as an “international crisis” , accusing the Brazilian President of negligence. Obviously, the accusation was countered with another accusation from the Brazilian President. But beyond this politics of accusations and counter-accusations, the more important and grave fact is that Amazon is burning. Even graver fact is that, with the burning of Amazon is burning the prospect of a habitable world.

Currently, thousand of fires are burning in Amazon, the world’s biggest rainforest in South America. The clouds of smoke which have covered across the region of incidence are pumping alarming quantities into the world’s atmosphere.

Although Amazon fires are annual visitors, the intensity has been far greater this time than usual. For instance, in the most affected area in Amazonas, a Brazilian state, the peak day this month was seven times higher than the average of the same date over the past 15 years

What Causes Amazon Fires?

Amazon fires are mostly agricultural, either farmers burning stubble after harvest or clearing forest area for cropland. Another more ominous reason is illegal land grabbing which destroys forestation and trees in order to increase the value of the seized land. The Amazon fires are very unlikely to caused by natural causes like lightening.

Unfortunately, there is no one to be blamed solely for these fires. There are many factors in which politics is one. Lately, things worsened during the first 8 months of new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who weakened the environment agency while promoting the opening of the Amazon to mining, farming and logging. The far-right leader also attacked the conservation NGOs and dismissed satellite data on deforestation, besides firing the head of the space agency.

What Effects Amazon Fires Could Have?

Although the fires potentially contain catastrophic harm of global nature, there remains misinformation among the public about the more realistic effects of the damage. For instance, the report that the entire forest is ablaze is not true as Satellite monitoring experts believe and quoted by Guardian. Social media is largely a culprit for spreading the misinformation. In addition, some environmental scientists contest the usual claim that Amazon rain-forests are responsible for the 20% of the world’s oxygen. The scientists like Michael Mann and Jonathan Folay claim the true figure might be no more than 6%.

However, it hardly trivializes the gravity of harm these fires are causing as these are mostly manmade crisis and are contributing to a nightmarish trend: deforestation.

Is there a Way out?

It is a catastrophic dilemma that the today’s world, which needs billions of more trees to absorb rising levels of carbon dioxide, is on the verge of losing its biggest rain-forest. Currently, the situation is bleak. In this July, deforestation increased to the highest level in the last decade. According to preliminary satellite data from Brazil’s space agency, trees were being cleared at the rate of five football pitches every single minute. Environmentalist predict a bleak scenario that this year could be the first in 10 years in which 10,000 sq. km of Amazon are lost.

Actually, the situation had been far worse in the preceding decades, particularly in 1990s and early 2000s. But Brazil won international Kudos after that by slowing deforestation by 80% between 2005 and 2014. It was only after that the reversal of the gains started. Deforestation crept up in the past five years under the predecessors of Jair Bolsonaro. But it further accelerated during the current period of the right-wing leader.

However, this is not just about him or Brazil alone. There are other countries like Bolivia where forest fires are not uncommon.

As far as the way out is concerned, it is not something uncontrollable mainly because it is a man-made factor. The optimism lies with the growing conscious of the global community as the Amazon fires have drawn a universal concern. The UN leader and many world leaders have expressed their deepest concerns. More reforestation is the utmost need of the hour. The more important in this regard is that universal concern regarding these fires should be translated in adequate measures like drawing down carbon emission level.

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About Staff Writer

My focus is on politics, history, religion, and philosophy of life. I present news analysis and opinion on current affairs and occasionally produce satire articles

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