Amazon Fires

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Amazon Fires

Samantha Bilello

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The Amazon has been on fire for decades- but why are we hearing about it now? 

The Amazon is home to one million indigenous people and three million species of plants and animals. With 80,000 fires currently burning in the Amazon, all of these people and species are at risk. 

This year, a huge increase in fires in the Amazon has put one of the world’s most important forests in danger.

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An aerial photo of the Amazon in northwestern Brazil.

While this may not seem like a big deal all the way up in Massachusetts, we are affected too. The smoke from the fires has traveled as far as the Atlantic coast, impacting our quality of air. 

On a bigger scale, the Amazon produces about 6% of our oxygen. 

Not only this, but as the fires burn, more carbon is released into the atmosphere. The release of carbon is a large factor in global warming. 

According to Yale studies, cattle ranching is the cause of 80% of Amazon destruction. These farmers need to clear more and more land in order to keep up with the high demand for soy, beef, and milk products. They do so by burning the forest.

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Picture of fires in Brazil taken on August 27.

The Amazon is undoubtedly burning at an alarming rate- but there are still things you can do to help.

Reduce the amount of beef, soy and palm oil that you consume. When buying these products, check the labels to make sure they were produced in the U.S., not Brazil. 

Know what companies use resources from the Amazon, and do your best to avoid them. A list of companies and brands to avoid are…

  • Stop and shop
  • Costco
  • Walmart
  • McDonald’s
  • State Farm
  • Chase Banking
  • Bank of America
  • Santander

These brands and companies knowingly fund and buy products that were produced in the Amazon. 

The best thing you can do to help the Amazon is to be aware of the problem, and spread the word. Be educated, and educate others. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/follow-money-amazon/597319/

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/americas/brazil-amazon-npw-intl/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-49433767

http://www.mightyearth.org/the-companies-behind-the-burning-of-the-amazon/

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