• The Amazon rainforest has been burning for weeks and can be seen from space
  • News sources say it is burning at a record rate
  • The rise in the number of fires is caused by human activity and the lack of action by Brazilian president Bolsonaro
  • This poses a  real threat in the fight against climate change

Wildfire is a natural occurrence in rainforests, especially during the dry seasons. But this time, it’s not so normal. Just recently, Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has been razed to the ground with a fire that’s been going on for weeks now.

Photo courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

It’s so intense, in fact, that NASA reported the damage could be seen from space. It’s crazy, y’all. The Brazil Space Research Institute reports an 84 percent increase in forest infernos from just last year, with nearly 73,000 fires (!!!) in 2019—and the year’s not even done yet. It’s the highest number of forest fires reported yet. The hashtag #PrayForAmazonas is trending globally on Twitter, with over 600,000 mentions.

Photo courtesy  of The Washington Post

The billowing smoke managed to reach Brazil’s São Paulo, blanketing the skies in a dark shroud.

The Amazon is home to hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples as well as innumerable species of plants and animals. Referred to as the planet’s lungs, this rainforest is responsible for 20 percent of oxygen present in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Many reasons are thrown about as to the cause of this devastating fire, foremost of which are climbing deforestation rates. Environmental advocates are placing blame on Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s policies that do nothing to alleviate the exploitation of natural resources, earning him the nickname “Captain Chainsaw.”

Now more than ever, we have to do our part that we leave footprints that have a good impact wherever we go. We’ve given our take on what each of us can do to become responsible travelers in terms of considering more ethical alternatives to harmful tourist attractions and opting for more eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

It’s time to educate others and cultivate a culture of environmental consciousness wherever we can. Be more adamant in simple things like segregation and avoiding using materials that pollute. If you’ve got the cash, now is no better time than any to donate to worthy causes or charities.

Remember, every act creates a ripple that grows larger and larger. If every single person on Earth does their part, it adds up and makes a real change.

We’ve only got one planet. If we don’t take care of it, who will?

Header image by Business Insider

Article cover by Flickr

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