The Amazon fires in Brazil are poisoning our air and destroying our planet at a time when lung health is already more important than ever
Miranda B. / The Care2 Petitions Team
(September 13, 2020) — The fires blazing in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest this year are beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. Every year — and now, it seems, every month — it gets worse as more and more people intentionally set fire to the lush, rare habitat that is the Amazon to provide the food that you and I eat. But now more than ever, we need the Amazon rainforest, which is frequently referred to as “the Earth’s lungs.”
As this critical ecosystem burns to the ground, not only is climate change ramping up, but the air quality is also declining. Now, the pollution has gotten so bad, people in Brazil are getting sick and dying from it.
A recent study shows that the situation has intensified so drastically, there are now thousands of air quality-related hospitalizations in the country just because of the fires alone. This could not come at a worse time, since we are already in the middle of a global respiratory pandemic and Brazil is suffering some of the worst COVID-related fatality rates in the world.
The report explains that President Jair Bolsonaro, his administration, and their failure to do anything to stop these human-caused fires are directly at fault for all of this sickness and death.
Brazilians can’t afford any more illnesses, and the global community can’t afford any more greenhouse gas-emitting deforestation. These fires must end now.
Brazil is already suffering one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, and now people are dropping dead from fire-related pollution. Demand a ban on human-created fires that are destroying the Amazon rainforest!
Rainforests: Our Wonder Weapon Against Climate Change
Maggie Martin / Rainforest Action Network
(September 12, 2020) — Forests are life. We all need them to survive: from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the food we eat.
But rainforests do something critical for us that we don’t see: They’re our most important solution to the climate crisis!
Rainforests regulate global temperatures and absorb massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere — one of the key drivers of climate change — and store it safely underground.
When Big Agribusiness destroys and burns our rainforests, they release all of that stored carbon into the atmosphere — AND they’ve destroyed the very trees that would have continued to store carbon in the future. It’s a double disaster they’re causing, and that makes Big Agriculture one of the greatest threats to our climate. This is why we need to keep forests standing, now more than ever.
The world around us is literally on fire — from California’s wildfires to the massive rainforest fires in Indonesia and the Amazon — we need to take urgent action.
Brands you know, like Unilever, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble, and big banks like Chase and MUFG are knowingly profiting from companies that are burning down and bulldozing our rainforests.
That’s right, they’re making money from stealing the very air you breathe and the water you drink.
Every day, every minute, thousands of square feet of rainforest are being intentionally set on fire, bulldozed and destroyed to gain cheap land for the palm oil, pulp, soy and beef industries. Indigenous and local communities are losing land vital to their livelihoods and culture, irreplaceable habitat for endangered orangutans, elephants and jaguars is being destroyed — and with every tree that goes up in smoke we’re losing our fight against climate change.
Join me in our fight to keep forests standing — and protect our climate.
Maggie Martin is RAN’s Senior Forest Campaigner.