Perhaps the biggest story in the news everyone should be paying attention to right now are the wildfires in the Amazon. The Amazon is known as the lungs of the world as it helps trap carbon and produces a large amount of the oxygen we breathe. No wonder so many people are incredibly concerned with the wildfire burning out of control.
As the G7 is underway in France, many of the leaders have announced that they will join in the efforts to help stop the fire. It’s going to take a lot of work to repair the damage, if anything can even be done at all. This is a major ecological disaster of tremendous proportions and it’s going to impact our planet for a long time. The devastation is widespread and continues to grow.
President Trump is one of the G7 leaders who announced that they would be helping out in the fight. The president wrote on Twitter: “Just spoke with President @JairBolsonaro of Brazil. Our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong, perhaps stronger than ever before. I told him if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand ready to assist! I told him that if the United States can help with the Amazon Rainforest fires, we stand by ready to assist!”
Greenpeace revealed that the cost is higher than just a forest that’s burning. The fires are claiming the lives of every type of wildlife that survives in the Amazon. “This is not just a forest that is burning,” said Rosana Villar of Greenpeace. “This is almost a cemetery. Because all you can see is death.”
Donations are Pouring In
The Amazon is important to the entire world. It’s not just that it’s the ‘lungs of the world’, but a large percentage of our pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants that live exclusively in the Amazon. As many as 40 different types of plants make up 25% of the drugs we sell in the United States. These are medications like aspirin and taxol, a cancer treatment drug.
The cost of the wildfire can’t necessarily be totaled up just yet considering the fires are still burning, but surely there will be an economic cost to Brazil. It’s not just big pharma that’s going to feel the pressure. Brazil exports juices, tobacco, oils, and coffee that all come from the Amazon region. How these industries will be impacted is currently unknown.
Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $5 million via Earth Alliance to help cover the costs of putting the fire out and preserving the Amazon rainforest. Fires are used to clear the land to make room for farming. It’s these fires that are getting out of control and rapidly expanding. Fires aren’t uncommon in the region though, as lightning is frequent in this region of the world.
Either way, the cost is going to be catastrophic.