What does the burning Amazon rainforest Teach us?

Photo by Vincent Maret on Unsplash

The murky future of the world is inevitable with the current rate of Global warming and Climate change. World leaders are actively and heavily funding to curb the causes for this seemingly inexorable crisis.
Climate change is not a one-off instance but a process and has been happening over the years, Global warming being the major contributing factor.

Amazon wildfires have been a real concern for environmentalists around the globe. 2020 had seen a substantial increase in the number of wildfires. The wildfires are contributing to the warming and Global warming, in turn, has triggered the wildfires, in reality, this is a catch 22 situation.

Unless the global leaders do not attempt a conscious effort in curtailing these causes, the future generations of this planet are in trouble.

To understand the depth of the crisis, it is necessary to have a sneak peek at the History of deforestation.

Brazil as the largest meat producer

The amazon rainforest extends for an area of 5 million sq. km and is the world’s largest habitat for many species that scientists are yet to discover. To improve the economy, the Brazilian govt. started distributing free lands and aided local farmers to migrate deep inside the forest. This was seen as the initial major step of slow invasion into the rainforest. These free lands were initially used as pastures to raise cattle and slowly moved into soybean cultivation.

During the 1980s, the soybean market was booming, and Brazil became quite competitive in this because the farmers had acres of land for soybean cultivation. The entire farmer community was busy converting their pastureland into a soybean field and apparently, the country became the leading exporter of soybean.

Meanwhile, the consumption of meat was exponentially increasing in the global market and there was a constant demand for it. Brazil, wanting to expand its footprints in the world economy, saw this as an opportunity and invaded the rainforest further deep. The local farmers started raising cattle for their meat and dairy. With the growing demand for meat, Brazil was seen as the largest supplier in this market.

Taking advantage of the massive landscape of the Amazon, the Brazilian govt. exploited the rainforest to meet the various demands of the global market. Environmentalists were really concerned by more and more infiltration into the Amazon, and a strong voice of protest began against the government. The voice became so loud that it started echoing around the globe.

Role of politics

With the growing awareness around the world about the rainforest invasion, and its serious environmental impact, the govt. was forced to curb further expansion by the local farmers. With stricter policies and regulations, by 2012 the expansion was curtailed by 47%.

In the meantime, the influence of the Ruralists(local political party) in the Brazilian congress was slowly increasing. The Ruralists are large landholders and their representatives. This party’s primary agenda was to increase the export economy of the country and exploit the rainforest. The govt.’s decision in 2012 to bring down illegal occupancy of the forest, irked the ruralists as they feared its Economical impact.

By 2016, almost 44% of the congress was ‘The Ruralists’. Gradually, the party started influencing congress. By 2018, a few Departmental changes were done within the govt. structure and ‘Forest ministry’ came under the governance of ‘Agriculture ministry’.

Now, with both Agriculture and Forests, under the control of the Ruralists, the country revived its global export market.

Expansion deepened.

The environmental impact

Per the research, forests are the nature-provided carbon sink as they absorb co2 and release oxygen. The Amazon rainforest, for its massive landscape, can obliterate around 7.6 billion metric tons of co2 every year. Now, when such a massive amount of trees are removed from the planet, the ecosystem is disturbed. This imbalance creates an increase in temperature. With the increasing temperature, the world saw significant wildfires by 2019 causing massive loss of trees. NASA’s pictures started tracking the wildfires and ‘Amazon burning’ became international headlines.

“The world has enough for man’s need but not enough for man’s greed!”- said Mahatma Gandhi.

The greed of a few groups of people cannot put the entire humanity at risk.

The Analogy

The Human body is the miniature of the entire universe. Research shows that the composition of the human body is strikingly similar to that of the universe. The Lungs of the human body helps in bringing in the fresh air and stashing away toxic ones. Amazon Rainforest believed to be the ‘lungs of nature’ reported a maximum of forest fires in August of 2019.

Inadvertently, the world reported the outbreak of ‘COVID-19’ in December 2019 affecting the lungs primarily. Isn’t this incident not enough to admit that nature cannot be overpowered. The natural ecosystem that we are a part of, is beautifully symbiotic. When this balance is disturbed, the whole of humanity suffers.

It is high time humanity realizes and understands that nature and mankind are inseparable.

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