Fires Rage on in the Amazon Rainforest

Shannon Goldhahn

The Amazon Rainforest has been burning now for several weeks and still the Brazilian government refuses to accept aid.
As of Sept. 5, “93,000 fires were alight in the Brazilian Amazon” according to National Geographic. This is a dramatic increase and is the highest number since 2010. Normally wildfires occur in areas of drought, instead these wildfires are staying consistent with areas of deforestation.
There has been a sudden increase in deforestation ever since newly elected Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office in Jan. of 2019. As an anti-environmental leader, Bolsonaro pushed for reducing regulations on the Amazon for a more profitable economy. At the time, people could set these fires in order to clear land for crops, residential areas, or animal stock.
Due to the intense amount of pressure from environmental activists around the world, President Bolsonaro, has recently declared a ban on setting fires for land clearing for 60 days.
President Bolsonaro has accepted few offers of aid from abroad. The G7, an organizational consisting of the leading seven economies, has recently offered $22 million. President Bolsonaro has declined the gracious offer because of a dispute between Brazil and France, one of the countries within the G7.
Most people as of right now are furious with President Bolsonaro decision.
“Some people believe these problems will just go away education is the only answer for people to become factually aware,” said Bucks Environmental Science and Ecology Professor Michael Bernarsky with a disgruntled look.
While President Bolsonaro is refusing most of the aid offered to reduce the number of wildfires, the Amazon is still burning.
“The rainforest contains 50-70 percent of the biodiversity on the planet,” added Bernarsky.
The Amazon also removes an abundant amount of carbon dioxide in the air while at the same time producing six percent of our daily oxygen.
Biodiversity is the variety of life throughout an ecosystem. In the Amazon, most of the life that lives there have yet to be even discovered. Researchers are discovering hundreds of organisms every day to learn more about our planet while also inventing new items that could help us.
The Amazon is also home to many indigenous peoples that continually live there. The natives are losing their homes while more and more of the rainforest is being burned away for more profits, like soybeans. Even though their home are being destroyed, the indigenous people are still contributing to the research of certain medical properties.
For example, about 7,000 medical properties that are used for western medicine come from plants. About 3,000 of these plants can have anti-cancerous material. Meaning that while these wildfires are running rampage, we could be losing possible solutions to solving cancer that have yet to be discovered.
There are multiple other plant derived medicines that could help or even cure certain diseases, such as: malaria, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, even something as simple as a headache.
“The Amazon is a sink for potential pharmaceutical molecules,” said Bernarsky.
The Amazon holds an infinite amount of knowledge that has yet to be even discovered while we are ignorantly throwing it away so we can have one last Happy Meal.
As Professor Bernarsky put it, “The green dollar may be the demise of the green Earth.”