We didn’t start the fire. . . oh wait, we did

No matter how much money it makes you, burning the Amazon is still a bad idea

By Ben Frederick

Mankind is slowly destroying nature. Every year, more fields, forests and habitats are damaged, leaving less of our Earth for future generations to enjoy.

Now, one of the largest remaining rainforests, the Amazon, has fallen victim to man’s destructive tendencies once again.

The number of fires that have occurred in the region this year has nearly tripled compared to years past. Even worse, the rainforest is rapidly shrinking due to deforestation motivated by agriculture and livestock industries.

One can’t even argue that forest fires occur naturally, and that much of this may just be environmental alarmism. Almost all the fires in the Amazon are manmade. People are putting their own self-interest in front of the needs of the environment and animals living there. These farms better be the Rolls-Royce of the agriculture industry if they’re going to destroy one of the most biologically diverse places in the world.

This needs to stop. These natural habitats deserve to be protected and preserved, not just used to make money for the minority.

The most frustrating aspect of this issue is that those with the power to protect the Amazon are doing nothing to help the situation.

It is rumored that the forest fires ravaging the Amazon are started in order to clear away land for development and motivate the Brazilian government to push back environmental regulations in these areas.

The Brazilian government should be taking measures to stop this. However, the government of Brazil has already removed many protections for this area and slashed the budgets for the agencies in charge of overseeing environmental issues in the country.

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has made it clear that they will do what they think is best for the rainforest. The problem is, what they believe is best for this region is at odds with the country’s goal of developing a thriving agriculture and livestock industry.

The irony of it all lies in the fact that the Amazon is one of Brazil’s greatest assets, so much so that they’re willing to destroy it. I know; it’s laughable.

This line of reasoning is also indicative of a wider issue: humanity has been destroying the planet for hundreds of years. The effects of this negligence is finally catching up to us, and the realization of these mistakes is lagging far behind the need to do something about the problem.

Forests aren’t just burning. Ocean levels are rising. Hurricanes are ensuing. Species are dying. It would be naive to think that we won’t soon be one of those species if nothing is done about the issue.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to have a reasonable discussion about environmental protection because it is rarely framed properly. Rather than seeing environmental protection as something that should be celebrated and strived for, people tend to view it as a sign of weakness, that we have somehow been overpowered by our dependency on mother nature. Believe it or not, we call it “mother” nature for a reason.

No man should value his own self and prosperity over the millions of creatures and organisms living in those areas.

We are trying to fix those mistakes and protect the planet more. However, it makes it very difficult when the country in charge of the area does not even value its protection.

At the G7 summit, several countries volunteered to donate $20 million in total to help protect the rainforest and stop these fires. Bolsonaro initially refused these offers, calling the countries imperialist and accusing them of trying to treat Brazil like a colony.

At a later point, the Brazilian president said he would agree to accept the help if the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, apologized to the country of Brazil and to him.

This is completely idiotic. Why any country would decline much-needed help with a major catastrophe is beyond me. This just proves that the country of Brazil does not care about nature at all and just looks to make money at its expense. The president of France should not have to apologize for doing a good act, and Brazil should want to protect its own rain forest.

If they do not, they will discover in the end when all the trees are gone, you cannot eat money.