Issue: More people care about Jeff Bezos’ Amazon than Mother Nature’s


It’s been more than three weeks since the Amazon Rainforest caught fire. However, it hasn’t been until recently that the general public has been aware of the destruction. 

Thanks to social media, specifically Twitter, this has now been a hot topic amongst the general population. 

While it has recently gained interest, this isn’t a new phenomenon this year. 

In 2019, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), there have been 74,155 fires – a majority of which started in the Amazon Rainforest. 

According to the National Public Radio, around half of those fires have started in the last month. 

The total number of fires in Brazil has skyrocketed 80% and is the most since 2013 – the same year the INPE started taking data. 

The trees in the Amazon produce approximately 2 billion tons of oxygen, or 20% of Earth’s oxygen supply. 

Not only does the fire affect the rainforest, it is also impacting Brazilian cities.

On Aug. 19, the sky of São Paulo, a city that is more than 1,700 miles away from the Amazon Rainforest, turned dark at 2 p.m. While the smoke over the city was found to be a product of the weather’s cold fronts, it still caused concern among citizens. 

The visible effects go beyond Brazil’s biggest city. NASA satellites have been able to show smoke from the Amazon fires.

However, the destruction of the Amazon benefits some. 

Mikaela Weisse, a manager at the World Resources Institute, told the Washington Post that there is economic interest from soybean growers and cattle grazers. 

Weisse also concluded that the Amazon Rainforest “confirms the idea that it’s mostly due to humans.” 

The article went on to say that “mining, timber and development firms are also eyeing the region for expansion, encouraged by (Jair) Bolsonaro’s election.” 

Since Bolsonaro’s election, he has championed for not protecting the rainforest and instead seeing the area as a prospect for economic development. 

At the G-7 meeting in France, countries proposed $22 million in relief on Monday, August 26, but Bolsonaro angrily rejected the help and demanded an apology from French President Emmanuel Macron. 

On August 27, Brazil accepted $12 million in aid from the United Kingdom.  

Despite the aid, the problem remains: we need to save the Amazon Rainforest. 

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.