Amazon on Fire
It's shocking to see that coverage is finally being offered on the horrendous fires taking place in the Amazon rainforest . . . only three weeks after they've begun in force. With some sites stating deforestation is estimated to be up almost 90% year over year, it's impossible not to have the consequences to our future in mind.
Having lived in Venezuela and having spent some time in parts of the Amazon rainforest, as well as having done some heavy research on the subject of deforestation and the Amazon in general for my Creation series, this is a topic I follow with some passion.
Let me first state it is impossible to describe the awe-inspiring beauty and sheer immensity of the Amazon. Trust me, I've tried in three books, and though I considered the setting almost a character in and of itself, words fail to fully capture the majesty of that land. It really is like stepping onto another planet, and is such a reminder of what a small part we play in the grand scheme of things. It's hard not to stare out at a sea of trees and not feel insignificant in some small way.
And yet despite our insignificance, we're certainly capable of screwing things up. Greed, food, lumber, money--the reasons for deforestation are many. And though it may seem so far away, like something that's happening on another planet, the consequences have a far reaching impact and WILL affect you and me.
While my books in The Creation Series are certainly fictional, I was reminded of a section I wrote in the concluding book that feels far too close to the truth. In a fictional article at the start of the book, a researcher explains how deforestation has altered the Amazon's climate, causing lengthened dry seasons:
As more tributaries dry up in the Amazon, researchers fear the rainforest will suffer 'mega-droughts' that could last years, tipping the delicate equilibrium of vegetation and climate over an edge to which there may be no end . . . Imagine the consequences should such an occurrence spread throughout our Amazon basin; a rainforest without the ability to replenish itself through rainfall. The end of the world might not be that far off after all.
Hopefully not a prophetic statement.
So what can we do?
First, educate yourself about the topic. Research ways you can make an impact. I've donated proceeds from my first book in The Creation Series to groups looking to protect and reverse trends in the Amazon. We can also call on our local leaders and politicians to act and raise awareness. And, of course, we can reduce our consumption as stewards of the planet we're all a part of.
This article on CNN has other great ideas of ways you can get involved or groups you can donate to (though you'll have to scroll to the end of the article for that info):
The important thing is to start by doing something. Just one thing more than you would have otherwise done. And if we can all get just one more person to do one more thing, imagine the collective power we can truly achieve.
So start today, whether it's just reading up on what's really occurring or researching groups that have a positive environmental impact. One small yet positive change can have a lasting impact.