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The Amazon is burning and no one is talking about it

The Amazon is burning and no one is talking about it

The Amazon has been burning for the past three weeks, with fires destroying habitats, animals and precious botanics. The Amazon also accounts for 20% of the worlds Oxygen and for his reason is often referred to as the earths lung. People frequently blame the dry season for the wildfires in the Amazon, but that is not quite accurate, "The dry season creates the favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident," Setzer said. 

Instead, it's likely that this sudden increase in fires is due to human activity, in order to clear space for cattle ranching and illegal farming, farmers burn land so it can then be used to graze. This has been encouraged by the relatively new president of Brazil, the far right Bolsonaro, who is a climate science denier as well as pro-farming, logging and mining- thus emboldening illegal activities in the region.

Early 73,000 fires were recorded between January and August, compared with 39,759 in all of 2018, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said on Monday. The surge marks an 83 percent increase over the same period last year and is the highest since INPE records began in 2013.

 

"There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average," said INPE researcher Alberto Setzer.

Asked about the agency's findings, Bolsonaro brushed off widespread concerns, saying it was the time of the year of the "queimada" or burn, when farmers use fire to clear land.

"I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada," he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Satellite images spotted more than 9,500 new forest fires since Thursday alone, mostly in the Amazon basin, home to the world's largest tropical forest and seen as vital to slowing the pace of global warming. The flames and destruction was so bad that the city of San Paolo was dark at 2 pm from the dust of fire some 9,500 km away

The news has prompted a viral campaign on social media, with users sharing photos of the fires with the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia.