Let’s speak for the trees by talking about the Amazon

Kendall Harrison, Sports Editor

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“I speak for the trees!” claimed the Lorax, arguably Dr. Seuss’s most famed character. “I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.” These iconic lines were uttered during the unfortunate destruction of his forest and home. 

Activists around the world are saying the very same after the Amazon Rainforest caught fire. Earlier this year it began burning at an alarming rate, and it continues to do so.

The Amazon is responsible for producing 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen, and housing 10 percent of the plant and animal species on the planet. So why is no one talking about this? 

The earth would still have enough oxygen to survive if the Amazon burnt down, but the fire is still releasing immense amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that are so harmful to the environment into the air.

In fact, greenhouse gasses are responsible for the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. 

In many cases, it’s actually important for forests to have fires. It replenishes the area and makes good ground for more growth and vegetation. 

However, according to National Geographic, the Amazon is “not built for fire.”

Several small fires spark in the Amazon every year, but they are “low to the ground” and quickly put out by rain. This year, the fire is largely man-made and the indigenous species in the area are suffering. 

Say you don’t care about the effects this could have on the atmosphere. There are still 10 million species at stake here, and regardless of how smart something may be, nothing is adapted to fire.

Rainforests hold 50 percent of plant and animal species in the world, and if the Amazon goes, who’s to say the other rainforests aren’t next? Mammals, amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles, and plants alike are in danger of extinction due to this fire.

This raging fire isn’t the only destruction that the Amazon is facing. In Brazil, where 60 percent of the Amazon resides, deforestation is encouraged for livestock and ranching. So, the fire won’t be the end of the danger for these species.

 The colorful biodiversity that the Amazon rainforest has to offer is one of the most beautiful things in this world, and it’s heartbreaking that millions of the species that are responsible for this colorfulness may cease to exist in the coming years.

It’s issues like these that are truly important. Who cares about the new Snapchat update, or who just got signed to the Falcons when the earth is literally on fire?

In an effort to combat the growing flames, the U.N. is urging Brazil’s government to restore its environmental policies that once protected the Amazon. 

Other groups like Instituto Socioambiental and Friends of the Earth are starting funds to help rescue forest dwellers and preserve the Amazon’s biodiversity. 

Efforts like these are helping protect the Amazon and its animal and plant populations. However, this process is slow, and the fire is continuing to burn wildly. 

This is why it’s so important for the public to be aware of the devastation this fire is causing. The more the public becomes involved, the more money is raised and the more precautions are taken to prevent future disasters like this. Without our help, one of the earth’s most unique and beautiful biomes will be lost along with its inhabitants.