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Silence surrounding forest fires poses burning question: Why aren’t we doing more?

Nearly 40,000 fires have been burning for weeks in the Amazon rainforest. There have been about 74,000 fires nationwide in Brazil alone. The smog has become so thick that nightfall comes far too early in Brazil’s Sao Paulo. Researchers at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) say that this is the worst the fires have ever been since they started keeping

records in 2013.

The exact cause of the fires is hard to pinpoint, but scientists at the INPE suspect that dangerous deforestation methods and an unusually hot and dry summer have contributed. Considering the fact that the Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen, many are worried about the effects the fire will have on the environment.

“There will be some serious effects, even though we might not feel it physically,” said M/W senior Johanna Rodriguez. “Not only will the air be changed, but so many animals unique to the Amazon will lose their homes and possibly become endangered. If these damaging methods aren’t changed, they will continue to use them… causing even more damage than before.”

While the toxic smog has had drastic effects on the environment, the emotional smog of the fires has caused a great upset on social media. Many students at King’s have taken to Instagram or Twitter to address the issue. However, some feel these responses are just words. M/W senior Ashlyn Gonczi said, “It’s all just Instagram posts, which is like, ‘Okay great... you’re spreading awareness, but what are you actually doing.’”

Agreeing with Gonczi, Rodriguez said, “Knowing that we have the power and influence to take care of the world, I think we should take action instead of waiting for others to take care of it.”

Rodriguez and Gonczi encourage people to get off

social media and start taking action. One of the biggest things Christians can do is pray. Prayer is a powerful tool that the Lord uses to bring glory to Him. Another way to help is by donating to charities like The Amazon Conservation Team, or even contacting their elected officials.

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