The Amazon Rainforest is burning

Andrew Lucas / Getty Images

Victoria Loredan

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The Amazon — the lungs of the world, generating more than 20% of the world’s oxygen, located in Brazil– is on fire. On August 19th, a cold front combined with ash from forest fires in the Amazon formed ominous clouds that blocked out the sun. Pictures of the sky started circling around Twitter. These pictures are what have brought attention to the Amazon burning down.

There are many reasons why the Amazon is burning, however, the main instigator was deforestation. Farmers and loggers wanted to quickly clear out the land. To do so, farmers set small controlled fires.

President Jair Bolsonaro was the one who encouraged the farmers and loggers to clear out the land by any means necessary. Bolsonaro had an anti-environmental policy. He cut down the budget by 24%, therefore the forest could not be monitored and they couldn’t prevent illegal fires.

“The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” Leonardo DiCaprio says. “The Brazilian Amazon home — to one million indigenous people and three million species — has been burning for more than two weeks straight.”

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The Earth Alliance, an environmental group co-founded by Leonardo DiCaprio, and billionaires Lauren Powell and Brian Seth have announced they will donate $5 million to help the Amazon. The group believes that the prime reason for the forest to be burning is because of deforestation.

The group says,” Large scale cattle operations and feed crops– much of it illegal– along with some impacts from logging, are the primary drivers of deforestation.”

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