#PrayforAmazonia Goes Viral as Blaze Destroys Brazil's Rainforest

People around the world are blasting Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro for his lack of response.


Image via Getty/Mauro Pimentel/AFP


People around the world are using the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia as fires continue to ravage Brazil's rainforest. 

EuroNews reports that these blazes—which have been burning the states of Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, and Mato Grosso for weeks—became so severe that the state of Amazonas was forced to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. Smoke produced by the fires was reportedly so thick that it blocked out the sun in areas across the country, including São Paulo. The fires were also captured by NASA's Aqua satellite about a week ago—images that underscore their massive scale. 

This is the Brazilian environmental policy under president Bolsonaro. He doesn't care about life. The Amazon Rainforest's burning for about 3 weeks and nothing's been done. @BadAstronomer @azmoderate #PrayforAmazonia #PrayforRondonia pic.twitter.com/haIrQzFdk9

— Bilu (@olhaoalho) August 20, 2019

Many have expressed concern over the harmful effects the fires will have on residents, animal life, and the natural landscape. As pointed out by Reuters, these blazes have prompted wide-spread criticism of Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the severity of the situation.

"I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame," Bolsonaro told reporters about the backlash. "But it is the season of the queimada."

"Season of the queimada" refers to the time of year when farmers intentionally set fire to the forest for agricultural purposes; however, many have noted that the fires are isolated and that there has been an unprecedented surge in wildfires since Bolsonaro took office in early 2019. During his campaign, Bolsonaro had promised to roll back protections on Brazil's rainforest and indigenous rights, stating the country's natural resources should be exploited in a "reasonable way." 

why do people fail to see that if the Amazon forest dies, WE ALL FUCKING DIE WITH IT. tbh humans deserve what's coming for them the only sad part is all the animals who have inhabited this planet long before we came dying #PrayforAmazonia E a Amazônia pic.twitter.com/bFVPMld5vQ

— LoLo (@AloAld_) August 20, 2019

The Amazon Rainforest has been burning for 3 weeks straight and it’s only just being spoken about. Please, help raise awareness of the death and destruction of many types of wildlife. It’s only a matter of time before the whole rainforest is gone. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/sk4aM5pt7o

— lav/levi !! (@Iavend3r) August 20, 2019

Data shows that deforestation in the Amazon has surged since Bolsonaro assumed office. According to a report by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), about 870 square miles of the Amazon rainforest was destroyed by man-made fires last month, marking a 278-percent increase from July 2018. Bolsonaro called the data "a lie" and subsequently fired INPE's director Ricardo Galvão.

"I am convinced the data is a lie. We are going to call the president of INPE here to talk about this and that’s the end of that issue," he said last month, as reported by the Guardian. "For the first time in the history of Brazil a president of the republic is looking to fulfill with everything he does what he promised during the campaign,” Bolsonaro said. “God willing, everything will work, policies like mine will continue in Brazil forever."

Experts say the combined effects of climate change and deforestation could significantly harm the planet, as the Amazon rainforest plays a huge role in stabilizing the world's carbon emissions.

Earths most important ecosystem has been on fire for two weeks, we just lost the first Icelandic glacier, ocean acidification & heat are at their highest level. We don’t have a couple years anymore, we have months.

Wake up! Think about your kids future. #SpeakUp #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/FQ9zKXFLT0

— Patrick (@patrickflorez3) August 20, 2019

Save the world, we can stop it! Share it#PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/8aD8gwshC2

— Gab ✨ (@gabrielbionde14) August 20, 2019

Shut the fuck up about the chicken sandwiches.. The amazon rainforest has been on fire for the past 3 weeks and we’ve only just found out about it...it’s so bad now that the smoke has reached são paulo and there’s about 2,400km between them #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/Y5EiOIoliE

— Tahlia_kay (@Tahlia__Kay) August 20, 2019

imagine going to the amazon to research its SUSTAINABILITY just to see it BURNING DOWN a year later.

this is the worst. nothing breaks my heart more. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/3cf36x1zaA

— ya boi nick (@nickaneshiro73) August 20, 2019

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