For months, one of the biggest natural resources that our dying planet has left was slowly being decimated by flames. The Amazon Rainforest, located primarily in Brazil in South America, is one of the largest areas of biodiversity. Not only that, but the sheer amount of plant life there has led to it gaining the nickname "the lungs of the world."
But recently, this stunning (and essential) part of the world was under siege by a truly enormous and destructive forest fire. Horrifying photos show the extent of the disaster. And some suspect that this tragedy is far from accidental.
Some celebrities, such as Leonardo DiCaprio posted online about the fires to raise awareness. DiCaprio also donated $5 Million to tackle the fires.
However now, Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro has accused DiCaprio of being behind the fires! Keep scrolling to find out more.
Located in the north of South America, the Amazon Rainforest is an outstanding area in nature.
via: Getty ImagesNot only is it known for being visually incredible, but the area supports some of the widest varieties of wildlife on Earth. Plus, the sheer amount of carbon dioxide inhaling plants there means that it helps to clean the air for the entire planet.
But, for many years, the Amazon has been in trouble.
via: Getty ImagesLarge areas of the beautiful natural area have been destroyed for human gain, either for the building of roads, the farming of cattle, or simply to make more space for towns and cities.
But the most recent destruction of the Amazon is perhaps the most galling.Since January this year, the Amazon has been consistently on fire. During August things got even worse when the Amazon Rainforest was rampaged by an enormous and terrifying forest fire.
For some reason, this fire didn't attract many headlines at first.
The Amazon Rainforest is burning. The Amazon Rainforest is burning. I repeat, THE AMAZON RAINFOREST IS BURNING. C… https://t.co/JN0I6Qwpgw— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1566306641.0
Then the news started to gain traction.
The #AmazonRainforest , The lungs of the earth, has been burning for 3-weeks straight and there is very little medi… https://t.co/HpczsXYwjl— Aesthetic Sharer ZHR (@Aesthetic Sharer ZHR)1566384150.0
Every minute that the fire burns...
The Amazon rainforest has been burning for 3 weeks! We are on the verge of losing it completely if the fire isn't p… https://t.co/MjsjobvT7D— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded)1566308948.0
But the burning forest snaps aren't the only horrific images shared.
🌎Just a little alert to the world: the sky randomly turned dark today in São Paulo, and meteorologists believe it’s… https://t.co/OQv4cbdfUl— Shannon Sims (@Shannon Sims)1566266657.0
And some of the most terrifying pictures?
The Amazon Rainforest is literally being burned to the ground and the smoke is already coming to Sao Paulo. That's… https://t.co/jLTJ7xhd7r— Foxy Tobe (@Foxy Tobe)1566248832.0
The shots look like something from a horror film.
São Paulo, 3:30 PM #gothamcity https://t.co/KyR1YOGg8q— Leandro Mota (@Leandro Mota)1566239375.0
Just look at this.
There’s more: some São Paulo residents collected rain yesterday when the sky turned dark (from a combination of a c… https://t.co/P1MU1mwaMv— Shannon Sims (@Shannon Sims)1566363920.0
Locals shared other frightening images.
Essa é a cor da água de chuva que caiu aqui em Mauá/SP #SP1 https://t.co/O0ptafZW9P— Fabíola (@Fabíola)1566315462.0
GENTE... vocês viram que choveu agua preta?? Serio sem brincadeira nenhuma! Por isso o céu tava muito estranho.. cr… https://t.co/191S3etz29— Frɑn⁷ ᴮᴱ by Nɑmjoon (@Frɑn⁷ ᴮᴱ by Nɑmjoon)1566267953.0
And some have pointed out this worrying fact.
This is Sao Paulo today, 4PM. The cloud from the burning of Amazon rainforest in Rondonia, covered the city. Sao P… https://t.co/PHp8xdNOEq— Beyond the Shadows (@Beyond the Shadows)1566243479.0
NASA also shared yet more horrifying images.
via: NASAThese pictures show the sheer volume of smoke that's been released into the atmosphere - along with the great distances that it has spread to and covered.
Many believed that the Amazon was essentially fireproofed.
via: NASAThe fact that it's a rainforest gives us a clue as to how much humidity and moisture it contained. The fact that it's burning up like kindling is truly shocking.
But environmental changes over the years left it vulnerable.
via: NASAOne huge attributing factor to this fire's power is the number of droughts that the area has experienced over the years. On top of this, Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has ignored pleas to take better care of the region.
There are other huge worries, too.
10% of all know species are native to the amazon rainforest, we could literally lose SO many animals and plants but… https://t.co/8JKncFll69— beth (@beth)1566339840.0
Many are concerned about one man in particular.
via: Getty ImagesSince he came to power, the extremely right-wing President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has voiced some pretty worrying opinions about the environment.
He's a man known for prioritizing profit.And some of his campaign promises revolved around making Brazil more economically powerful. The problem is that he appears not to care about the other costs of making money.
Which means that he's more than happy to destroy the Amazon for money.Many cattle ranchers are keen to purchase large areas of rainforest land in order to raise cows for meat. The problem is, once the rainforest is gone, it will never grow back.
But that doesn't seem to matter to Bolsonaro.
dont pretend like the amazon being on fire is a devastating side affect of climate change or even an accident in an… https://t.co/bBXsefNQs6— baby_ski says: ACAB (@baby_ski says: ACAB)1566426777.0
Which is a pretty frightening thought.The idea that someone would prioritize money over life on Earth seems hard to comprehend. But it also means action by the rest of the world is all the more urgent.
Others suspect that things run even deeper.
Weird how the indigenous women of the Amazon won their case and now the fucking place is on fire. That’s not a coin… https://t.co/igpRDkUdwA— Cherish Autumn Feather (@Cherish Autumn Feather)1566487018.0
And some want institutional action to be taken.
The deliberate fires in the Amazon should be treated as war crimes against humanity and prosecuted in the Hague— Sue Hubbard (@Sue Hubbard)1566558306.0
Because, more than just affecting innocent animals and indigenous people...The destruction of the Amazon is something that will have an adverse effect globally. Some have even proposed it to be something of an early indicator of the apocalypse. Cheery stuff, we know.
And one indigenous woman has spoken out.
People are deliberately starting fires in the #AmazonRainforest to illegally deforest indigenous land for cattle ra… https://t.co/6I73qzmsGC— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)1566397344.0
So, is there any hope to be gleaned from this story?
Protests outside Brazilian embassies in Dublin, London, Berlin and Madrid in solidarity with Indigenous communities… https://t.co/4hFNecLIQ3— XR Cambridge (@XR Cambridge)1566558389.0
Leonardo DiCaprio pledged a lot of money.
via: Getty ImagesThe star-studded actor has pledged to donate 5 million dollars to aid the efforts to put out the horrific fires.
He made the announcement through "Earth Alliance."
#EarthAlliance has formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund with $5m to focus critical resources for indigenous commu… https://t.co/O8tXO74aEI— Earth Alliance (@Earth Alliance)1566748593.0
This isn't the first time that he has done his bit for the environment...
Leo made sure that all of his followers knew how important this fight is.
He made the first comment in a Facebook live video.The Guardian, Bolsonaro made the unsubstantiated claim against DiCaprio in a Facebook live video. He reportedly said:
Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon.Then boom, 24 hours later, he made a second comment.
He made the comment to reporters.
Leonardo DiCaprio doou USD 300.000 para a ONG que tocou fogo na Amazônia, a ONG @WWF pagou R$ 70.000 pelas fotos da… https://t.co/9UWXonkgpx— Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷 (@Eduardo Bolsonaro🇧🇷)1574946440.0
This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.And then Bolsonaro's son got involved tweeting that DiCaprio had donated $300,000 to ‘the NGO that set fire to the Amazon’.