Social media users around the world are trying to draw the attention of people to the Amazon rainforest that has been taken on by fires for several weeks now, which can even be seen from space. This is being done by using the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia, which has gone viral in a very short time in the online world.
The scale of the Siberian wildfires is underlined by this animation of the huge area of the smoke cloud: more than 5 million km².
For comparison, the EU is about 4.5 million km² and the contiguous US about 8.1 million km².
(Via @anttilip of @IlmaTiede)pic.twitter.com/RDhntqaDEO
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) 12 Αυγούστου 2019
From the other side of Earth, here’s the latest on the Amazonia fires 🌳
Produced by @CopernicusEU’s atmosphere monitoring service, it shows the smoke reaching the Atlantic coast and São Paulo 🇧🇷
— WMO | OMM (@WMO) 20 Αυγούστου 2019
— Leandro Mota (@leandromota_) 19 Αυγούστου 2019
It is unclear if the fires were caused by deforestation or agricultural activity, as the Euro News reported. The two have accelerated quickly under the Brazilian President, Jair Bosonaro, whose campaign’s most important element was opening of the Amazon to corporate exploitation.
Pontualmente 4h da noite em SP pic.twitter.com/07ZJdUeOM6
— Gianvitor Dias (@Gianvitor) 19 Αυγούστου 2019
People on social media have been accusing the media for not covering this disaster, especially by the fact that Amazon produces around 20% of the world’s oxygen and plays a very big role in absorbing the planet-warming carbon dioxide- which role gave it the nickname “lungs of the Earth”.
The Amazon rainforest has been on fire for weeks, and it’s so bad it’s literally blotting out the sun miles away https://t.co/oDjcECJVgp
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) 20 Αυγούστου 2019
The satellite data gathered from the Brazilian government’s National Space Research Institute (INPE), published in June 2019, showed that the deforestation had risen dramatically under the President Jair, who dismissed this research and decided to fire Ricardo Galvão, INPE director, for defending this published data.
🌎Just a little alert to the world: the sky randomly turned dark today in São Paulo, and meteorologists believe it’s smoke from the fires burning *thousands* of kilometers away, in Rondônia or Paraguay. Imagine how much has to be burning to create that much smoke(!). SOS🌎 pic.twitter.com/P1DrCzQO6x
— Shannon Sims (@shannongsims) 20 Αυγούστου 2019
Lance King/Getty Images
The fires have become so intense that the smoke darkens the sky in the afternoon sky in São Paulo, the most popular city in Brazil.
NASA image, August 11, 2019
NASA image, August 11, 2019
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
— olhaoalho (@olhaoalho) 20 Αυγούστου 2019
Amazon Watch, an advocacy group, blames Bolsonaro for his regime’s attack on the largest rainforest of the world. They are calling this “an international tragedy”.