The Unnatural Death of the Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest covers 2.7 million square miles. This space includes Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Bolivia, Guyana, and Suriname. Cattle takes up the most space. That's beef. The logging industry, palm oil, pineapples, chocolate, coffee beans, bananas, sugar, soy, coconuts, and vanilla are also responsible for this mind-bogglingly rampant deforestation.
We currently lose 150 acres of the Amazon PER MINUTE. And honesty, if this is the "official number," I'm just going to assume it's actually a lot higher. But for the moment, let's just assume it's true. That's 9,000 acres per hour. 14 miles, every hour. In a full 24 hours, we lose up to 336 miles of the Amazon Rainforest. The lungs of our world, earths LARGEST RAINFOREST and home to over 10 million species of animals, plants and insects (that have been discovered), over 300 types of edible fruit alone, and an endless array of medicinal plants - gone. It's also the ancestral home to over 400 tribes, all with their own customs, traditions, and languages. Brazil's portion of the Amazon is home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else in the world. The Basin is very badly quantified (*sarcastic head scratch* I wonder why) but there is an estimated 20 million people who call the Basin home, and have for millennia.
I haven't even mentioned oil spills either, which there were over 7 of in 2016. How many since then? How many before? Finding information on oil spills and their damage to the Amazon River Basin is insanely tricky because people are literally murdered for trying to share the truth about the matter. (see: "They Killed Sister Dorothy" or the Vice documentary “Murder in the Amazon” and wormhole from there).
As a human family, what is going on? The 1% of the world (hi, everyone I know and myself) live in such a constant state of self-importance that causes the turn of an infinite blind eye to the truth. And what's worse is that the system we're in can't really be escaped, because it was built around us. We never walked through any gates to get here, we were just born right into it, and raised to believe it's normal. "Business as usual," which is the ultimate oxymoron.
The modern solution to being upset is taking it to the internet and saying "we" a lot. Like this: "WE MUST DO MORE," and so on. But I'm going to just speak for myself here, and say I'm going to do more. I have to, because right now, simply by the way I live my life, I have so much blood and oil on my hands. I'm responsible for the murder of the earth, because I have to have things just so. I've been raised to think this, not by the evil of any one person or people, but just because I happen to live in a place that is privileged and kept far away from the larger realities. Because of sustained cultural ignorance. I don't know what I can do to reverse anything on my own. What I do intend to do is live in a way that I know will create a difference for myself, my partner, and the little person who lives with us half of the week. The most powerful thing I can possibly do is live by example, and that's a lot harder than just talking about what "we" should do. Really, it's a weird social blaming tactic, and one of personal avoidance. Time to look myself in the face and take responsibility, because this shit is truly the shame of the world made real.
SERA IS A WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, SOLITARY GREEN WITCH AND EARTH DEVOTEE. AS SOMEONE WHO WORKS WITH PLANTS AND LISTENS TO ANIMALS, HER LIFE IS CENTERED AROUND THE COMMUNION AND DEFENSE OF OUR PRECIOUS RESOURCES.
BORN IN MOROCCO, HER FORMATIVE YEARS WERE SPENT IN ENDLESS MOTION ACROSS THE US. ROOTS FINALLY TOOK HOLD IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WHICH IS NOW WHERE SHE CALLS HOME.
Helpful websites if you want to know more: