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The Amazon rainforest is everyone's responsibility

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YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND/GETTY IMAGES


Introduction
The objectives, displayed on the header of this blog, are “curious – creativity – Innovation – Research”. Usually we write about business and technology.

 Today our curiosity and creativity are driving our research to one focus: what is happening in the Amazon rainforest.

I have selected this topic because of the amount of data that is currently available, which allows us to be objective. This is just one of many problems impacting our daily lives, which also it is not unique only to the Amazonas,but also affects others, like Siberia, Greenland, Canary Island, Peru, Dominican Republic, California forests and the list goes on…

Nevertheless, aside of the data collected from other articles, and sources, you will find within this article, opinions of our own, therefore this article should be taken as such: an informative blog article for others to be curious and do research of their own, validating or correcting this and contributing/collaborating with the end goal: "a message".

In this article I try to illustrate the importance of caring about subjects like this. How important they are for our existence. How it is equally important for business, therefore why business organizations should consider investing on initiatives with the purposes of protecting environments such as this that has a direct correlation with their business models and their existence, based on their financial gain, meaning, being profitable. 

Let’s start where it hurts
The reality check is that we (humans) are the highest consumer of goods. Our population, as a species, is allowing us to impact the environment around us at a pace that increases with time. There is a direct correlation that cannot be ignored, which is requesting a change in our way of living, in our way of collaboration, on our way of accepting and respecting us, and the environment around us.

Still, some of us resist, because we fall into one of the 3 buckets below:
  •     Ignorance
  •     The saying: "but I am just 1 person"
  •     Interests (political, financial or both)
We will leave the “Interests” bucket for last...

There are approaches for the first 2 buckets:
  • The 1st bucket: Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action there is a reaction”. In this case we are not talking about physical objects, but still the concept holds. “Ignorance” can be solved with “education”. Education is one of the best investments a country can do for it's people, which has a direct connection with the economy
  • The 2nd bucket. Everything starts with you. That 1 person. Each and every one of us can be that “object that hits water creating a ripple effect, expanding across the water” – ripple effect. In the Americas alone, in 2016, the population was estimated at 1.002 billion. By the power of simplicity, and simple math, if we take 10% from that population, at 1.00 USD dollar each, we land on 100,200,000.00 USD dollars that could support a cause that could alleviate a situation which is happening at the Amazon rainforest. That is just considering regular people alone, without counting the ones that really manage a lot of income such as: the governments of the different nations and the large corporations (...which both are part of the 3rd bucket...)

The 3rd bucket is about the group that has interests
… interests which control their “modus operandi”.

Let us review 3 of the 10 Principles of economics from Gregory Mankiw:
  • Principle 2: the cost of something is what you give up to get it. “Bygones will be bygones”. But it is not the case of items such as the Amazon rainforest. The health of that organism is not only for the Brazilian nation, and nearby countries, but for all, with its most direct continent: the Americas. There is no business, regardless of the economic benefits, that could be higher that safeguarding the Amazonas, because without organisms such as this, there won't be a planet for humans as we know it. It is pure basic necessity: survival. The planet will continue, but humans, at least life as we know it and currently experience it, will be a “bygone”
  • Principle 4: People respond to incentives. Incentives plays an important/central role in the study of economics. Then a key incentive here is that without organisms such as the Amazonas our way of living, as humans, is no longer achievable
  • Principle 8: A country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services. A simple observation here is that once, for example, farmers (and others that want to own the Amazonas) destroy "organisms" such as this then issues, like disasters (droughts, heat waves, earthquakes, etc.), will rise and nothing will grow on the land. Nothing to grow means no food, no food means starvation, which leads to nothingness…

Which brings us to the issue of this blog post
  • Currently the Amazonas is burning (straight 16+ days), and regardless of what others are trying to say, it is not at the regular pace, but the opposite
  • The Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical forest, provides 20% oxygen of the planet’s atmosphere. Therefore, this is not only a Brazilian problem, but everyone’s problem
  • "The Amazon River carries rainwater that lands in the Amazon rainforest, covering some 2.1 million square miles, into the ocean"
    The Amazon River carries rainwater that lands in the Amazon rainforest, covering some 2.1 million square miles, into the ocean. And with it, it carries vital nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen and silicon. These nutrients feed a huge algae bloom. Phytoplankton (tiny plants in the oceans (algae), provides 50 – 80% of oxygen. Which means that rainforests, such as the Amazonas, contributes to that percentage)
  • Amazon rainforest can contain more than 125 species of mammals, 60 species of amphibians, 100 species of reptiles, 150 species of butterflies, and more than 400 species of birds

The Amazonas is the home of many animal species
  • In many ecosystems, wildfires are a natural and essential phenomenon. They clear out decaying brush, restore nutrients to soil, and even help plants germinate. But in recent years, humans have made the destruction from wildfires worse at every step. People are building ever closer to areas ready to ignite. And people end up igniting the majority of wildfires, whether through downed power lines, errant sparks, or arson
  • The Amazonas, though, does not burn naturally, meaning that humans are the ones starting the fires:
    • Farmers to use land
    • To move away the natives living within the Amazon
    • Illegal logging operations
  • This year so far, scientists have recorded more than 75,000 fires in Brazil. That's nearly double 2018's total of about 40,000 fires. The surge marks an 83% increase in wildfires over the same period of 2018, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported


  • Already, 2019 has the highest number of fires observed in a single year since researchers began keeping track in 2013 – and there are still four months to go.
  • The blazes have created a layer of smoke estimated to be 1.2 million square miles wide


  • The Amazon has shrunk by 519 square miles (1,345 kms2)
  • Data from satellites showcase the deforestation at the rainforest. Some sources suggest the total deforested area in July 2019 was up 39% from the same month last year


  • Brazilian government has indicated that protecting the rainforest is not one of it's top priorities. The government is instead supporting development projects like a highway and hydroelectric dam in the Amazon
  • Brazilian government cut down on the seizing of illegally harvested timber. Last year (in 2018), 883,000 cubic feet of illegal timber was seized. As of May 15, the new government agencies had seized only 1,410 cubic feet, Pacific Standard reported
  • The Brazilian government lowered the number of fines it levied for illegal deforestation and mining (down 34% from the same period in 2018) and decreased its monitoring of illegal activity in the rainforest

Conclusion
Note: The state of Amazonas has declared an emergency. The hashtag #PrayforAmazonia has surged on social media as users blamed darkened skies above São Paulo on the fires.

Articles like this one are not enough, but awareness/education is part of it. It is important to assess the priorities so we can continue to build a future where innovation can flourish and we can keep being a creative society.

If we all find solutions, together, for this and other issues then we have a chance to write a good future for the generations to come.

Update to this article: 31 August 2019

 Important note: This blog is maintained and supported by a couple of bloggers. Since inception, and until date, we have not host any ads on our articles, therefore the following is not an ad, and there is NO gains for us. If you choose to follow then it is totally the reader's responsibility. 

There are many ways to help for this cause. For those that are far then you can do one (or both) of the following:
  1. Raising awareness (your voice)
  2. Pick an organization of your choice (and that you have trust) and do a donation. We did ours via EARTH ALLIANCE, which we have left here the link in case you would like to read about them

Sources:  
1. Where the Amazon meets the ocean

2. Vox - Wildfires are burning around the world. The most alarming is in the Amazon rainforest 

3. The Amazon Is Burning at a Record Rate, And The Devastation Can Be Seen From Space 

4. Amazon rainforest fires: What caused them and why activists are blaming Brazil’s president

5. Tropical Forests within the Encyclopedia Britannica online

6. 10 Principles of Economics 

7. Principle 4: People respond to incentives 

8. Seeing Forests for the Trees and the Carbon: Mapping the World’s Forests in Three Dimensions 

9. How much do oceans add to world’s oxygen 

10. Tropical forests are now emitting more carbon than oxygen, alarming new study finds 

11. 10 Reasons Forests Are Magical  

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Agreed