The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important natural ecosystems in the world and it’s on fire.
The forest’s biodiversity is unmatched and its positive impact on global oxygen levels is significant making it devastating that the city of Sao Paulo has been darkened by a cloud of smoke coming from the burning Amazon rainforest. Strong winds brought the smoke from the forest over 1,600 miles away. The state of Amazonas declared an emergence earlier this month because of the forest fire and NASA images show smoke covering large parts of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.
The event inspired Brazilians to go to social media to protest the destruction of the Amazon.
Sao Paulo resident, Gianvitor Dias, told BBC that it seemed as though the day had been turned into night. Another particularly popular Twitter post was by William Barros, who pointed out how Brazil had celebrated its natural abundance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic opening ceremony only to continue to destroy the country’s most valuable natural resource. So far the post gathered 17,000 likes as it encouraged people to pray for the rainforest.
Many of the most popular tweets criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) said that the Amazon has increasingly suffered losses since Jair Bolsonaro took office last January. In response, President Bolsonaro claimed that the data did not relate to reality and went on to accuse the Institute of smearing Brazil. If the forest fire does not inspire action to save the Amazon, major negative impacts on the climate will result.