Burning Amazon causes blackout in Sao Paulo; Govt plays blame game

Leonardo DiCaprio
Amazon forest on fire Leonardo DiCaprio Instagram

In the middle of Monday afternoon, August 19 the Brazilian city Sao Paulo suddenly covered by darkness and several shared pictures of the city looked like an apocalyptic world. But no, the darkness was caused by the smoke, coming from the lungs of the planet, Amazon, which is still burning and people are blaming media for not covering such news.

Amazon, which is responsible for creating 20 percent earth's oxygen and known as the shelter of thousands of animals has been burning for the past 16 days.

Celebrities turn environmental activists like Leonardo DiCaprio also raised the question on the coverage of such big news, while supermodel Gigi Hadid urged people to sign a petition to make sure that the Brazil government knows the world cares about the protection of Amazon rain forest.

As per the INPE Burns Program Portal, scientists have recorded over 74000 fires in Brazil which is almost double 2018's total of about 40,000 fires.

In Amazon, which covers 2.1 million square miles, the dry season runs from July to October. During that period blazes can spark from natural sources, like lightning. It should be mentioned that farmers and loggers also purposefully set fire to the rainforest to clear swaths of the rain forest for industrial or agricultural use.

But the fire which started 16 days ago, now have widespread effects on the rest of Brazil and the largest state in the country, Amazonas, declared a state of emergency on Monday, August 19.

Due to the heavy smoke, generating from the braze spread from the state of Amazonas to the nearby states of Pará and Mato Grosso. In several pictures, it was also clear that the smoke has also covered the sun in São Paulo, which is located more than 2,000 miles away from the forest.

WWF has blamed this year's sharp increase in accelerating deforestation in Amazon and said in a statement that "Historically, in this region, the use of fire is directly linked to deforestation as it is one of the techniques for tree clearing."

The Guardian reported, the month of July set a new record for the most deforestation ever in the Amazon in a single month.

Reports later stated that the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro claimed that non-profit organizations whose budgets have been cut may be setting fires to draw attention against him and his government.

On the other hand, people from all around the world shared pictures on Twitter with a ##PrayForTheAmazon.