Fire in the rainforest
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

The Amazon is on fire. Nope, not the website amazon that allows us to order goods from abroad. It is the rainforest in South America that produces about 20% of the earth's oxygen. It is also often called the lungs of the planet. For about three weeks it has continued to be razed. While there are already reports of thunderstorms and rainshowers in the area, quite a lot of damage was done. Several entities have attributed the fire to certain activities of men, in fact citing Brazil's president who has been encouraging deforestation. It is only at this time that it has caught the attention of the media, despite it going on for weeks already.

How can business interests rule over the interests of the environment in the minds of our leaders? It brings me back to the memories of the late Gina Lopez who faced the Commission on Appointments with her armory of lashes against the mining industry which she tagged as harmful to the country, but her claims were never listened to. It is impossible for humans not to be aware of the effects of their activity to the environment - but money dictates the way things are done. It is a sad reality.

It is unsure if the forest will be brought back to life again. Maybe, but it will take time. Every tree does not grow overnight. What will happen to the time period while waiting for these trees to grow? We will be suffering from the actions of others despite us being taught to love our own, our home, the only planet that we have right now. We may not feel the effects of the fire in the Amazon from where we are, but soon we will – rising temperatures, unpredictable climate, and the changes in the ocean that did not exist before.

So what can we do? This is such a cliché. It is already common knowledge that we should reuse, reduce, and recycle but for some reason it becomes very hard to do every day. The simplest thing I guess is to conserve the resources that we use every day - like water, electricity, and food. Only use what you need and be wary where it goes afterwards. The earth's overhaul will take a long way to go. Are we willing to go through it?

While we wait for the Amazon fire to die down, let us rethink the policies and laws of the leaders in our country and the planet. We should be stern on where we stand - whether it be business or for the environment. As stewards of the earth, we must not just succumb to every rule they give us but also question if this is for the good. We already lost an eco-warrior in the person of Gina Lopez, and now the most precious rainforest in the Amazon is on fire. It’s too much of a loss already. We must do something.

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