The lung of the world on fire “Amazon Wildfires”, Are we reaching a dangerous tipping point?

As I board the 5:30 am flight for a day full of engaging meetings with my clients, I read the news about the Amazon fire which is raging on the Brazilian side and taking up areas of Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay. I see my colleagues going through their morning routines in the passenger lounge and then, I forget about my clients, meetings, exciting travels ahead and my head is wrapped around the real purpose of our existence. Should I be this excited about my travels when what we name as the lungs of the world (Amazon forest) is on fire?

Are We Leaving Our Kids In an Unlivable World?

The thought of the burning amazon forest, which provides a major chunk of oxygen to the world, on fire is more heart wrenching since it’s the future that is destroyed. When I see my kids or my friend’s kids, I often think, are we leaving them a world for the future that is not sustainable? These are questions that don’t let me sleep at times but the questions still remain, what can be done?

Before the flight, I went through the efforts being put in to save the Amazon. I read that many world leaders and NGO are pulling the strings to help in stopping the fire and others looking into reasons for sustainable growth.

However, what we really need to see is the core question to the core of the problem, questions ourselves if we are missing the real and common purpose of this world? Are driving actions on the real problem? Do we need to accelerate a real change on the current model? But not tomorrow but now.

The questions to be asked are if growth worth the time and damage that it inflicts and the answer if probably we don’t have an option. But do we?

-Do need to produce more paper?

-Do we need to cut down more trees?

-Do we need more beef?

-Do we need to produce more of everything and take the world resources down to a critical level?

-Do we have other alternatives to accelerate growth and change at the same time?

In school, we learn about saving nature, but many of us do not follow the acts that actually saves nature once we leave school. What is the cost? The future of our children which we are polluting with non-sustainable changes in our ecosystem.

We never take a leaf out of what we learned from our ancestors. A pre-Colombian society “the Kogi people” developed a living style that was natural and sustainable. They believe that they exist to care for the world a world they fear we are destroying. Although, we got off the track and now currently living in the most unsustainable lifestyle possible. Amazon fire is just a reminder of what we are doing to the world, the real question, therefore, should always be, what is the cost?

How can we be the change?

It is well said, that we have to be the change that we want to see in the world!

We need to search for the real purpose of our lives in which lies a sustainable living for the present and future human beings. The Amazon fires put our life in perspective and things that we are doing to sustain it. I have started a journey of self-reflection looking for purpose aligned with a passion for innovation. A few posts coming up will be in the context of my searching and how you can take a leaf out of my personal life book.

We all can start this journey, towards a better present and future, and this journey is surrounded by innovation and disruption.

Some Facts you may ponder upon!

As I Googled from the onboard connectivity, I came across some startling facts about the Amazon, its natural habitat and facts and figures revolving around the jungle fires. Let me share some of them with you, so you can see in perspective that smallish effect of our lives on this world!

1. Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world which is on fire for about three weeks now. LET THAT SINK IN!

2. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has reported at least 74,000 fires in the Amazon this year so far, an increase of 84 percent compared to the same time last year.

3. The whole region is too wet to self ignite which points towards man-made fires and the urge for growth as the farmers want to clear land or extract wood out for export.

4. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been lost in the past 50 years. Brazil’s INPE reported that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon surged 88.4 percent in June compared to June 2018. The recently burned forest area will add to that growing cumulative total of deforestation.

5. The rain in the rainforest is not an accident of geography or meteorology. The towering mahogany, kapok, and Brazil nut trees of the Amazon play important parts in the orchestra of the region’s water system.

6. The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has picked up again after years of decline, with roughly a soccer field-size are lost every minute. Let it all sink in while we think for those 60 seconds. We are taking them down faster than they can ever grow

7. Once we lose enough trees, the cycle will be disturbed and there will not be enough water for the forest itself. This creates a domino effect and makes the forest vulnerable to fires and pest attack. This phenomenon is known as forest dieback.

8. The 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires are an unusually strong series of thousands of independent wildfires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the Amazon in 2019 during the tropical dry season. The bulk of the fires have been reported in the Amazon that lies inside the borders of Brazil. However, other countries contribute as much, an example is Bolivia with 128 forest fires his year!

9. Satellite images from NASA corroborated INPE’s findings that the Amazon forest has faced more intense wildfires in 2019 than in previous years.

10. Since 2004, Brazil has taken some measures to reduce the acceleration of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, but the increased rate of deforestation in 2019 raised concerns from environmental experts due to the importance of the Amazon basin in climate change mitigation.[

11. Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Brian Sheth, new environmental foundation, Earth Alliance, is donating $5 million to a group of NGOs working in the Amazon region.

12. There are sustainable answers to the required by-products of the Amazon habitat, the only question is, “when will we learn?”

Drop-in your comments about how can we reduce non-sustainable growth for our future generations?

Photo by Tom Fisk, Skitterphoto from Pexels

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Juana Catalina Rodriguez

Juana Catalina Rodriguez

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Passionate about business, innovation, circular economy, and disruption. Top Writer in Innovation. Enjoys a warm cup of tea 🍵. https://linktr.ee/jncnova