As the Amazon rain forest continues to burn, our world leaders have not put forth an earnest effort to remedy the situation.
The Group of Seven nations, or G-7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – pledged $22.2 million to aid the worsening situation at the G-7 summit Aug. 26, according to the Associated Press. This donation was declined at first by the special communications office for President Jair Bolsonaro, who later reversed that decision on the condition that French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes for calling Bolsonaro a liar at the G-7 summit.
Canada has also offered aid outside of the G-7. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged a separate $11 million and offered to send firefighting planes to fight the fires, according to the Associated Press. Britain also pledged a separate $12 million.
While the pledge of $45 million is far from enough to extinguish the fires in the Amazon, according to the Associated Press, Bolsonaro needs to set aside his differences with Macron and accept the aid that Brazil desperately needs.
Many celebrities, including Leonardo DiCaprio, have all donated to the containment efforts.
While there are efforts being made to help the Amazon, it is not nearly enough to help such an essential part of the Earth’s ecosystem.
The Amazon is essential to storing carbon dioxide, keeping it out of the atmosphere and storing up to 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon a year, according to Science Magazine. The fires, coupled with the negative effects of deforestation, will release too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, increasing the rate of global warming.
The Amazon rain forest provides an essential source of breathable oxygen and storage of carbon dioxide, and for there to be such little aid in comparison to the donations made to the Notre Dame reconstruction is a worldwide embarrassment. In order to prevent any more damage to the forest and to the atmosphere, a more earnest effort needs to be made by other countries, including the U.S.