Saturday, September 14, 2019

Forest Fires In the Artic

For many of us hearing about forest fires in the Amazon is a sad event but understood;  hearing  about forest fires in the Artic is shocking. We have had them regulary in the past but we are told this year it was an abnormal year. A member of the bishops' committee on ecology gives us some interesting things to remember.

The BBC reported that the North Pole this June  was the hottest on record with 100 wild fires since early June. The Arctic, is a thermostat  for the planet that maintains global homeostasis, (constant and stable environment) ruined by wildfires. Smoke from the fires fills the sky and the carbon dioxide emitted by the burning wood affects global warming. The amount of CO2 emitted during the month of June was more than the last nine years.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimates that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the recent fire in the Arctic Circle is 50 megatons, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that Sweden emits during one year.

Going to the lungs of the earth, the Amazon, they are burning black. It is no exaggeration to say the fire on the other side of the earth, which has been burning for the fourth week, is destroying the earth. Amazon produces 20% of the earth's oxygen and is home to one-third of Earth's species. So the destruction here is a disaster that threatens everyone in the world.

The size of the Amazon is 55 times larger than that of Korea, and it has already burned an area 15 times the size of Seoul. Amazon's fire threatens human breathing. If the Amazon, devastated by fine dust day by day, disappears, the earth may encounter abnormal temperature changes and more frequent natural disasters.

According to the Brazilian National Space Research Institute, 73,000 fires broke out in the Amazon this year, an increase of about 84% over last year. Why is Amazon burning so much more than in the past? At present, the burning Amazon is regarded as a man-made disaster. Most of the causes of forest burning are due to corporate farmers pushing out rainforests and planting soybeans and raising cows, because the current government encourages development and neglects its destruction.

Companies and individual countries have begun to put pressure on Brazil, including withdrawing their investments or not importing their products. In addition, netizens around the world are campaigning on social media that the Amazon fire needs international attention. "To save the planet, we must show responsibility," "The Notre Dame Cathedral can be rebuilt  but the jungle can't."

"Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of them are threatened for various reasons.
Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity.
Our solidarity with the “common home” is born from our faith. Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans." Pope Francis prayer intention for September.


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