Students--Urge the U.S. Congress to Raise Sanctions Upon Brazil

Students--Urge the U.S. Congress to Raise Sanctions Upon Brazil

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The Amazon Rainforest is burning. Every. Single. Day. 

Coined by today's scientists as our world's leading carbon "sink", the Amazon Rainforest is truly so much more than a mere feature upon our planet. We're looking at one of the largest sources of carbon retraction on the face of the Earth; in simple terms, trees within the area absorb carbon from our atmosphere to facilitate inner growth, releasing a substantially lower quota during their decay (and eventual death). As per the studies of Fernando Espirito-Santo, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, nearly 300 million tons of carbon stand absorbed by trees within the Amazon Rainforest each year, contributing to an overall decrease in global emissions, and humanity's fight against the global climate crisis. Needless to say, the Amazon Rainforest serves a host of ulterior functions, including those in the fields of biodiversity, transpiration, and freshwater dissemination, driving 1/5 of the world's freshwater (hitherto) into oceans (fueling our natural water cycle).

So, what's wrong?

In simple terms, we've got a fire on our hands. One that extends beyond material boundaries, beyond ideological terms. However, to truly get a grasp upon the brevity of conservationist action, let's take a look at why we're seeing the deterioration of this ecological haven:

1. Jair Bolsonaro: Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right President, has remained committed to the industrial image, tarnishing ecological efforts and regulations under the IBAMA (the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment's administrative branch) in favor of corporate entities within the Brazilian nation. We've seen the leader scale back regulations upon logging, mining, and ranching in the Amazonian region, and take back territory from settled natives living upon inherited (communal) land. Bolsonaro's made his stance clear on the issue of environmental conservation, labelling the IBAMA as an opponent of the people, and effectively reducing its overall regulatory powers by over 20%. In the midst of today's fires in the Amazon rainforest, Bolsonaro has kept his views consistent, placing local industry over matters of global precedence in contemporary interviews and press statements.

2. Increased Emissions, on a Global Scale: As a people, our actions and regard for environmental issues plays an impact--we're seeing global emissions at an all-time high, leading to abnormal weather patterns, severe heat, and intense storms year-round. We continue to emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide from residential sources, industrial outputs, and agrarian settlements, contributing to the desiccation of trees within the Amazon rainforest (under abnormally warm temperatures). As you may very well be aware, desiccation is a proponent for environmental degradation, contributing to a lower rate of carbon absorption in today's plants, along with a bolstered susceptibility to forest fires; both elements combine to vindicate individual actions as a catalyst for destruction along the Amazon.

The Urgency of Action...

"Worryingly, research indicates that forests could soon stop counteracting warming, and instead become a major source of greenhouse gases"

- Edward Mitchard, University of Edinburgh.

In today’s dire political climate, environmental action at the highest level has been thrust into the forefront, quintessential to our collective prosperity in years to come. Vying to keep global climate change under a biological “cap limit” of 2 ℃, our world’s leading environmentalists, scientists, and activists have continued to hold Brazil in contempt, citing the nation for its utter disregard towards the state of the Amazon rainforest, and that of our natural world itself. Under increased carbon emissions and abnormally high temperatures, the Amazon rainforest continues to grow weaker each and every day; scientists like Mitchard push forth the claim that, under mass desiccation and environmental catastrophe, this “carbon sink” could soon transform into one of the world’s leading carbon emitters, thrusting millions of tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere on the daily. However, we’re not there yet. We, as a species, have the ability--the responsibility--to change. Here at Students for Planetary Awareness, we urge individuals within the next generation to fight for their existential gain, against corporate entities that threaten to ravage this world; we push forth the idea of sanctions against Brazil to spark both immediate and indirect effects upon the environment. Importing billions in fuel and steel machinery from the stained state, we as a nation withhold the responsibility to keep Brazil accountable for its environmental actions, and to take action against Bolsonaro’s corrupt regime. We’re pioneering a Generation Z stance against corrupt environmental policies; sign this petition, and contribute to our collective struggle for environmental justice across continental borders. Stand with us in sparking true change, beyond partisan lines--in urging Congress to raise economic sanctions upon Brazil.

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