In a world where news practically travels faster than the speed of light, social trends have also begun to change at an unprecedented pace. One minute the entire Instagram user base is up in arms over the wrongful imprisonment of an individual and then it is quickly forgotten the next. With the recent social media explosion of the Amazon rainforest, the issue becomes that it is not just a trend, but a sign of things to come.
Smoke that could be seen from Sao Paolo, Brazil (A city 3,000km from the Amazon) is a symbol of the current global status as far as resources are concerned. This stark reality has reached new heights for governing bodies of nation states as countries take on more a protectionist approach, resulting in trade wars and anti – globalization tactics. The clashing ideals of obligatory economical development and environmental sustainability seem to be at a crossroads with no end in sight.
Areas of contention for countries have certainly not gone unpublicized; fresh water, minerals, oil, etc…). But the focal point (and the case in point with the Amazon Rainforest) is that of arable and cattle ranching land. Author Dambisa Moyo makes great reference to this in her publication titled Winner Take All: China’s Race For Resources and What It Means for the World. The continent of Africa is also experiencing land clearing of an extreme caliber as developing nations look to make use of their most profitable sector. The conglomerate beef corporations of Brazil look to keep the industry healthy as well and make no reservations about their deforestation. Scarcity of resources makes for the exploitation in these emerging nations, which they cannot be totally faulted.
While it may be true that developing nations should not be pointed out as the single catalyst for the recent spikes in drastic climate change, there needs to be some responsibility taken. In recent years, we have seen developed nations shaming developing nations for their contribution to emissions, as a by-product of industrialization. In light of this, more reasonable pacts (Ex. The Paris Agreement) have formed to level out the playing field while still encouraging development. France, England, and various other Western countries did have their fair share of air pollution during industrial enterprise and are not ‘Holier than thou’ in this respect. There needs to be an extent of understanding when encouraging environmental friendliness.
Today, the unfortunate commonality between third world and first world countries is that of the short – term government state of mind. This has also led to the short – term thinking in the private sector (corporations looking only to please shareholders). It all lends to the need to see immediate economic growth with environmental conscientiousness.
With the smoke from the vast vegetation of the Amazon rainforest comes the underlying message for the world to see. The harmony of the world will depend on the ability of government bodies to cooperate and form meaningful agreements that look for resource optimization. Otherwise there will be much more smoke to come.
What is your opinion on Brazil’s handling of the fires?
Do you believe emerging countries will abide by environmental treaties, despite their demand for economic progress?
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