Earth’s Burning Lungs


Delaney Malynn Dixon

A tree outside of State College Area High School.

Delaney Malynn Dixon, Staff Writer

The Amazon rainforest has existed for at least 55 million years, it has given a home to 1 in 10 of the animals of the world. The forest also provides most of the world’s oxygen. 

Recently, farmers in Bolivia have started up a practice called “slash-and-burn” where they chop down parts of a forest, wait till it dries out, and then burn it. The practice helps fertilize crops while also getting rid of weeds and pests. Though it may help fertilization the procedure does more harm than good. Communities around where the fires have been taking place report spotting ‘charred animals’ and others desperately scavenging for food and water.

The fires have gotten so disastrous environmental secretary Cinthia Asin declared the forest fires to be a national disaster. “We are losing a great part of our biodiversity,” Asin said.

Firefighters, park rangers, state employees, and even volunteers are coming together to put out the fires but as they put out one, another arises. After much public pressure, the Bolivian government has flown out some of their largest planes to help put out the fires, and much international assistance has also been given to aid in restoring the damages and trying to help stop the fires. 

The whole world is affected by this disaster, as most of the world’s oxygen originates from the Amazon. Air pollution has gone of the roofs since the fires have started and mortality rates of also risen dramatically.