Money makes the burning world go round
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Everyone needs to start talking about the Rainforests.
I arrived at the leafy side street that housed the Brazilian Embassy in Madrid to see lots of beautiful trees all along the street, people were recycling their cardboard at the bins and you could see wheelchair parking on offer and signals painted on the road to say 30km an hour with a picture of a bicycle. The paid parking meters there were even solar powered.
Of course, the first thing that would have struck you about this peaceful space with lots of trees and cycling routes and recycling was the police presence in front of the Brazilian Embassy.
I counted 25 armed police protecting the trees, sorry the building that housed representatives for a government that have encouraged the burning of their rainforests to advance the profit generated from agricultural land.
While we were all laughing at America trying to buy Greenland, vast acres of rainforest had been on fire for weeks and unlike the coverage of forest fires in Portugal last month, the news cycle hadn’t seemed to pick up until very recently on the destruction taking place in the rainforests which are described as the Lungs of the World.
They say Bad things happen when Good people do nothing and I was delighted to see both my mother and girlfriend posting about the destruction on Facebook before I started my own firestorm of reposts on the subject.
Does it really help that someone posts on Facebook or Twitter? Aren’t all stories just “Fake News” anyway? I think it is important and while I cannot volunteer to help fight forest fires in the Amazon and don’t know anyone in the affected areas, we must ridicule Brazil’s ecocide, boycott their agriculture and question if we have done enough to protect endangered species and wildlife.
The rainforests are not in my back garden and I don’t have a say in holding back progress in anyone else's country but the world needs these Rainforests.
As a result many nations have finally woken up to the fact that we need to plant millions and millions of trees if we want to off-set the damage being done to the planet.
Decades have passed without meaningful efforts being made to tackle our dependence on oil and gas, our failures to fuel our homes with greener energy and the reluctance to adopt electric cars until one day Elon Musk showed the world, some sexy sedans that are both desirable and economic.
We can create a better world but it has to start today and it has to involve putting out the blazes Brazilians leaders have been fanning for months.
When I hear of President Jair Balsonaro, I hear jail Balsonaro but what will the international community actually do about ecocide?
Britain and America will support Jair Balsonaro’s rightwing government but as an individual, Like and Share and Comment. Talk with friends and family about the destruction of the planet and our own failures and future successes in making things work.
In his 2003 book, Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky described two Superpowers in the world today, America and Public Opinion. You may not have nuclear weapons or stealth bombers but you do have a voice and you are apart of that second Superpower.
Stop supporting things you don’t agree with, take your money and invest in more ethical companies and all companies will have to become more ethical. For example, I have started buying toothpaste that doesn’t come in a pointless cardboard box in the aim that producers stop wasting materials on the packaging. This only works if other consumers communicate their desire for such products, we pay into these things and money makes the burning world go round.
BRING A FRIEND
With her forehead painted with a leaf on fire, my friend Fidelma went along to the protest with me and was delighted to see one man's t-shirt that read, "Bicycles save the planet" and it is true, we need to get on our bikes if we want to save the planet even if her pan-European cycles sound like too much effort, friends like Fidelma are great advertisements for getting on your bike, trudging up hills and enjoying the view but cycling is only viable as long as we can breathe the air around us and as we have all learnt in the last 48 hours, the planet's lungs are on fire.
ON YOUR BIKE: Solar powered parking meters in front of the Brazilian Embassy
RE CYCLE: That Cardboard can be used for protest signs in the future.
SHIELDING THE EMBASSY: The world watches on as Brazil sets the Rainforests alight.
BRING A FRIEND: Only about 100-150 people were at this protest but we need a planetary response.
EMERGENCY: We need to send in firemen first.
FLOWER POWER: Some wore flowers and colourful clothing but where were the politicians?
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Brazilian Embassy in Madrid
CAN YOU HEAR US?
UPDATE: A friend on Facebook Sarah Loughrey shared the following excellent advice and I say a friend on Facebook as I am encouraging people to Like, Comment and Share even though I have known Sarah and her family ever since I was a kid and not just through social media. You can still talk to people face to face or send carrier pigeons if you prefer but sharing friends' posts and e-mailing the Agriculture Minister and Brazilian Embassy is far easier online than going to an embassy in person.
What can you do about the burning / logging of the Amazon Rainforest. 1 - If you eat beef in restaurants make sure to ask if it's Irish. 2 - if you regularly eat ready-meals or processed beef email the maker and ask about the source of the beef. 3 - If you buy furniture make ask if the timber comes from FSC certified forests in Europe. 3 - Tell you local representatives to put pressure on Brazil to stop this. 4 - Email the Minister for Agriculture and ask him to ban importation of livestock feed from Brazil. email@example.com 5 - Email the Brazilian embassy to tell them about your concerns. firstname.lastname@example.org 6 - Ask your financial institution to withdraw all investments in Brazil stocks and bonds. 7 - Donate to an environmental NGO or charity working to protect the rainforest or develop sustainable farming methods in the area. 8 - Sign this petition https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/amazon_apocalypse_loc/ 9 - share this post so others can do the same. Remember to tick 'include original post' or the list of actions will be lost.