It’s rather sad and kind of ironic: we can plant trees, cross the Atlantic by sailboat, march the streets, rebel against extinction, pray for the flaming Amazon we observe in horror and grieve, but still be contributing to environmentally harmful and corrupt businesses which are supported by governments.
For the past weeks, like so many “innocent” Instagrammers, I watched the burning Amazon on my phone screen. I take care of the social media of an ecology center on Ibiza (Casita Verde Ibiza), and some caring followers were wondering why we hadn’t shared anything yet about the fires on our news feed.
I thanked these followers and replied that we would share news from reliable sources, not just repost a dramatic picture of a burning Amazon with the hollow hashtag: #PrayfortheAmazon. I ended with an invitation to share these sources with us.
That evening, I started surfing the web for articles about Brazil and the flaming Amazon, after I had seen even more heartbreaking pictures on Instagram. Even with a big ocean between us, a man-made disaster is still happening. But of course this can’t have happened just in the past weeks.
I scrolled through the misery while I was lying in my comfortable bed, knowing full well that’s the worst thing to do in a bedroom. Just before I wanted to leave Instagram-world, I stumbled upon an Instagram story from a Dutch novelist and research journalist (Roxane van Iperen), who always seems to share the relevant things. She was the Brazil correspondent for a Dutch online magazine during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and wrote insightful articles about the political and economical situation of Brazil, which has been in a downfall for decades. The chain of destruction and violation of human rights of the indigenous people, who have the Amazon as their ancestral habitat, didn’t start yesterday.
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Photo by Sam Carter/Unsplash