The Amazon rainforest is one of the most beautiful and essential natural features on our planet. Yet, it is now in great danger as fires, raging for many weeks, threaten the “lungs” of Earth. We should be worried about the Amazon rainforest. But calls for the government to act are not the answer. If they give up ownership and privatize it, governments will provide the best way for the Amazon and other threatened natural resources to be saved. By doing so, they will introduce a beneficial profit motive.
Over the past few days, the internet came ablaze with the late-breaking news that the Amazon Rainforest is burning. Concerned teenagers filled Twitter and Instagram with “pray for Amazonia” and cries that “the planet’s lungs” are on fire. The spectacle social and news media has presented to young privileged people is that the Earth is dying and these fires are part of it. But the hysteria around these fires, and forest fires in general, is wholly unjustified. The Amazon and most other forests have very specific burn seasons that can become extremely intense if those of former years have been relatively mild. There is no reason for the Brazilian government to take any extreme action against this part of the Amazon’s cycle. But the pictures, to a coastal urban citizen, are shocking; the mainstream media has not hesitated to exploit that shock.
In Venezuela, self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó is failing to ignite a military revolution. As a result, 25 Venezuelan soldiers who side with him fled. They now seek asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Caracas. Knowing that their lives are at risk for defecting, they had few options. After all, betraying Maduro can carry a life sentence.