The Amazon Fires Affect Everyone

Alexia Camm

The Brazilian Amazon has been ablaze for more than 30-days. While worldwide government and military officials strive to extinguish the flames in the region, many environmental scientists and researchers warn that the inferno could bring monumental devastation to the world.

Many small fires occur during the dry season in the Amazon however, the location and the magnitude at which the terrain is currently burning is what experts describe as, abnormal. The smoldering greenery of the rainforest, spreading over 2.1 million square miles, covers nine countries, including much of South America and into French Guiana. The so-called lungs of our world could prove to be in major jeopardy of a sooner demise if not controlled.

A 2014 study in the journal Nature Climate Change found that the potential deforestation of the Amazon could affect rainfall patterns in the United States, and could also threaten the production of food and likely destabilize entire ecosystems. With atmospheric reaches into Africa, South America and the United States of America, the fires are flattening the Amazon. The world is at risk of drying up paramount atmospheric rivers, which aid in the production of rain in various locations around the world, including the U.S.

While there is a copious amount of organic matter to decompose in the region, the complete deforestation of the Amazon could contribute to the loss of the planet. According to Erin C. Young an environmental health and safety engineer in Baltimore County, “the [fires] continuation could release huge amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and sulfur dioxide which could speed up the inevitable.” The release of these gases would not only affect rainfall in South America, but according to the World Wildlife Fund’s senior director for the Amazon in the United States, data shows that the rainfall affects areas of the U.S. responsible for agriculture and livestock.

When asked how the Amazon fires affect the community of Baltimore County, Mr. Young exposed the waste diversion method the home region utilizes. “Instead of incinerating waste, county officials should compost more and also get away from single stream recycling.” Single stream recycling is defined on Baltimore County Government’s website as the process when all recyclables are mixed in the same container for collection.

Erin C. Young confirmed that Baltimore County residents and CCBC students are unable to prevent the spread of the Amazon wildfires; however, much can be done to ensure the longevity of the earth.

The recycling and throwing away of compostable matter such as branches, twigs, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds could be used to create organic matter to aid in plant growth. This type of composting is easily done at home and on a larger scale at many local institutions and businesses.

Niko Bolden, a mass communications student at CCBC is doing what he can to save the environment. The scholar reuses pasta water in a way to provide nutrients to plants. After boiling pasta noodles, Mr. Bolden drains the water into a pitcher he uses to aid in the production of an at-home garden.

The 2019 Annual Sustainability Report at CCBC states that the college is a sustainable community college. Using the “Sustainability Tip of the Week,” the campus is making efforts to educate students on the concept of holistic sustainability – making their focus on how to dispose of trash properly.

Kayla Jones, a nursing student at CCBC has stopped discarding her eaten fruit in trash bins; instead, she tosses her banana peels in areas of greenery. “Why throw [fruit] away when [it’s] biodegradable and can be used to help our planet.”

This proves that CCBC is achieving the three principles governing their sustainability efforts – education, awareness, and engagement.

Follow this link to learn how compost material is made at home.

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