As the Amazon rainforest continues to burn, a number of celebrities including Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello and Demi Lovato are raising awareness of the current crisis and urging the world to pay more attention to the plight of the planet’s lungs.
In the wake of wildfires, ice melts and mass flooding, 2019 is the year that climate change finally got real. But now, a worldwide environmental emergency looms large in the form of the Amazon rainforest fires.
For more than three weeks, devastating fires have torn through Brazil and ravaged the largest tropical rainforest in the world. As a result, billowing clouds of smoke have engulfed surrounding regions and caused significant air pollution to the world’s atmosphere, while the blaze has laid waste to the rich biodiversity of the rainforest, as well as endangering the lives of the one million indigenous people that live there.
While it’s easy to feel hopeless at the scale of the crisis, there are ways and means to help out. We can contact our elected representatives to urge political action, and we can donate to organisations that are protecting the rainforest, its biodiversity and the welfare of its inhabitants. Above all, we can use our voices to spread awareness and encourage people to take action. As a number of Hollywood celebrities come forward to help call attention to the crisis, the noise is finally growing.
Climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the first to speak out about the fires, reposting a message from entrepreneur and environmentalist Nick Rose. “Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet, creating 20% of the earth’s oxygen, basically the lungs of the world, has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why? @unitednations who is running your page? Influencers? Where are you when it actually matters?” Rose wrote.
After DiCaprio shared Rose’s post, it was picked up by Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Camila Cabello, who added her own thoughts. “This is heartbreaking and terrifying,” she wrote. “This makes me want to cry with frustration. what are we DOING? We’re literally destroying our miracle of a home. I’m so sorry, earth.”
Cara Delevingne also shared a series of images alongside a commentary holding the media to account for the lack of coverage, as well as the hashtag #PrayForAmazonia that people around the world are using to raise awareness of the crisis.
“The Amazon has been burning for 3 weeks, and I’m just now finding out because of the lack of media coverage. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEMS ON EARTH. SPREAD AWARENESS #PrayforAmazonia.”
Singer-songwriter Lauren Jauregui also wrote a lengthy Instagram post condemning political leaders for their apathy towards green issues, before encouraging her followers to mobilise during election season to ensure positive environmental outcomes.
“It alarms me that so many in possession of power on this planet truly do not care about or even believe in the crisis we face. It pains me that they continue to deny, suppress truth and spew out false information. To roll back policies that protect our environment and native people’s rights all while profiting off the lands and people they continue to destroy,” she wrote.
“We should all be paying very close attention to the way our chosen leaders treat the planet we live on and only have one of. We should be very very aware during election season so closely upon us, but we should also be figuring out ways to be conscious of our environment and our interaction with it every day.”
Meanwhile, Ariana Grande shared three images of the destruction on her Instagram stories. “If you’re not from Brazil and don’t have no clue about what’s happening here, here it goes,” she wrote. “The largest rainforest in the world is on fire for the sixteenth day. And the media is not giving a f–k for this. #PrayForAmazonia.”
Demi Lovato then shared Grande’s first image on her Instagram stories, before posting a second image that read: “The Amazon has been burning for 3 weeks and I’m just finding out because of the lack of media coverage. This is one of the most important ecosystems on earth! Spread awareness!”
Elsewhere, Ellie Goulding reposted a video of forest fires raging in Brazil from the World Wildlife Fund, an independent conservation organisation, highlighting the double standard that “there was worldwide outcry when Notre-Dame was on fire.”
“This is a devastation to Brazil—to the indigenous people who live there and the-plant and animal species that make this the most important bio-diverse Forest!!!” Madonna wrote on Instagram. “President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land.”