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NASA Amazon rain forest fires
Carbon monoxide associated with fires from the Amazon region in Brazil from Aug. 8-22, 2019 Data: Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite

OK, this cannot be ignored.

Enough with the #PrayForAmazonia postings, and the '7 things you can do to help the Amazon'. Doesn't this all seem obsolete when one of the world's most precious areas of natural abundance and biodiversity is up in violent flames? In case you've missed it, Spain is also experiencing the impact of climate change as parts of Madrid went underwater with flash floods and piles of hail covering its streets. Yes, that is hail, as in ice, in August, the country's hottest month.

If you think that's scary, Lake Chad in sub-Saharan Africa has been evaporated and absorbed to one-tenth of its original size, PM Modi took a hike with Bear Grills and preached for the Indian people to respect nature while his government turned down a mere 1 percent of plans from polluting industries, and meanwhile our world leaders gathered at the G7 summit to, well, discuss 'things'.

It's not looking good people.

Our addiction to destroying the planet for our own good is quite literally going to be the end of us if we do not take serious action.

So yes tweet if it pleases you, and engage in heated debates with your peers if that's what makes you feel 'active' – if you do, don't get distracted by cynical smart-assing whether the Amazon rain forests actually are or are not the lungs of Earth. The ecosystem of our global habitat is too complex to fit into a tweet or two.

But the bottom line is that we need to drastically shift our habits, our desires and what we consider our comfort in order for our planet to see another millennium. Despite our inherent brutality we humans do have the ability to live responsibly and act with respect, otherwise how would have humanity been surviving since millions of years on planet Earth?

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup. This is a reality check dear readers, and we are no longer going to sugar coat it.

Read. Debate: Engage.

The good

Climate change and climate action dominate public discourse and the media

It may be just a drop in the ocean – and it may very well be desperately looking for a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, but it seems as though the world is relentlessly talking and screaming and crying about the planet and its destruction. And indeed the line between activism and 'slacktivism' is fine (basically the trend of sharing seemingly activist-driven posts and articles on our social media and then going back to the same old behaviour of capitalist consumption that got us into this mess in the first place), we cannot deny that climate change is making serious headlines. And headlines hopefully yield to some action. Hopefully.

If reading this leaves you wanting to do something good for our planet beyond tweeting and sharing some articles, then consider drastically reducing (if not totally eliminating) your meat and dairy consumption. Our dietary habits and our love for beef and cheese are major factors in polluting the planet, and the rise of veganism and plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy and yet another thing to celebrate as a result of our protesting. There is a happy in-between activism and slacktivism after all.

The bad

Our oceans and coasts are filthy

We've all seen the pictures. A tortoise washed up on the shore with a beer can plastic holder wrapped around its neck. A fish opened in half only to reveal what looks like the contents of a recycling city bin. So on September 21 everyone should clear their schedules, find a ride (preferably shared or public transport, let's save the environment people) and head over to your nearest shore to join Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago, when two ambitious women working for Ocean Conservancy, Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara, decided to team up with a group of volunteers, local businesses, and the Texas General Land Office and not only collect trash from the coast but also document each item and generate a database in order to keep track of and ultimately terminate contamination of the oceans.

Since then, the initiative grew exponentially, and over the past few decades has mobilized more than 12 million volunteers worldwide to collect over 220 million pounds of trash.


Save the date: September 21st is International coastal cleanup day

by Yair Oded

Join Ocean Conservancy on September 21st and take a part in International Coastal Cleanup Day. Jpin an existing network or start your own cleanup team.
All over the globe

Who will save Lake Chad?

by Bob Koigi

In one of the most severe and historic crises in Sub Saharan Africa, Lake Chad, one time considered to be the largest lake in the world has shrunk to one tenth of its original size bringing with it a trail of famine, conflict and death.
macron Bolsonaro

G7 pledges aid for the Amazon. What is next?

by Magdalena Rojo

The French president Macron called the fires in the Amazon a global emergency – the Brazilian president Bolsonaro couldn't care less.
india pollution

As the Amazon burns, India must look at its own environmental record

by Tish Sanghera

As the earth warms and the effects of climate change wreak havoc across the globe, India will bear the brunt of climate related crises.

The Amazon is on fire, our Instagram feeds will bury #PrayForAmazonia in 2 days

by Yair Oded

Nearly everyone is posting about the scale and global relevance of the disaster in the Amazonia—a disaster that was sparked long before such posts began to appear and will presumably last long after they’re buried under the rubble of our feeds.
Country focus

The small South American nation of Uruguay, with just over 3 million citizens, has always been wealthier and with a higher standard of education than its neighbouring nations. Sitting on the South Atlantic ocean and bordering Argentina and Brazil, the country is known for being the first in South America to set up a welfare state and for its liberal views.

In contrast to many nations in Latin America, Uruguay boasts hundreds of independent media outlets and the media, as well as journalists, enjoy a safe environment of freedom of speech and freedom of information. In 2013, under the presidency of Jose Mujica, and as a measure to tackle drug cartel crime in the country, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana for recreational use.