BRAZIL (NBC NEWS) — The amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, but as efforts to extinguish the fires mount, some worry that they’re really just a drop in the bucket.
Kerry Sanders is in Brazil, with this report.
From the air, and the ground. Tonight – the Brazilian military with orders to do what they can to stop the vast fires.
To stop those clear-cutting the trees, some more than 400 years old.
The rainforest destruction this year: Historic. More than 2.1 million square miles. The so-called lungs of planet earth are responsible for 20 percent of our oxygen, now, say scientists at a tipping point. The amazon is very important for climate security, for climate stability to fight the climate crisis we are going through.
In the last forty years- an area the size of France: Destroyed to make way for farmers grazing cattle – planting soybeans.
It was only after protests around the world and the hashtag “save the amazon” trended online that brazil’s president announced the crackdown.
But many of brazil’s top scientists are skeptical. There are 10’s of thousand of spots burning so we are not sure if only sending a few hundred or few thousand soldiers into the forest will be sufficient
In bolivia today, a third day of water drops from the 747 super tanker.
Based in colorado the crew flew directly from California, but the rainforest is a different type of fire and they say the airdrops are not as effective.
Dr: So we’re significantly outmatched and undergunned. And just able to hang on with our fingernails to help them.
We came upon Bill Volkert from Wisconsin bird watching in the rain forest today. He said, “my real concern is that I’m not down here just to see this before it’s gone. This is called the lungs of the earth and so what’s happening here in South America impacts the whole world, including right where you live.”