(TMU) — As the world recoils in shock and horror over the record wave of fires sweeping across the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, social media users have been quick to highlight the discrepancy in coverage received by the historic blaze versus the round-the-clock hysteria surrounding the burning of the historic Notre Dame cathedral in France back in April of this year.
The fires consuming the Amazon—considered the most important ecosystem in the world due to its role in preventing global heating as well as providing rainwater throughout the Americas—has quickly dominated social media feeds around the globe, with #PrayForTheAmazon and #PrayForAmazonia trending across the globe.
Despite the catastrophic nature of the fires scorching the “lungs of the world,” until this week the fires—which appear to have been intentionally set by arsonists serving agribusiness and cattle-ranching oligarchs—have received scant media coverage compared to the 15-hour blaze that tore through the old Parisian cathedral.
Social networks were quick to pick up on the blatant hypocrisy surrounding the discrepancy in coverage between the two blazes.
In one video shared by the Ecoagua organization based in Colima, Mexico, the caption notes:
“When Notre Dame was burned, a global tragedy was declared and in just a few days, 218 million euros were raised to rebuild it. Now the Amazon, the lungs of the world, have been burning for 16 days, which is home to more than than 600 species and nobody does anything, not even media or governments … The world isn’t dying, it is being killed!”
Cuando se quemó Notre Dame se declaró una tragedia mundial y en sólo días se recaudaron 218 millones de euros para reconstruirlo.Lleva 16 días quemándose el Amazonas, el pulmón del mundo, el que alberga más de 600 especies y NADIE HACE NADA, NI LOS MEDIOS NI LOS GOBIERNOS.¡El mundo no se está muriendo, lo estamos matando!
Posted by Eco agua on Tuesday, August 20, 2019
The sentiment has been widespread, with people expressing rage and horror over the tens of thousands of fires laying waste to the lush canopy jungle, flora and fauna of the Amazon.
An absurd aspect of the two fires is the fact that while the world was gripped by hand-wringing and grief over the burning of Notre Dame—which can easily be rebuilt and revived—the loss of the Amazon is completely irreplaceable and would spell doom for entire species, not to mention current and future generations of humankind.
In one popular meme shared across Spanish-language social media, photos of the two fires are compared:
“Lung of Faith: $280,000,000 donated in 24 hours.
Lung of the Earth: $0.00 donated in 17 days.”
In a repost of the widely-shared meme below, Facebook user Sarah Casella Miller commented:
“The Amazon has been burning for 16 days, the lung of the world, which is home to to date, at least 40,000 plant species, 427 mammals (e.g. jaguar, anteater and giant otter), 1,300 birds (e.g. harpy eagle, toucan and hoatzin), 378 reptiles (e.g. boa), more than 400 amphibians (e.g. dart poison frog) and around 3,000 freshwater fishes including the piranha have been found in the Amazon. Out of the plants, there are 16000 species of trees.”
The Amazon Rainforest is on Fire and Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It:…
Other social media users shared simple yet powerful cartoons that graphically depict the hypocrisy surrounding attitudes toward the two fires:
— desimoni (@desimoninah) August 21, 2019
The importance of the inferno consuming the Amazon can hardly be overstated. As journalist Alexander Zaitchik wrote in his investigative report on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s war on the Amazon published by the Intercept, the loss of the vital rainforest could prove lethal for the entire planet.
“Scientists warn that losing another fifth of Brazil’s rainforest will trigger the feedback loop known as dieback, in which the forest begins to dry out and burn in a cascading system collapse, beyond the reach of any subsequent human intervention or regret. This would release a doomsday bomb of stored carbon, disappear the cloud vapor that consumes the sun’s radiation before it can be absorbed as heat, and shrivel the rivers in the basin and in the sky.”
On Instagram, social media influencer Vienna Rye (@vrye) analyzed the absurdity behind the double-standard in a widely-shared meme that read:
“The Amazon has been burning for 3 weeks. But it is not Notre Dame. It is not a colonial building accidentally on fire for the West to sit behind keyboards and perform sympathy as if the devil doesn’t have a name, address and public office. This destruction is intentional.
Under fascist President Bolsonaro, there has been an 83% rise in wildfires since 2018, which he referred to as the ‘Queimada’ which is when farmers use fire to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.
The lungs of the world are burning so mega corporations and fascists can get even richer. This is institutionalized indigenous genocide.”
View this post on Instagram
"I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada” -bolsonaro, brazil’s president who is fascist, racist, homophobic, pro-israel, pro-trump. since his election, deforestation in the amazon has accelerated, and he has attacked brazil’s environmental agencies and declared plans to open up protected indigenous reserves to mining. this is an ongoing and institutionalized genocide of indigenous people, from the amazon to puerto rico to palestine to standing rock to kashmir, and beyond… . Dinamã Tuxá, Coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) said: "Our fear is that this situation will worsen. He foments hatred and violence against indigenous peoples with a discourse claiming that we are an obstacle for development, ignoring our contributions to environmental balance. We know our titled territories help to climate stability and that our preservation of these ecosystems offers collective benefits. His discourse gives those who live around indigenous lands the right to practice violence without any sort of accountability. Those who invade indigenous lands and kill our people will be esteemed. He represents an institutionalization of genocide in Brazil. . . We will fight as we have for the last 518 years, waging resistance to guarantee our existence."
As anger continues to spread across the globe, users are quickly realizing that it’s not enough to simply “Pray for the Amazon.”
The tragic burning of the rainforests in Brazil will hopefully awaken the current generation to organize efforts to defend Mother Nature and hold world leaders and media organizations accountable for their criminal negligence toward our shared ecosystem.
As people across the globe are increasingly realizing: “The world isn’t dying, it’s being killed!”
Megalodon Fossils Show How Biggest-Ever Shark Had Nurseries All Over the World
The massive megalodon, the largest shark to ever roam the seas, had their own nursery areas all over the globe that allowed the apex predators to raise their young and populate the world prior to their extinction.
A new study, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, reveals that nurseries belonging to the massive creatures have been found in across vast geographic distances where fossils belonging to both young and old megalodons were discovered.
The five likely nurseries include sites off Spain’s east coast, two off the coast of the United States, and two in Panama.
Megalodon (Otodus megalodon), whose name means “large tooth,” lived between 23 million and 3.6 million years ago until it went extinct during a period of global cooling. For 13 million years, the megalodon was the king of the sea.
The megalodon was not only the largest shark in the world, but also the biggest fish – and quite possibly the most powerful predator – to ever exist. Its teeth alone measured 18 centimeters long, and evidence shows that it could have grown to reach up to 60 feet in length.
However, because megalodon bodies were mostly comprised of cartilage – which cannot fossilize – the shark’s teeth, vertebrae and fossilized feces have been the main way researchers have calculated the shark’s body measurements.
The existence of the nurseries shows that young megalodon were still quite susceptible to attacks by other predators.
To keep the young megalodon safe, their shark parents would give birth to their young in shallow, warm water nurseries located near coastlines. In these special regions, juvenile megalodon were able to access their prey while facing few dangers from rival predators.
“Our analyses support the presence of five potential nurseries ranging from the Langhian (middle Miocene) to the Zanclean (Pliocene), with higher densities of individuals with estimated body lengths within the typical range of neonates and young juveniles,” the scientists wrote in the abstract for the study.
“These results reveal, for the first time, that nursery areas were commonly used by O. megalodon over large temporal and spatial scales, reducing early mortality and playing a key role in maintaining viable adult populations,” the authors added.
The nurseries were ideal sites that allowed young megalodons to mature into adults in a process that took about 25 years.
Experts investigated 25 teeth belonging to megalodon that were found in the Reverté and Vidal regions in Tarragona, Spain. The study led to the conclusion that these locations were filled with sharks that had body lengths consistent with the normal range of newborns and young juveniles, measuring 13 feet in length for one-month-old sharks to 36 feet in length for older juveniles.
A separate study released in September found that a 52.5-foot-long adult megalodon had heads that measure up to 15.3 feet long, with dorsal fins measuring about 5.3 feet tall and tails reaching 12.6 feet. To put this into perspective, an adult human could stand on a shark’s back and be roughly the same height as the dorsal fin.
The study’s findings also reveal that the shark’s reliance on nurseries likely played a role in their demise, when the world cooled near the end of the Pliocene period and sea levels declined.
“Ultimately, the presumed reliance of O. megalodon on the presence of suitable nursery grounds might have also been determinant in the demise of this iconic top predatory shark,” the authors of the study noted.
Minks Infected With Mutated Covid “Rise From Their Graves” After Being Killed in Mass Culling
If you thought that this year couldn’t get any weirder, now we can add covid infected minks rising from their graves to the list of strange 2020 happenings. The minks that appeared to rise from the dead had been infected with a mutated strain of COVID-19 in Denmark.
A Danish police spokesman, Thomas Kristensen, urged local residents to stay calm, and explained that these minks are not actually zombies. Kristensen said that gasses in the decay process sometimes cause the bodies to move.
“As the bodies decay, gases can be formed. This causes the whole thing to expand a little. In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground,” Kristensen said, according to the Guardian.
Another issue is the fact that the animals were placed in shallow graves because the process was rushed. The graves were just over three feet deep, which allowed some witnesses to see the movement. Now officials are planning to order the graves to be dug twice as deep.
“This is a natural process. Unfortunately, one metre of soil is not just one metre of soil –it depends on what type of soil it is. The problem is that the sandy soil in West Jutland is too light. So we have had to lay more soil on top,” Kristensen said.
Regardless of the scientific explanation, the incident has sparked plenty of conversation on social media.
Local residents shared photos and videos of the bodies coming out of the ground to social media with captions like “the year of the zombie mutant killer mink” and “run … The mink are coming for you.”
Kristensen warned that anyone who might see a shallow mink grave should stay away because there is still a small risk of infection. Even though the minks had been disinfected before being buried, there is still a chance that the virus can be passed on to a person.
He said that it could be possible that “small quantities of bacteria may still be trapped in their fur” adding that it is “never healthy to get close to dead animals, so therefore this is of course something to stay away from.”
Sadly, the country plans to kill all 15 million minks that live in the country. The country is reportedly responsible for producing 40% of the world’s mink fur. The country’s mink farmers have culled more than 10 million mink so far, according to the latest numbers.
The mink burial grounds will also be monitored around the clock, and they are working to put a fence up around the area. Still, despite these security measures, some officials are concerned that the burial grounds are too close to local water sources, which could potentially put the water supply at risk. Some officials, such as two mayors in the region, are suggesting that the corpses of the minks be burned.
As of Wednesday, Denmark has reported more than 74,000 COVID-19 cases and 800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
World’s Only White Giraffe Gets GPS Tracker After Poachers Killed His Family
The only known white giraffe in the world has been fitted with a tracking device to keep poachers away after its entire family was killed.
The unique creature has an extremely rare genetic trait known as leucism, which results in its white color. Unlike albinism, the loss of pigmentation is partial. However, the unusual coloration makes the animal desirable to unscrupulous poachers seeking a rare find in the wilderness.
The giraffe is currently staying at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in southeast Kenya. Earlier this month, conservationists fitted one of his horns with a GPS tracking device to ensure its survival, reports the BBC.
Conservationists say that the giraffe is the last of its kind that exists in the world, and have expressed concern that poachers could come to kill him after his two family members were killed in March.
The two relatives, a female and a seven-month-old calf with similar white skin, were found dead in a conservation zone in Garissa County in northeast Kenya, a large unfenced area where the male giraffe resides.
The three white giraffes had been “an immense source of pride in the Ishaqbini community” and garnered international attention over the years, the trust said in a Tuesday statement.
“The giraffe’s grazing range has been blessed with good rains in the recent past and the abundant vegetation bodes well for the future of the white male,” said Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.
The nonprofit group added that the tracking device would allow conservationists to see hourly updates on the whereabouts of the giraffe, granting rangers the ability to “keep the unique animal safe from poachers.”
The Kenya Wildlife Society, the main conservationist group overseeing the plight of wild animals in the eastern African nation, said that it was happy to assist any efforts on the ground to safeguard “unique wildlife like the only known white giraffe.”
The extremely rare creature was first spotted in March 2016, roughly two months after a reported sighting in neighboring Tanzania.
White giraffes appeared in world headlines one year later after the mother and her calf were caught on camera at the Garissa County conservancy.
Giraffes are native to over 15 African countries and are the world’s tallest mammals, reaching heights exceeding 18 feet. They primarily reside in savanna and woodland habitats, and subsist on a diet that includes flowers, fruits, leaves, and stems.
However, giraffes are coveted by poachers for their meat, skin, and body parts.
Around 40 percent of the giraffe population has been lost in the last 30 years, with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) blaming poaching and wildlife tracking for the precipitous decline. Fortunately, many giraffe populations enjoy various degrees of legal protection and are the focus of conservation efforts in their range states.
There are over 68,000 giraffes across the world, according to the foundation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List classifies the species as vulnerable, with one of the main threats to the animal coming from poaching as well as habitat loss due to uncontrolled mining and land conversion.
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