Leonardo DiCaprio Strikes Again For The Environment

Leonardo DiCaprio is going to be remembered for doing more than just acting, especially since he just announced a $5 million donation to help fight the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

For weeks, the Amazon has been on fire, which conveniently clears forest lands for agriculture and the fossil fuel industries, a constituency favored by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who recently rejected a $20 million aid package offered by the G7 nations to help save the most important ecosystem on our planet.

The deforestation threatens to eliminate a crucial system that would help fight climate change, all while spewing more carbon into the atmosphere that will worsen the crisis.

In addition, less oxygen will be produced by the forest and we lose potential cures that have not been discovered yet as there are many plant species that scientists don’t know about.

DiCaprio, who already has an environmental organization that funds projects around the globe and has done more to fight climate change than most nations, has now joined the fight against the fires by pledging $5 million through a new charity known as Earth Alliance.

“The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” DiCaprio wrote on Instagram. “The Brazilian Amazon – home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species – has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.⁣”

“The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio concluded. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. ⁣The Amazon needs more than our prayers.”

The sole mission of Earth Alliance is to protect the Amazon rainforest and stop the fires that are burning it to the ground.

“The destruction of the Amazon rainforest is rapidly releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, destroying an ecosystem that absorbs millions of tons of carbon emissions every year and is one of the planet’s best defenses against the climate crisis,” the organization wrote in a statement. “In addition, indigenous peoples’ land covers about 110 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon, making the region critical not just for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, but also for the cultural survival, self-determination, and wellbeing of the Amazon’s indigenous peoples.”

The organization directly blamed agricultural pursuits such as cattle ranching as a cause of the flames.

“Large-scale cattle operations and feed crops – much of it illegal – along with some impacts from logging, are the primary drivers of this deforestation,” the group said.

Furthermore, the money will not be going to the Bolsonaro government, but to local communities that are far more trustworthy to use the money to fight the fires.

“These funds will be distributed directly to local partners and the indigenous communities protecting the Amazon, the incredible diversity of wildlife that lives there, and the health of the planet overall,” the statement concluded.

This is the most important fight the world must engage in right now. The key to Earth’s future survival is the Amazon rainforest and Brazil must be pressured to protect it by any means necessary. We are talking about the survival of every living thing on the planet. We need to act like it and fight for our lives. Leonardo DiCaprio sure is.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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