• ITVI.USA
    12,499.850
    28.070
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    16.210
    0.080
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,486.680
    25.950
    0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.640
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.630
    0.110
    4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.910
    0.050
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.250
    -0.060
    -4.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.390
    0.130
    5.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.330
    0.070
    5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.750
    0.020
    0.7%
  • WAIT.USA
    103.000
    -17.000
    -14.2%
  • ITVI.USA
    12,499.850
    28.070
    0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    16.210
    0.080
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,486.680
    25.950
    0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.640
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.630
    0.110
    4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.910
    0.050
    2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.250
    -0.060
    -4.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.390
    0.130
    5.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.330
    0.070
    5.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.750
    0.020
    0.7%
  • WAIT.USA
    103.000
    -17.000
    -14.2%
Sustainability

The Amazon rainforest is on fire and burning out of control

Large areas of the Amazon rainforest started burning 16 days ago, and the fires have been spreading since. Residents of some of the largest cities in South America have not seen the sky because of the smoke from the fires. And there have been few efforts made to stop these fires. 

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s president, has tried to pass off these fires as the work of environmental non-governmental organizations. When running for president, Bolsonaro ran on the promise to bring economic prosperity to Brazil, by any means. He has stated before that he is not “Captain Chainsaw” when discussing deforestation. 

Yet he has encouraged the use of the Amazon rainforest to improve the economy. Bolsonaro even cut the budget for Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency. As a result, farmers in and around Novo Progresso and Altamira started fires around their farms to make the land uninhabitable for wildlife, and to level it for use as a demonstration in favor of clearing the forest and for land acquisition. They are doing so with no local opposition.

On Saturday, August 10, these Amazonian farmers declared it to be ‘dia do fogo,’ or day of fire as reported by Folha de S.Paulo, a local newsource. There was a 300 percent jump in new fires in Novo Progresso from the previous day, and more fires were started in the days following. The jump in Altamira was even larger – at about 743 percent. 

Novo Progresso is largely made up of farmers and logging operations. Most of the fires were started along the BR-163 highway, making it difficult to travel along the route.

The Amazon rainforest hosts an uncountable number of plants and animals that are vital for the ecosystem to operate. As a carbon sink, the rainforest absorbs atmospheric carbon and produces about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen. 

Image: NASA

What started as a demonstration burned out of control, putting the health of people in smoke- dense areas at risk, and if left to continue, the rainforest may become a dry savannah, displacing or killing surrounding wildlife. This also means that the Amazon would emit carbon, and stop producing oxygen.

The Amazon has yet to reach peak dry season, which usually occurs in mid-September. This could accelerate the fires, causing further damage to the rainforest. Farmers will likely continue illegally obtaining more land with little opposition throughout the rest of the dry season. 

These fires, along with the increase in the rates of deforestation in Brazil can have long-lasting, irreparable effects if left alone. Efforts to enforce the laws on land acquisition are typically abandoned due to public opposition. 

Other fires have since begun across Brazil’s rainforest, and are also raging out of control. The country’s space research group (INPE) stated that there are 80 percent more fires than last year. 

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Dean Croke, Chief Analytics Officer, FreightWaves

Prior to FreightWaves, Dean lead Data Science teams at Omnitracs Analytics, FleetRisk Advisors and Spireon in addition to heading up Lancer’s long-haul truck insurance business. He has a strong trucking background in trucking operations, vehicle telematics, data science, business intelligence, data analytics, 24/7 workplace scheduling and human physiology. After pioneering the deployment of the trucking industry’s first predictive models in the mid-2000’s as one of the founders of FleetRisk Advisors, he has developed a specialty in creating operational insights in freight markets using vast data sets and visualization tools to operationalize data. Dean has a Bachelor of Business in Transport and Logistics. Dean’s trucking experience also extends to his days as an over-the-road driver in his native country Australia where in the process of covering over two million miles, he owned and operated some of the largest “road trains” in the world. He was also General Manager of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) where he played a key role in the development of the TruckSafe and Fatigue Management Program – both alternative compliance programs which have been cited in the FMCSA’s recent “Beyond Compliance” initiative.
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