The Amazonian Rainforest has been burning for weeks now at an unprecedented rate. What are we, as Pagans and Witches, going to do about it? What can we do about it?
I’m watching rain outside of my office window right now, glorious fire-dampening rain. I can’t help but feel that no matter how focused my intention might be, it’s beyond my ability to magically move that rain over the Rainforest. In fact, I’ve spent the last couple of days feeling pretty overwhelmed and ineffective. And frankly, while I am holding intention and energy for the fires to stop, it feels like that isn’t enough.
Well-known Pagan musician Arthur Hinds wrote this morning:
“Amazonia is on fire. This is bad for many reasons. You might have heard that it produces a bunch of our oxygen. It does not do this directly. Almost all the oxygen made there is consumed there, by the intense animal life flourishing within it. What that rain forest does is produce a huge plume of nutrient dust that falls into the sea. Diatoms, tiny algae with shells, eat that dust, and they produce a chunk of our oxygen. Diatoms love Amazon dust. The closer you look at ecosystems, the more complex they become. Here is a problem. Rising CO2, and the huge fires ain’t helping here either, acidifies the ocean. If the PH goes too far the wrong way, then diatoms have trouble forming shells, and they die.”
I am itching to pluck my strand of the interdependent web we all share, but what can one person do? A lot, it turns out, if each of us does what we can. Several organizations have compiled lists of practical steps we can take to try—try—to save the Rainforest.
CNET (owned by CBS), a website that publishes reviews, news and other media on global technology, published an article today that lists ways to help. Because Witches and Pagans are generally not oozing money from their pores, I’ve included some of author Shelby Brown’s non-monetary support actions below:
- Reduce your paper and wood consumption. Double-check with Rainforest Alliance that what you’re buying is rainforest-safe.
- ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you run.
- Explore Change.org petitions. A lawyer in Rio Branco has accumulated over 77,000 of his 150,000 signature goal to mobilize an investigation into the Amazonian fires.
Newsweek writer Aristo Georgiou suggests we lower our beef consumption in his article, How to Help the Amazon Rainforest. He writes: “Cattle ranching is another main driver of deforestation in the Amazon, with farmers cutting down vast swathes of the forest to make room for their animals—a problem that is particularly noticeable in Brazil. In fact, the country is the largest exporter of beef on the planet.”
We, you and I, are people of action. People who keep our impact on the planet in mind as we go about our business. We recycle, we re-use, we reduce—or try to, anyway—the non-biodegradable waste we inevitably produce. Some of us have been living earth-centrically for years, and still it doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes. This is one of those times.
Are you going to throw up your hands in despair and quit because it’s all just too much? I suspect not. I would guess most of us see ourselves as occupying a speck of a space on an inconceivably long continuum. And I would guess most of us are stewarding the stuffing out of our little speck on the continuum and we’ll continue to do so even during the darkest of days, ‘cuz that’s how we roll in the shire.
So, act locally; think globally—and in particular bend your energies not only toward the Rainforest wildfires, but to the fires raging across our planet (which is a pretty depressing map to look at).
Unitarian minister Edward Everett Hale wrote, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Never stop believing that all of our energies—magickal and mundane—can work together to have a positive impact on our beloved planet. So May It Be, and Make It So!