The ironclad heroism of Instagram users

Amazon forest faces a growing threat from more frequent fires 

By: Elijah Winn | Editor and Micah Regalado | Editor in Chief

September 6,2019

Since January 2019, over 80,000 fires have sprung up throughout the Amazon rainforest, ravaging Brazil. In an attempt to solve the issue, Instagram fiends courageously fight the Amazon fires from couch or toilet by posting appalling videos of the fires, captivating the true horror of the event.

According to studies, each post highlighting the fires extinguishes up to one full square foot of ablaze land. Riding on the coattails of the burning forest, some have discovered the personal gains of showing that they know the location of the repost button. “I may not know who Amazon is, but I do know that posting about he or she being on fire really helps my follower count,” Instagram addict Fredrick Countrell said, who later realized that the Amazon was “at least in Europe or whatever.”

After frantically posting another video on his story when hearing about the climate change issue Countrell said, “The environmental issues are really the stuff that boosts your numbers the most. When I first learned about the Dodo I posted on my story saying for every follower I got I would bring back one Dodo.” Countrell has employed his profound discovery of using horrible environmental tragedies to amass a staggering 107 followers.

In the near future, Countrell aims to extend his exploitations to other world issues such as North Korea and world hunger, later saying to himself, “I could be the next Barack Obama.” 

Internationally, the issue is beginning to see resolution. French President Emmuanel Marcon said that the G7 countries have pledged to fund the $20 million aid package; Trump, while not present during the meeting, piggybacked off of Marcon’s statement with a thumbs up emoji. Trump’s nonchalant response to the fires has not satisfied the public outcry, so some have taken to social media to express their concerns.

As a result, many Instagram users allow themselves to become satisfied with simply reposting an Instagram story on the issue. Thus, society shifts the blame off of themselves by attempting to “do their part” and show that they care, without spending any true time or money. However, not everyone lives in this lie.

“It’s just white noise to a bigger issue,” San Clemente High School senior Jack Martin said.

While some may have their heart in the right place, hoping to bring attention to a clear issue of modern times, it leaves them feeling as if they have played their part. In reality, simply spreading knowledge, while an important first step, only goes so far. 

On the ground the damage is clearly present and unceasing

These people, if they truly do care, should volunteer around their neighborhood or donate money to foundations who can actually help. Although volunteering within the community to save the environment may not directly help with the Amazon, it helps fight the bigger issues of conserving the surrounding world.

Furthermore, many understand the wrongs of the food industry, specifically regarding beef, yet do not make an attempt to alter their own food choices. Within the Amazon, cattle ranchers are the number one cause of deforestation, destroying the habitat at a rapid rate. Viewing the situation in only black and white, they feel as if they can either continue their diet or cut out meat altogether; however, the true answer lies in a more complex grey area where people buy local food and simply watch their meat consumption in order to decrease the overall demand. This can result in change if done on a large scale.

“We have more power as a group, and by using petitions and group voice, we can push to protect the environment more effectively,” senior Ishaan Mody said. “We have to act on the claims we say to truly progress as a country.” Because  people feel believe that change is hard and almost impossible, they resort to posting on Instagram in order to relieve the guilt they feel, hoping that the likes they receive embody the change society wants.

Yet Instagram likes don’t create change, people do. 

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