After news of an Amazonian wildfire hit headlines worldwide, elites were quick to jump on the fearmongering bandwagon, telling their followers the “lungs of the world” were on fire.
A recent media release from NASA, however, shows just how little these elites know. Soccer stars, Hollywood idols and even a European president were caught pushing the lies earlier this week.
The language is full of fear, with one proclaiming “our house is burning.” Others pushed the “fact” that the Amazon produces 20 percent of the world’s oxygen.
And then there are the pictures.
There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the Amazon rainforest?
— Aaron Ramsey (@aaronramsey) August 22, 2019
Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days! #ActForTheAmazon pic.twitter.com/dogOJj9big
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 22, 2019
The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and its been burning for the past 3 weeks. It’s our responsibility to help to save our planet. #prayforamazonia pic.twitter.com/83bNL5a37Q
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 22, 2019
A reverse image search proves that some of the photos being shared weren’t even taken in the same century as this year’s fire.
Take for instance the picture posted by athlete Aaron Ramsey. The photo of that blaze was taken in 1989.
Emmanuel Macron, president of France, posted a picture that is at least seven years old. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s photo was originally posted in 2013, and reposted throughout the years.
And photos are not the only thing fake about these viral social media posts. According to NASA, this year’s Amazon rainforest fire isn’t exactly something to freak out about.
“In the Amazon region, fires are rare for much of the year because wet weather prevents them from starting and spreading,” a post from NASA reads. “However, in July and August, activity typically increases due to the arrival of the dry season.”
Even though NASA data shows increased fire activity in 2019, when it is compared to the past 15 years, the activity is about average.
“As of August 16, 2019,” the post later reads, “an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years.”
And as for the “lungs of the world” claim? Science doesn’t support that, either.
It’s easy to fall prey to fake news and misinformation, as the French president and other elites proved when posting about the Amazon wildfire. Although there is a blaze cutting its way through farms and other areas, this average fire isn’t worth ringing the alarm bells.
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