Naivety – A Generational Epidemic

Zac Zarski, Staff Reporter

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This year has seen the highest number of forest fires in Brazil since 2010, with the northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondonia, and Amazonas having been particularly affected. Brazilian officials estimated more than 87,000 forest fires in just the first eight months of this year. That is a 77.551% increase in the number of fires compared to the prior year, with 2018 having experienced just an estimated 49,000 forest fires. The Amazon is important to the US because it is a massive carbon sink that holds over 100 years of human carbon emissions. Even though there is a significant amount of devastation in the Amazon as a result of the fires, students here at Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy (ILCA) seem to be fairly unaware of what’s going on in the Amazon.

Nik Pinka, when asked about the fires in Brazil, commented: “Wait, there’s fires?” 

 ILCA’s students have varying amounts of knowledge about the fires in Brazil’s section of the Amazon. The amount of awareness relating to the Amazon could be related to grade levels and age, as 8th graders interviewed seemed to have little to no knowledge about the fires in the Amazon. While the Sophomores had basic to advanced knowledge on the Amazon’s condition and the fires occurring inside it. Even though some students were more educated than others none of the students were able to able to name the president of Brazil or even the president’s standing on the situation.

When asked what he thought the Brazilian government’s standing on the fires was, Zane Evans commented “I feel like they want it to burn, because to be honest if you let it burn you get more land and if you get more land, well you can have more people, if you have more people well your more powerful, more power, more rights, more rights, more power.”

 Most students also didn’t have very strong opinions about what is going on in the rainforest, stating that they weren’t very interested in the topic, but they all had differing opinions on how the Amazon fires would affect the US. Students also unanimously thought their peers were poorly educated on this topic. 

When explaining the impact of the fires in the Amazon on the US Reiley Koespel stated: “Well with like all the trees burning down, we’d have less oxygen which would kill us so we would die”.

Out of the students interviewed not one of them had any idea of how Americans can help preserve or protect the Amazon rainforest. The naivety of students continues to be a generational problem among those enrolled at ILCA