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Pascrell Sounds Alarm on Amazon Inferno

Calls for Congress to explore its options to act against titanic climate threat

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today reacted to the ongoing fires in the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, calling for Congress to pursue courses of action to help stop blazes which threaten to accelerate climate change.

 “The Amazon is on fire, and if the world does not act, the damage will be irreversible. It provides about 20 percent of the world’s oxygen, making it is quite literally earth’s lungs, and perhaps our strongest bulwark against climate change,” said Rep. Pascrell, a strong supporter of climate action and a cosponsor of H.Res. 109, the Green New Deal. “We need to do more than pray for the Amazon. We must speak up for our natural resources and invest in their protection. Congress should consider all appropriate actions to alleviate and stop the fires and offer any help America can provide. At the same time, we must stand against any rhetoric or actions from leaders that are contributing to this ongoing devastation.”

The Amazon is a 1.4-billion-acre span of fauna spread across eight nations, containing over 4,000 miles of rivers and one-in-ten known species on earth. Holding up to 140 billion metric tons of carbon, the rainforest acts as a critical set of lungs for the earth by stabilizing the global climate. According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, there have been 74,155 fires since January, representing an 85 percent increase from last year. Deforestation on the scale that is now occurring is releasing enormous quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, the continued consequences of which will be dire for climate change.

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