Nature, Opinion

Opinion: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

Many of us would like to have a superpower. If that were possible, what superpower would you like to have?

In my case, I wish I could carry GIGANTIC buckets of water and use them to extinguish the fires that burn Guanacaste every year. The forest fires in the province often exceed 2,000 hectares. That’s equivalent to 2,801 times the area of the National Stadium in San José.

However, in the short term, I would use my superpower to put out the terrible fires that are destroying our planet’s lungs in the Amazons while you read this article.

But superpowers do not exist. They are a fantasy. So here I am, absolutely powerless, wishing I knew what to do and how to help.

Unsettled, I looked for trustworthy sources to find out. I took great care because the Internet is unvetted. Anything goes! So I am very cautious when verifying the information that I share.

First, I found out that although the Amazon seems far away distance-wise, it is 2,595.5 km or 1,612.7 miles from Guanacaste, according to Waze. However, it is closer than we think when it comes to the consequences that these fires will cause.

But the most important piece of information I found was thanks to the Costa Rican scientist and diplomat—and great friend—Melania Guerra. She suggested a list of actions that you and I can execute right now, in order to become part of the solution against the tragic fires in the Amazon.

Mental note: in the future, it is important to consider actions like these, adapt them and then apply them to our reality in Guanacaste.

For now, let’s focus on helping the Amazon:

  1. Donate money to serious and verified organizations like Rainforest Alliance, Amazon Watch, Amazon Aid, WWF Brasil and NatureOrg.
  2. Reduce meat consumption. Although “controversial” to some people’s preferences, this option is based on solid data. How does it work? In short, less meat consumption means less water waste, fewer forests cleared out for cattle farming, and more plants and forests available to generate oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide. All this generates more life and a healthier environment.

Don’t worry if you can’t imagine a life without meat. You don’t have to give it up entirely. We are only asking to decrease the frequency with which you consume it. And, in case you didn’t know, “meatless meat” developed in laboratories is already competing in the market. But that is a subject for a different article.

  1. Support the defense of human rights of the aboriginal communities carried by Amazon Watch.
  2. Think before voting! This is probably the most influential factor of all. Please get involved actively at the city, state/province and country level. And please, educate yourself before voting and electing leaders.

For example of current leaders’ behavior, let’s look at what happened in the case of the Amazon fires. On Monday, August 26, the countries that are part of the G7 offered to help fight the fires. In the middle of a world environmental crisis, Jair Bolsonaro, current president of Brazil, rejected the offer.

The help was in the form of a $22 million dollar fund created by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United States and the United Kingdom… and Bolsonaro turned it down!

When Bolsonaro was a presidential candidate for Brazil, there was great uncertainty regarding his policy regarding the Amazon. Today, we unfortunately see the results. But it’s too late. Brazil voted for him. This is why it is vital to know who to vote for!

In the end, humans are the cause of many horrendous situations, but we can also be part of the solution. The magnificent possibility of being part of the solution is our true superpower. Let’s use it!

***

A Costa Rican from Guanacaste, Roy has worked in projects for organizations such as World Wildlife Fund in Central America, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Bremen (Germany), the company Ad Astra Rocket (founded by former astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz), among others. He has interviewed many professionals in the fields of science and technology. He earned a master ‘́s degree in Communication of Science, and his work has received international recognition.

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