’Right now, if you search for news about the massive fires burning in the Amazon rainforest, you might mostly find stories about the Amazon Fire line of tablets and streaming devices.
The search results come at a critical time for the rainforest. Smoke from the fires, which as of this afternoon cover huge swaths of the Amazon basin, completely blotted out the midday sun in Sao Paulo this week, darkening the city at 2:00pm on Monday (Aug. 19). According to Brazil’s state satellite agency, the number of fires in the Amazon so far this year is up 85% compared to the same period last year. About half of this year’s blazes have occurred in the last 20 days.
Meanwhile, many of the headlines in Google News highlight “midweek deals” on older models of Amazon’s Fire tablet and reviews of the latest version of the device. Searches for both “amazon fire” and “fire in the amazon” on Aug. 21 turned up news stories about the products rather than the fires; in one search, news stories about the ongoing Amazonian fires didn’t appear until the second page of Google News results.
Amazon Watch, one prominent NGO dedicated to advancing the rights of indigenous people living in the Amazon basin, has called on Jeff Bezos and his company to direct some efforts towards protectingits namesake ecosystem in the past. (Bezos installed a model “rainforest” in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters last year.)…’