On April 15, 2019, the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire and it burned for around 15 hours before it was completely extinguished. By April 25th, “ordinary people” and billionaires donated $835 million to put towards repairs. Notre Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral in France. It took about a century to build, starting in around 1160 and largely complete by 1260. The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the flèche (the timber spire over the crossing) and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling.
In the summer of 2019, the rain forest in the Amazon started burning, and on August 26, 2019, six of the seven G7 nations pledged to collectively contribute $22 million to go towards fighting the unprecedented fires in the Amazon rainforest. According to Snopes.com (fact checkers), “Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported that there had been more than 72,000 fires in Brazil in 2019, an 80% increase compared to the same period from 2018.” The Amazon rainforest is considered by many to be the lungs of the world. According to Wikipedia, “the Amazon absorbs 1.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide” in a typical year. By some estimates, it’s said to produce about 20% of the world’s oxygen.
What do you think? Is this indicative of western priorities? Is it a futile exercise of comparing apples with oranges (ie, not the same thing)? Take the quick poll and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.