The Wrong Amazon is Burning

A Google Chrome extension wants to remind you that it doesn’t have to be this way.
A screenshot of the Amazon is Burning extension in action.
Image: Edward Ongweso JR

Even though the Amazon Rainforest is being burned at this very moment, the monolithic online retailer with the same name is still hogging all the money and attention. Case in point: the first Google search results for “Amazon Fire” you’ll see after News and Video stories are all focused on the Amazon company’s family of Fire products. And while the G7 managed to pledge a paltry $22 million to fight the rainforest fires, Amazon's subscription services pulled in $4.7 billion last quarter—just over $51.6 million a day.


Enter "Amazon is Burning," a Google Chrome extension that drives the point home by simply adding a pixelated fire to your screen whenever you visit "Turn your attention to the Amazon that really matters,” Cole Orloff & Jeremiah Johnson write on the page. “We've created a Chrome extension that reminds people about the environmental crisis when they’re least likely to be thinking about it—while shopping on, the world’s largest retailer.”

Once the fires fill up your screen, you have the chance to donate to the Rainforest Trust, a U.S. based conservation nonprofit working to protect indigenous communities, biodiversity, and the rainforest itself. The plugin also directs you to learn more about individual ways to help.

It’s important to note, however, that while lifestyle changes are part of the solution, it’ll take much more to avert the looming climate apocalypse. Indigenous knowledge has been warning us about the consequences of climate change for centuries. Capitalism is how we got here, and it’s increasingly hard to see how a more benevolent form of it can get us out.