For anyone who cares about the planet, its future, and our own, the images of the tropical Amazon ablaze are harrowing.
The world's largest rainforest is frequently described as the "world's lungs", often reported as producing 20 per cent of the oxygen in our planet's atmosphere.
Urgent crisis, or scaremongering? Last call to arms, or fake news?
The numbers being used vary. Some scientists say the 'world's lungs' analogy isn't helpful, and the world is not in danger of being depleted of oxygen.
• Amazon wildfires can be seen from space, as world watches 'global emergency' unfold
• Breathing trouble: Fears smoke from Amazon fires is causing respiratory problems
• Amazon fires could accelerate global warming and cause lasting harm to a cradle of biodiversity
• Gwynne Dyer: Amazon fires spark international outcry
What is clear, however, is that the rainforest is vital as the world's largest "sink" for storing harmful carbon dioxide, and therefore plays a significant part in preventing climate change.
Some scientists say the number of fires in Brazil so far this year is double last year's total.
Scientists say as the fires burn, they emit carbon dioxide, deforestation will make rain less frequent, which will only exacerbate the cycle, water supply is lost to communities, and remarkable biodiversity lost from the planet. Yet even as the Amazon burns, there is time for some to debate, deny and dismiss the extent of the problem.
While the G7 recognised the growing emergency and offered Brazil millions to help get the fires under control, Brazil's newly elected right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro — who campaigned on expanding the farming industry and opening the Amazon to development and since election has dismantled various indigenous and environmental protection mechanisms — has said the fires are under control, and even blamed environmentalists for starting them.
He refused the offer of millions from the G7 to help fight the blazes — getting into a schoolyard spat with French President Emmanuel Macron in the process — but has since accepted money from the UK and sent troops to fight the fires.
US President Donald Trump tweeted Bolsonaro "is working very hard on the Amazon fires and in all respects doing a great job for the people of Brazil". But then this is the president who also pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement, designed to try to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
It is certainly unfair to lay the rate of deforestation in Brazil at the feet of the new president alone. In a country riddled with poverty, what is the alternative for those trying to earn a living? And, when it comes to finger-pointing, is any country or individual guilt-free?
China is among the countries fuelling some of the demand for soybeans and cattle — driving the Amazonian deforestation. This deforestation continues apace in Indonesia and Thailand, in parts of Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe.
Are we doing all we can in New Zealand? Slogans such as "climate change is this generation's nuclear-free moment" are all very well, but here — as elsewhere — politics often gets in the way of progress.
It's wise not to be swayed by emotion and rhetoric, but it is certainly worth considering whether we are as fired up as we should be when it comes to protecting our planet and ourselves.