Friday, January 25, 2008

Amazon Destruction Rises Sharply

(AP Photo/Marcello Casal, Agencia Brasil)

This has fucking got to stop and its heartening to see Brasil (Spanish spelling - ed) realizes this. It isn't going to be cheap to patrol the Amazon, identify illegal activities, assess fines, and such, but it is necessary.

I intended to excerpt and call attention to the main points of the next linked report (a little very old —1992— and still prescient). It isn't like we haven't been warned.

But I'm too lazy ass, there's just too much there, I haven't the time for anything except providing you with access to the Effects of Deforestation. I will say the picture painted by the report is uglier than the picture at the top of this post.
Brazil will combat rising deforestation in the Amazon by sending extra federal police and environmental agents to areas where illegal clearing of the rain forest jumped dramatically last year, officials said Thursday.

Authorities will monitor the areas in an attempt to prevent anyone from trying to plant crops or raise cattle there, Environment Minister Marina Silva said.

The new measures were announced after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called an emergency meeting of Cabinet ministers because new data showed an apparent reversal of a three-year slowdown in the Amazon deforestation rate.

The clearing of Brazil's Amazon rain forest jumped in the final months of 2007, spurred by high prices for corn, soy and cattle.

Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes said Latin America's largest nation has plenty of available land for farming and cattle that has already been deforested. Environmentalists fear sugarcane, used here to produce ethanol, could spread through the rain forest, but most ethanol operations are in southern Brazil far from the Amazon.

"It's not necessary to cut a single tree to produce soy or raise cattle," Stephanes said. "There's plenty of land outside of the Amazon to increase the production of soy and beef."

Will the efforts of Stephanes and Brasil work? Doubtful except it might slow deforestation. I pound away at this subject and the concomitant subject of desperate peoples' needs* to take whatever they require.

If you looked at the amazing photographs of the trail to the China tea house I posted earlier and clicked on them, then look closely, you'll notice the chain "handrails" are padlocked to the mountain to prevent theft. People take what they have to and can.

But a few million desperate people, taking what they can, will likely have devastating unintended affects on the rest of the world's people. If you haven't seen it, please rent the Sean Connery movie Medicine Man (1992). It graphically depicts how medicines are lost when the Amazon is destroyed.

Someday you, your loved ones, I might require medicines which only the Amazon can provide. Probably not I, but I'm making a fucking point here.

Time to step down from the soap box? yeah, thought so.

* Should that be singular or plural? I agonized over that single letter "S".

Via Japan Herald.



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