Thursday, February 15, 2007

Going deeper into the Amazon...

I'm really happy CNN is bringing light to this topic. But sometimes the "green political correctness" has some ironic twists. At first sight the main causes of the Amazon deforestation might be seen as the very visually dramatic huge craters of mineral exploitation – great images when for aerial TV shots- , then the cattle pastures for meat production, and veggie 's favorite: soy bean production. The vegan market is in such a profitable growth that they don't keep track of whatever the sources of their smoothie Soy Milk, Tofu and its likes, and that they are actually eating a piece of the Amazon itself - although I have to admit that Sting’s concerts and fundraisers for the Rain Forests are great -. Irony of life.

But unfortunately for CNN, the media and the green politics, the causes of deforestation are complex. On the surface, the process is driven by demand for timber and farm-and pasture-land. But the primary underlying cause is poverty. In Bolivia, which holds part of the Amazon rainforest, the average annual income is equivalent to $800 ( how many of you earn that in a week? ). Farmers in the countries of the Amazon rainforest do not have the money to buy necessities, so they must raise cattle or crops to live on and to sell. But to do this, they need land. By clearing tracts of land in a small-scale process known as "slash and burn," they convert forestland to farmland. However, because rainforest soil is thin and low in nutrients, pastures and crop fields can be used for only a short time before they are no longer fertile and must be abandoned.

As you might notice in this Amazon map, the CNN camp is really in the "legal exploitation" site of the forest, not really at its heart.

5 comentarios:

Anonymous said...

And now you want to ruin my veggie burger?

Anonymous said...

You brought up some very good points. I hope that sometime during this series AC360 shows ways that we can help in conservation through lifestyle changes. Conserving our use of energy and buying soy products that were cultivated in the US are only two ways to help.

Changes in our personal conservation efforts won't cost much but it does take a little bit of effort. And every little bit does help.

jr said...

@Christiane: I've learned more about Global Warming through your post than I have from watching AC360! Thanks. maybe I'm still annoyed about all the mystery surrounding AC's special assignment this week and/or lack of covering all angles. Like you said, it's a complex topic. I still have hope that AC360 will do it some justice.

Sharla Dawn said...

I'm always amazed at this story. I remember hearing it in elementary school- and they were screaming about it then, too. Now, twenty years later, they're saying the same stuff still. So my question is.... is it not really as bad as they say? Worse? The same?

Anonymous said...

@jr: I was thinking the same thing.

Looks to me like maybe the logistics of doing this series wasn't thought out very well. I think this is a really important series and I'm glad they are doing it but I must admit it's frustrating that it is starting off in such a chaotic way.

I know people have a tendency to freak out when Anderson is gone from the show for any length of time but I would rather see him gone for a couple of days in order to shoot footage for the series and then have him back with some really good segments for the show.

Just seems to me that if CNN is going to invest the time, energy and money to do this series they should do it right, give it the attention it deserves and present it in the best way possible.


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