The Amazon Effect

15 05 2008

This morning on BBC radio there was a long topic on the deforestation of the Amazon. I listened to most of it but my mind was on other more local problems. I did here one illegal logger interviewed who said that he knew it was wrong but he had to survive. My mind went back a few days when I was driving to work. In front of me was a pickup truck loaded with fresh firewood. The wood was noticeably smaller than that being gathered a few years back and it was also very obviously green whereas in the past it was inevitably dead and therefore collected dry. And of course it was in a pickup truck, not balanced on someone’s head.

Now I did hear that a quarter of the Amazon has been deforested. While deforestation in this part of the world has always been an issue it has only been exacerbated by the current economic crisis. I do doubt that the owner/driver of the pickup really needed a full load for his own use – surely he was going to sell it. I don’t begrudge people who cannot afford alternative fuels cutting or collecting wood to cook – I just begrudge those who created the economic crisis that necessitates this practice. It’s depressing. I wonder if their children will have to live with the consequences or they will just go elsewhere?



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