Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Here the rub of it all-we (the industrialized world) want the deforestation to stop. We want it to take care of the greenhouse gases. The people burning it need the wood for fuel so they can eat, and they need the land to raise crops (as short-sighted as it may seem to us) so that they can eat and maybe make enough money to survive. Flop over to the US, the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world. I'm willing to bet that most of the pro-rain forest proponents are in this country. How many of them would be willing to make drastic cuts in their production of these gases (not a life threatening decision) to assist the rain forest in reducing the gases? That is an argument/outlook I don't know that I've ever seen thrown out-since we are so rich (and spoiled), shouldn't we be held more accountable for our contributions to the problem instead of some poor Brazilian people who are trying to survive? Unfortunately, I think most people that are against the slashing and burning don't put themselves into the shoes of the Brazilians. They see things only from their own point of view (where nothing is their fault) where other people need to make the sacrifices.
Here is an essay I wrote on a subject related to my above rant for the Economist/Shell essay contest last year (no, I did not win.)