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Saturday, March 24, 2007


Monkeygrinder found an interesting reference to deforestation occurring in Brazil to make room for sugar cane. This complements the interesting find that Khebab made of Borneo deforestation to make room for oil palm.

I tried to find a "good" example of jungle clearing in Brazil via Google Earth. This Google landmark fit the desciption:
If you see north west and south east of this placemark you will find a HUGE destruction of the amazon forest spreading just like a virus. Unfortunately this is us in action, the same civilization capable of creating such wonderfull things as google earth, is able to close the loop and show us some of our worst atributes.

An area of Amazon jungle larger than the U.S. state of New Jersey has been destroyed this year and work on a new highway is mainly to blame, environmental group Friends of the Earth and the government said on Wednesday.

The preliminary figures, based on satellite images, alarmed environmentalists because they suggest that Amazon destruction has surpassed its second-highest level reached in 2002-2003.

The data is based on a satellite system which has been monitoring Amazon deforestation on a test basis. The government's yearly figures, released in March, are based on data from a different satellite system.

The images indicated that from 8,920 square miles to 9,420 square miles (23,100 sq km to 24,400 sq km), or an area bigger than New Jersey, was cut down this year, said Joao Paulo Capobianco, the government's secretary of biodiversity and forests.

If confirmed, the total figure for this year's deforestation will be above the 2002-2003 level of 9,170 square miles (23,750 sq km), said Roberto Smeraldi, head of Friends of the Earth in Brazil.

The figure was especially worrying because it showed that for the first time in history Amazon deforestation rose despite a slowdown in agriculture during the year, he said.

A record level was set in the mid-1990s in a year marked by an exceptional incidence of fires.

Small farmers have been major culprits in the trend as they hack away at Amazon jungle to expand their fields.

The data showed a big jump in deforestation along a road running through the heart of the Amazon that the government has said it wants to pave.

'The big reason for this (destruction) is the BR-163 road,' Smeraldi said. 'The government knew about this; it was warned. What is surprising is that they are not even talking about their anti-deforestation plans.'

In the region of the road, deforestation soared by more than five times, Smeraldi said. Settlers have moved in even before the government started paving it.

Environmentalists have warned that roads, dams and pipeline projects through the Amazon -- home to up to 30 percent of the planet's animal and plant species -- represent the biggest threat to the forest because they open up access to large-scale development and settlement.

This snapshot spans an area 200 miles on a side.


Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

aside from energy and enviromental costs, we might also ask:

How many slaves, hacking at sugar cane, does it take to fuel one rich person's vehicle? Biofuel cars will have to be equipped with machine guns and heavy armor plate.

10:22 AM  
Professor Blogger monkeygrinder said...

out of sight, out of mind.

It is 72 degrees in my office right now. Been that way for years. So there is no global warming.

None of the trees in my yard have died. What deforestation?

My fruit bowl has fruit in it. So the farms are alright.

One cannot be expected to worry about the oxygen until it is gone. (then it is too late.)

1:23 AM  
Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

Looks like jungle cancer to me.

(That's Dr Big Gav, not Professor Big Gav)

3:58 AM  

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