Rain forests are being felled to make land available for extensive cultivation of maize to feed cattle kept in compounds. The cattle will be slaughtered for meat, beef fat, bone meal and leather at the earliest profitable moment.
All governments have laws to protect rain forests but don’t apply them, laws to treat livestock humanely but don’t apply them and laws against corruption of politicians and State agencies by International Corporations but don’t apply them.
National and International Law no longer applies to the corruptible ruling classes and their International Corporative pay masters. The purpose of these laws is window-dressing to please the gullible. Shakespeare has Wat Tyler, leader of revolting peasants at the end of the Fourteenth Century, reply to the question: What shall we do first? with Hang all lawyers. The elite have always protected themselves with law and lawyers. There are notable and noble exceptions in the legal professions.
Prior to contemporary civilization the rain forests were impenetrable except by local tribes who lived in and off the forests, loved them and cared for them. Contemporary civilization has ability to manufacture vast and powerful machines to destroy any natural habitat for profit, from Canadian Tar Sands to Amazonian Rain Forests. We are all aware of this and sense the dangers involved, even if not paying much attention.
Human civilization has required primeval forests to be felled across the face of the globe. We are attuned to such activity and regard it as natural. In historical terms deforestation is recent. The Ancient Greeks turned much of Greece into arid, rocky terrain incapable of growing trees and had to import timber from Italy. Since the Industrial Revolution three hundred years ago most primeval forests have been felled.
Trees are net extractors of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. Animals are net producers of Carbon Dioxide and Methane, the gases that cause the greenhouse effect, that cause Global Warming.
Burning fossil fuels are part of the problem, they release carbon dioxide long stored in oil and coal. But here and now loss of plants, especially trees, and massive increase in numbers of animals especially beef cattle and people results in production of damaging gases far in excess of the capacity of the remaining trees to absorb them.
The Earth’s surface is roughly 30% land and 70% seas. The seas have kept the concentrations of gases in the atmosphere more or less stable by absorption of excess amounts of any gas above levels that have remained normal for thousands of years.
The seas are becoming more acidic with the massive increases in acidic gases to be absorbed and are warming at the same time. This is harmful to sea life. Coral reefs are dying as are many species of algae that inhabit them and the sea generally. Marine food chains start with these miniature life forms.
Its not just burning fossil fuels that is the problem but thoughtless human behavior patterns that pollute the air, land and sea and at the same time destroy the natural means of clearing up.
Photographs courtesy eutah-mizushima and dawid-zawila from the Unsplash collection.