Amazon Destruction, Amazon Rain Forest Drought, Antarctic Ice Melt, Arctic Ice Melt, Biological Diversity, Brazil Rainforests, Capitalism, Climate Change, Climate Tipping Points, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Eco-Apocalypse, Ecocide, Ecological Overshoot, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Mining
The Earth’s population of efficient Human termites continues to devour the planet out of house and home. Similar to the oil industry racing to the Arctic to suck out any newly revealed deposits of fossil fuels, we have mining companies racing to exploit a dying Amazon forest. Just like the vanishing ice sheets and glaciers of the Arctic and Antarctic, the trees of the Amazon are succumbing to a warming planet:
A study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1 sheds light on the long-term effects of drought on the Amazon rainforest — giving clues about how the rainforest might be affected by global warming in the future. The researchers report that the severe drought that hit the rainforest in 2005 had lasting effects on the forest canopy, such that it remained damaged at least four years later…
…The latest analysis paints a grim picture for Amazonian rainforests should severe droughts become more frequent. Most Amazonian droughts are driven by warmer surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, but the severe droughts of 2005 and 2010 seem to have been influenced by warmer sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean.
It could change the drought outlook in the next report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due in 2014…
After reading that, a wise caretaker of the Earth would step back and contemplate serious conservation efforts for preserving this critical environmental feature of the planet. Many have called the Amazon rainforest the “Lungs of the Earth”‘, a “jewel of the Earth”, the ”world’s largest pharmacy”, and a “biodiversity hotspot”. Those phrases sound like they refer to something that is highly regarded and vital. But in the world of industrial capitalism, the response is to do this:
…All together, mining companies will spend some $24 billion between 2012 and 2016 to boost production of iron ore, bauxite and other metals found in the Amazon basin, according to Brazil’s mining association, Ibram. Already, Brazil is attracting a fifth of all mining investment globally, and for many the Amazon represents the country’s greatest untapped potential.
“The Amazon will be our California,” said Fernando Coura, Ibram’s president.
The push by miners into the Amazon fits with Brazil’s broader strategy to tap the rain forest’s natural resources to drive economic growth. Brazil is building hydroelectric dams on Amazon rivers, improving roads between far-flung Amazon towns and connecting them to the national power grid. Legal changes and government-backed lending will help pave the way for more Amazon mines…
And so the unending destruction of the planet steamrolls onward in the name of “developement” and “progress”. The conversion of the real world into profitable commodities leaves in its wake a toxic and barren wasteland. For those whose eyes have been opened to such ecocide, how much more can you take before you simply become numb to it, zombified to the death and destruction inherent in our socio-economic system of industrial capitalism.
…One cannot disdain all other living beings, grind mountains to extract minerals, build roads without a thought for habitat fragmentation, design gardens to please only human aesthetics, or harvest monocultures that serve solely human needs, and expect one’s world to continue for long. There is room for humans at Earth’s banquet, but only those who have lived in place long enough to have learned the contours of their terrain, the language of their plant and animal neighbors and, more than anything, the needs of non humans… – Biodiversity and Sustainability Are Closely Linked to Language and Culture
Yes, we’re akin to termites or cancer cells because we refuse to learn from our mistakes or change our ways from killing ourselves off. “Homo-plumbus” marches inexorably to its demise by its own hand.
“This entire area was thick, almost impenetrable, jungle,” said Oriovaldo Mateus, an engineer who arrived here in 1981 to work for Vale, the Brazilian mining giant. That was about the time that the authorities cut a road through the forest, making the settlement of Parauapebas feasible. By the early 1990s, he said, it had muddy roads, brothels and more than 25,000 people.
“Now, Brazil’s future is in Parauapebas and other cities of the Amazon,” said Mr. Mateus, 62, who heads the city’s business association and owns a company that leases mining equipment. He boasted that on some frenetic days, as many as two homes are built each hour to meet surging demand in the city’s settlements.