You'll be absolutely astonished and sickened at how much is already gone.
The trees and land are a resource for these countries with vast numbers living in poverty. Telling them they cannot use these resources just isn't going to work.
If we non-Amazon countries want them to stop deforestation, we have to dig into our pockets. But we we don't. Ecuador tried it, requesting funds for not drilling for oil. They were offered next to nothing, so the drilling is going ahead, which means roads and roads mean deforestation.
I speak for someone from the UK. We cut down our forests for the industrial revolution. We reached and passed peak oil in the north sea for the (supposed) benefit of the country as a whole. How can we expect other countries to not use (abuse) their resources the same?
Another perspective would be that they attempted to blackmail the rest of the world by threatening to open Yasuni National Park to drilling, a World Heritage Site, home to uncontacted Waorani people, and one of the last locations with large land mammals left in the western Amazon.
I spent a lot of time in the park and in Block 16, an area to the west that was opened to drilling in the 1990s. There are no easy solutions, just a lot of gray, corruption, and suffering. The whole no drilling thing was a complete charade. They were already building the roads.
How is it blackmail if it's a viable option they are going ahead with? Are you suggesting they are/were bluffing?
> home to uncontacted Waorani people
It is unconscionable we do not contact these people and bring them basics like modern medicine and education about proper hygiene. Basically they are animals in a zoo for our pleasure atm.
And destroy their culture and way of living in the process? Why? We don't have any right to force on them what you think is 'better' for them. That's happened so often in history, it's time that people finally realize that they do way more harm than good by forcing their views and 'standards' on others.
Actually, there are more forests in North America than there were 100 years ago. Caveat: there are fewer old-growth forests and the tree diversity is not as great.
However the bigger issue I think are the few evil people in those countries who look at its natural resources and see dollars instead. They just want to log, mine as much as they can, export it all out and basically make free money. Their business strategy is simple: buy off government personals, acquire natural resources that was supposed to belong to people and sell it off to other countries in the world. You are not going to be able to prevent this either.
One effective way to discourage this is put a worldwide ban of exported wood from Amazon. If major countries can come together on this then this could actually work.
The evil people are not only from those countries.
Those are the biggest mining companies:
Just an extract:
"Anglo American's wholly owned Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil and Sishen mine, part of its Kumba iron ore operations in South Africa are among the world's 11 biggest iron ore mines."
Tell that to the ivory poachers. All a ban accomplishes is turning an industry that has demand underground, meaning they can now operate off the books, illegally, not pay proper wages, operate completely without regulation and if they run into competition, instead of working side one another they often kill each other.
Prohibition has literally never worked for literally anything.
But, sanctions have.
The "this time its different now that the whole planet is in danger" brigade really annoy the hell out of me. Say what you will about people who would plunder the earth for its resources, at least they're nominally honest about their dealings. But those who would tell the so-called less-developed what to do with their resources …
We've industrialized but they're meant to what? Survive on hand-outs? They're meant to skip the industrialization phase and leave their resources untapped. That's super fair. Given that the industrialized nations have caused the damage then why don't we roll out safe nuclear power and electric cars or something instead of trying to artificially hobble others who share our planet. Of course if you suggest that to the "save the rain-forest" brigade they'll start whining about how unsafe nuclear power is when all the time pollution from coal/oil/gas-powered stations and internal combustion vehicles ruins the lives of how many more each year?
I live in a country that used to be covered in dense medieval oak forests. Practically all gone now. How about we replant ours instead of telling others to stop cutting down their.
Yes, we all share one globe. Yes it would be for the benefit of the globe to protect these regions. But most decisions like this are economic decisions, and the economics support slash and burn.
For an amazing account of how mind-blowingly quickly it happened once heavy machinery was introduced, I recommend reading "The Golden Spruce: A true story of myth, madness and greed" 
there does not seem to be any solution.
The motto for the Soviets was pretty summed up as "git er done" no matter the cost. That meant lots of enviro damage --look at the Aral sea for another example.
The Caledonian Forest of Scotland was destroyed in roughly the same amount of time during the 19th century by the English following the Highland Clearances.
Obviously there are economic and political forms of organization that do not result in massive environmental destruction. Saying that "it's not capitalism because the USSR did it too" when clearly the example of the current situation in Brazil is capitalist is disingenuous.
Brazil likes to think of itself as socialist --the Worker's Party (o partido dos trabalhadores) was in power for pretty long till recently (during which lots of the rainforest plundering took place). So even in Brazil, the leftists didn't care about the enviro.
I could also bring up a litany of Chinese projects, North Korean projects, Vietnamese, Former Soviet repubs. I think you get the picture. Much of the degradation was due to utilizing outdated technology, other times, just complete disregard for nature in the name of progress --three gorges dam, for example.
In North America, there is more forest cover than there was 200 years ago, thanks to private ownership and maintenance of woodlands.
Because of how productive these private woodlands are, there's largely no reason to cut down old growth forest.
Brazil, in contrast, has a very libertarian government, so companies simply hire private hitmen to assassinate non-profit environmental group activists:
Almost all of the old growth forest in the United States was destroyed by capitalism prior to World War I. For an extremely depressing photographic account I recommend the book Kinsey, Photographer: A Half Century of Negatives by Darius and Tabitha May Kinsey. It is a photo book of hundreds of photographs of the Pacific Northwest's giant tree forests being destroyed. The scale of these trees is almost impossible to comprehend today (only a few scattered patches of Giant Sequoias remain in California), and most of them were cut down to be made into small siding and roof shingles.
There are a handful of old forest groves left on private lands, and there are a few land trust organizations trying to save them. For example, I donate to the Save the Redwoods League, and their big project now is acquiring Mailliard Ranch.
I should note that growing forests consume 10-11 times more CO2 than old growth forests, and the US is excellent at keeping growth rates as high as possible or a given tract of land.
You assume Brazilians are represented by their government. In theory, yes. In theory.
also, although unpopular, its easy to bull doze over our forests, do our thing, and let it grow back.
where i grew up every 15~ years tractors and such go through wiping out many of the trees and reshaping the landscape, but it doesnt take very long before you never would know they were there.
that doesn't apply as well in many parts of the Amazon
What can a reader do?
What can you do? One of the easiest things is to stop eating meat.
The economy is depressed by excessive policy, the people have bigger problems than the destruction of the Amazon. In addition, because the government owns the woodland, there's basically no reason to replant or maintain, which means that if you want lumber you have to go into old growth forest.
More likely a driving force is the internalization of agriculture. All the cows and pigs raised in Europe are fed with south-American soy.
"Brazil to open up 860,000 acres of protected Amazon rainforest to logging, mining and farming"
I wonder, doesn't most oxygen come from those trees? I've read the expression "lung of the planet". Essentially it seems it's a matter of survival.
Although increased CO2 concentration might also accelerate the growth of trees, so I don't really know.
As a Brazilian I say that this is just plain stupid in 3 different levels:
1) World diplomacy is or should be ruled by the principle of Westphalian Sovereignty: the idea that each nation is free to conduct its internal affairs as it pleases.
2) Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world, one of the 10 largest economies and the 8th biggest population. Who has the resources to spare and fight a war with Brazil?
3) During the 90's the main argument by farmers and loggers for deforesting the Amazon was exactly arguments like yours. Back then this bullshit you say was called "internacionalização da Amazônia" and those parasites argument was: "we need to occupy the Amazon before the gringos do it". So, basically, when you say this bullshit you are supplying arguments to the enemy.
Please, stop this bullshit. It is dangerous. It makes the fight of Brazilian environmentalists even harder.
And I'm not arguing for war.
No, the express is stupid. Amazon is an old forest and consume almost all oxygen it produces. Oxygen come mostly from algae in the ocean.
Amazon is important for climate control and biodiversity.
- Roman conquerors,
- Serbian conquerors,
- Holy Land crusades,
- Nazi holocaust..
The list goes on and on. And it always comes down to the same reasons. People wanting to exert power over other people, "liberating" them. The church in particular is especially known for that. Most wars were fought over "my god is the one true god and you have to worship him".
Does it ever stop? How can you know that those people will agree with you about what's best for them? How can you know they want to be a part of society at all?
I'm all for giving them a choice, but forcing them to live the way we think is best for them, e.g. making them give up their way of living entirely to live in brick and mortar houses and having to work factory jobs, isn't helping, it's exerting power and destroying a culture.
>Be civil. Don't say things you wouldn't say in a face-to-face conversation. Avoid gratuitous negativity.
>When disagreeing, please reply to the argument instead of calling names. E.g. "That is idiotic; 1 + 1 is 2, not 3" can be shortened to "1 + 1 is 2, not 3."
Except many of the indigenous people die because of diseases brought by modern man. Look up Andamanese.
> the land those people occupy represents a large earning for the other impoverished people in the country
Will you be happy if your home was destroyed to help the poor people of your country?
The only thing that could stop this is direct action - meaning, editing organisms to resist humanity. Making trees fireproof, equipping animals with diseases. The only wulf to hold back man, is another man.
Human beings have the (rarely used) capacity to improve the quality and usability of our surroundings. If at some point in the future, we should collectively decide to rehabilitate this planet of ours, mutant poisonous kudzu and HIV-reservoir mosquitoes will not make the work any easier.