Rainforest Deforestation Quotes

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The research is still in its infancy, as we have seen, but, in early March 2020, Nature Communications published a model study that followed the link all the way from shelf to sickbed in one case: malaria, one of those beneath-the-radar diseases, affecting some 230 million and killing 400,000 per year, the vast majority in rainforest biomes. Deforestation is a boost for the mosquito vectors. More sunlight reaches the soil where the larvae develop; when biodiversity retreats, fewer animals prey on them. Nigeria suffers most from malaria due to deforestation. It is largely caused by the export of timber and cocoa. Such commodities end up in the north: consumers with the greatest malaria footprint are the cocoa-guzzling Dutch and Belgians, Swiss and Germans. 'In this unequal value chain, ecosystem degradation and malaria risk are borne by low-income producers' - or, in plainer terms: the Europeans get the chocolate and the profits, the Africans the mosquitos.
Andreas Malm (Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century)
The Bernie Bros looked up from the vegetarian snack bar we’d put in across from the copier. “Yeah, bro,” one of them said. “Righteous.” “You’re out of organic cashew butter,” the other one said. “Got it,” I said. “See? We’re already building a solid base of support.” “Excuse me for being a progressive,” the first Bernie Bro said, “but I threw out the cashew butter. It’s not a native plant to the Northern Hemisphere.” “So what?” the second one said. “Some of us have peanut allergies. Cashew farming is totally sustainable and supporting organic cashew cultivation supports anti-deforestation efforts in Brazil. Unless there’s something anti-progressive about the rainforest.” “Microaggression. You’re forgetting the carbon footprint of shipping cashews to North America. And the cultural appropriation issues. You could just as easily eat almond butter.” “Oh, really? Have you looked at what almond growers are doing to the ecology of central California?” “Microaggression.” “Yeah,” Polly said, “that’s a solid base of support you got there. You can really build a political movement on that.
Curtis Edmonds (Snowflake's Chance: The 2016 Campaign Diary of Justin T. Fairchild, Social Justice Warrior)
Within one hundred years of the establishment of the Jamestown colony in 1607, settlers were well on the way to eliminating the ancient eastern woodlands of North America in what was to become the largest and most rapid deforestation in human history, until the current industrial-scale assault on the world’s tropical rainforests.
Scott Wallace (The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes)
Inextricably linked to the climate emergency is a broader environmental crisis. A third of the Earth’s land is now acutely degraded, with fertile soil being lost at a rate of 24 billion tonnes a year through intensive farming.[19] Generating three centimetres of top soil takes 1,000 years, and, the UN said in 2014, if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years.[20] 95% of our food presently comes from the soil. Unless new approaches are adopted, the global amount of arable and productive land per person in 2050 will be only a quarter of the level in 1960. The equivalent of 30 football pitches of soil are being lost every minute. Heavy tilling, monocropping multiple harvests and abundant use of agrochemicals have increased yields at the expense of long-term sustainability. Agriculture is actually the number one reason for deforestation. In the past 20 years, agricultural production has increased threefold and the amount of irrigated land has doubled, often leading to land abandonment and desertification. Decreasing productivity has been observed, due to diminished fertility, on 20% of the world’s cropland, 16% of forest land, 19% of grassland, and 27% of rangeland. Furthermore, tropical forests have become a source rather than a sink of carbon.[21] Forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a crucial role in absorbing GHG – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, more than all the traffic in the US. This is due to the thinning of tree density and culling of biodiversity, reducing biomass by up to 75%. Scientists combined 12 years of satellite data with field studies. They found a net carbon loss on every continent. Latin America – home to the world’s biggest forest, the Amazon, which is responsible for 20% of its oxygen – accounted for nearly 60% of the emissions, while 24% came from Africa and 16% from Asia. Every year about 18 million hectares of forest – an area the size of England and Wales – is felled. In just 40 years, possibly one billion hectares, the equivalent of Europe, has been torn down. Half the world’s rainforests have been razed in a century and they will vanish altogether at current rates within another. Earth’s “sixth mass extinction”[22] is well underway: up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades and almost half of land mammals have lost 80% of their range in the last century. Vertebrate populations have fallen by an average of 60% since the 1970s, and in some countries there has been an even faster decline of insects – vital, of course, for aerating the soil, pollinating blossoms, and controlling insect and plant pests.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
The Amazon rainforest alone houses 76 billion tons of carbon. If ranked among nations, according to the World Resources Institute, tropical deforestation would place third in carbon emissions, behind only China and the United States.
John Doerr (Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now)
If the forest transition in the tropics runs its course, the loss of carbon to the air and species to the history books would be catastrophic for the whole world. We must halt all deforestation across the world now and, with our investment and trade, support those nations who have not yet chopped down their forests to reap the benefits of these resources without losing them. That is easier said than done. Preserving wild lands is a very different prospect to preserving wild seas. The high seas are owned by no one. Domestic waters are owned by nations with governments able to make broad decisions on merit. Land, on the other hand, is where we live. It is portioned into billions of different-sized plots, owned, bought and sold by a host of different commercial, state, community and private parties. Its value is decided by markets. The heart of the problem is that, today, there is no way of calculating the value of the wilderness and environmental services, both global and local, that it provides. One hundred hectares of standing rainforest has less value on paper than an oil palm plantation. Tearing down wilderness is therefore seen as worthwhile. The only practical way to change this situation is to change the meaning of value. The
David Attenborough (A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future)