“Until the early 1990s, the Morro basin was a patchwork of water-absorbing forests and grasslands, but they are mostly gone, replaced by maize and soya beans.”
It may be a good move to cut down on cattle ranching worldwide (to prevent deforestation, to cut back on carbon and methane production, to limit the ongoing human health crisis caused by increasing meat consumption, to avoid further water pollution from farm runoff, to limit predator persecution, and to spare countless animals the endless cycle of slaughter), but an irony here is that soya beans, the hero of every vegan and vegetarian, come at a terrible price. Deforestation and clearing for cattle ranching has been replaced with deforestation in favour of this detrimental monoculture of soya bean farming.
If course, it is true that the humble soya bean is the new answer to reducing or cutting out meat consumption, but the majority of this soya and maize is being grown to become feed for the animal agriculture industry, something the attached article completely fails to mention. Animal agriculture is literally eating up our planet in countless ways.
Less than a third of Argentina’s rainforest remains. Losing that much established forest means losing deep networks of tree roots which naturally absorb large amounts of water from underground aquifers. The result is a huge new river appearing on land as has happened in Argentina. Why is this a surprise now? There are myriad experts in these fields worldwide who would have known this was a likely outcome as a result of mass deforestation. Why aren’t scientists involved in such massive economic and environmental processes and decisions?
Brazil has been in the grip of terrible deforestation for decades. With a changing climate, increased precipitation and otherwise poor substrate, deforestation in these countries inevitably means more landslides and more flooding, and perhaps more new rivers. We are drastically altering the landscape of the planet, destroying habitats and disrupting entire ecosystems.
Countless wildlife have lost their homes during this shift to soya bean plantations and deforestation, something that cannot ever be undone. When are governments of countries with such invaluable habitats going to quit putting profit before protecting and preserving their and the world’s most precious and vulnerable natural heritage? Rainforests are incredibly diverse, most are quite ancient, and they are so important to the world in terms of carbon sinks and wildlife biodiversity – they must be protected.
Roosting in conical leaves reduces the clarity of bat communications – A new zoology thing for curious kids – 2 New Things
“Spix’s disk-winged bats don’t live the standard cave-bound lifestyle we usually associate with flying mammals. The natives of Central and South America generally roost in the thick, curled leaves of plants like calatheas. Weighting in at only four grams, a handful of bats can hide in a single furled leaf, hanging on thanks to the suction-cup disks on their wings and legs that they’re named for.”
Born in 1769, Humboldt observed deforestation and its effects in the Amazon rainforests 200 years ago and wrote about them; he was possibly the first person to express concern for the negative effects of anthropogenic activity on the natural environment. He wrote of nature as a “living whole” and a web or tapestry – all life as connected – a new concept at that time.
Humboldt wrote about soil erosion as a result of deforestation, and of climate change. He describes concern for human destruction of the entire planet – even suggesting we would take that destruction to other, distant planets – and of human greed and violence.
Humboldt evidently influenced Charles Darwin himself. Was he the first ecologist? A fascinating listen.
“Amazon fire seasons don’t just happen — the rain forest doesn’t just burn in a massive way on its own. But logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and other human-induced changes have altered the landscape. Thinning out the forest also dries it out — the forest canopy then cannot block sunlight, and the understory and ground leaf layer become hotter and drier. Then, the trees are more flammable and fires can also spread more easily.”
Beautiful, previously hidden cave in the Amazonian mountains.
When I was a child, I dreamed of exploring places like these, of being the first human to find them and then ensuring they remained protected and untouched. I wanted to buy the entirety of the Amazon rainforests and preserve them! I was an idealistic innocent child and believed that all animals and wildlife were at risk of destruction by the bizarrely short-sighted, violent behaviour of humans. I was right. It’s a shame no one did that as rainforests worldwide are being decimated. I hope this place remains safe from tourism and destruction.
Diet key to feeding the world in 2050 without further deforestation, modelling suggests – Science News – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
I think vegan communities have been saying this for some years now. It’s common sense. It’s absolutely shameful that we are carrying out such horrific levels of deforestation as a result of western obsessions with a meat-based diet. None of this destruction was ever necessary.
Use India as our history lesson – do what is healthy and sustainable. Go vegan!
Is there a link between the Zika virus and climate change?
The solution for the melting polar ice caps may be hiding in the rainforest
We have allowed greed and industry to overrule intelligence and logic to all our detriment for far too long.