The looting and destruction of the Amazon region appears to be accelerating by the year — with it looking increasingly likely that the Amazon forest may be largely gone by the time the youngest of those reading this kick the bucket.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Brazil upholds earlier changes to laws that were intended to weaken protections for the Amazon and other natural environments.
To be more specific, the Supreme Court has upheld legal changes that greatly reduce the penalties for past illegal deforestation in the region, among other things.
Reuters provides more: “Congress agreed to sweeping revisions in the law in 2012 that included an amnesty program for illegal deforestation on ‘small properties’ that occurred before 2008 and reduced restoration requirements in others. The changes effectively reduced deforested land that must be restored under previous rules by 112,000 square miles (290,000 square km), an area nearly the size of Italy, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Science.”
Critics of the decision point out that the new rules will effectively make illegal deforestation “acceptable.” Well…that’s the idea isn’t it?
“This awards the guy who deforested, awards the guy who disobeyed the law,” stated Nurit Bensusan, a policy coordinator at the non-governmental organization Instituto Socioambiental, as quoted by Reuters. “With this amnesty you create a climate that invites deforestation in the future. It creates the impression that if you deforest today, tomorrow you’ll be handed amnesty.”
Which is probably the case. Recent changes in governance and cultural trends in Brazil lead one to think that the Amazon rainforest (as it is now) isn’t likely long for this world. What will that mean with regard to the global climate? Just another sign that talk to date concerning limiting the extent of anthropogenic climate change was just that, talk.
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