• Question: It is a bit off topic, but whats your opinion on whether brazil, a Lesser economically developed county should be able to chop down the rainforest. They need the money to pay of debt, but the rainforest has been described as the lungs of the world. Do you think choping it down should be allowed all things concidered?

    Asked by lemonsqueeze99 to Indi, Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 16 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      I think you’ve identified the key problem – to the Brazilians the rainforest is a key resource they can exploit. To everyone else they are something to be saved, but it is tough to persuade people they should act in a way that will make them poorer. Even if the long term benefits vastly outweigh the short term costs.

      So I don’t think chopping it down should be allowed, but it needs to be the Brazilians who decide that.

    • Photo: Indi Ghangrekar

      Indi Ghangrekar answered on 18 Mar 2012:

      I totally agree with John, it’s a very difficult subject and you’ve hit upon a very important point. In the West we are more economically developed because of things like the Industrial Revolution – in doing this we also helped create some of the problem of global warming by burning lots coal and oil in order to progress.

      There are a lot of issues involved with all this though but some that spring to mind right now are: do you wonder why we don’t have enormous rainforests like those in South America? We have drastically affected our countryside by having so much land dedicated to farming. In addition to this, Europe is in the top 3 culprits for CO2 emissions and Brazil is much further down, so actually in terms of emissions, we are causing much more of a problem (there are a lot of factors involved with this though). So, what I’m trying to get at is that maybe it is somewhat hypocritical to be the culprits causing the problems and then bullying countries that are trying to progress and get a better economy by doing what we have already done.

      Having said that, despite this, the rainforests ARE as you say the lungs of the world and it is terribly important to preserve them. A friend of mine is studying conservation biology and he is very involved in researching and trying to tackle these issues.