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Impact of Deforestation on the Amazon

And, in turn, both the bankers and the church put their collective muscle on the government of Brazil.

As noted in The Economist, from Brasilia's point of view, this muscle smacked of both arrogance and unwarranted alarm. First of all, the rain forest covered more than half of Brazil's land; surely, the government had some right to exploit its own resources. Further, as the government saw it, legislation had (theoretically) set aside 1,000 acres of rain forest for each Indian in the country; therefore, what was the problem with giving additional land to the poor, rural families? As to theis muscle smacked of both arrogance and unwarranted alarm. First of all, the rain forest covered more than half of Brazil's land; surely, the government had some right to exploit its own resources. Further, as the government saw it, legislation had (theoretically) set aside 1,000 acres of rain forest for each Indian in the country; therefore, what was the problem with giving additional land to the poor, rural families? As to the global effects, the government noted that these predictions were based on relatively scant data and viewed them as exaggerations. The article in The Economist went on to note that this attitude on the part of the government of Brazil led to calls for internationalizing the Amazon:

Whether Brazil likes it or not . . . the rest of the

world has a legitimate interest in what happens in

Amazonia. The medical secrets locked in its plants may cure the sick of many countries; the genes of its wild

plants may reinvigorate crops that feed billions of

people . . . (and) . . . many people think that

atmospheric carbon dioxide is disastrously causing the

Several recent findings have contributed to a softening of Brasilia's attitude. The first of these is that data on the global effects of deforestation have grown. For example, it has now been fairly well established that not only were environ...

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