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To Prevent Deforestation, Brazilian Supermarkets Ban Amazon Meat

samzenpus posted 1 year,26 days | from the stop-eating-local dept.

Earth 94

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, representing 2,800 members, says it will no longer sell meat from cattle raised in the rainforest, a step they hope will cut down on the illegal use of rainforest where huge swathes have been turned into land for pasture and soy plantations. Public Prosecutor Daniel Cesar Azeredo Avelino says consumers will benefit from the deal. 'The agreement foresees a series of specific actions to inform the consumer about the origin of the meat both through the internet and at the supermarkets,' says Azeredo. 'We hope that the big chains will quickly take action.' The supermarkets' pledge comes as part of an initiative by the Public Prosecutor's Office to deprive the meat producers of outlets and an internet campaign aimed at informing Brazilian consumers of the ethics of boycotting meat from Amazonian sources is also planned. Brazil's Greenpeace advocacy group says the growth of the cattle industry in the Amazon is the single biggest cause of deforestation. For decades now, Brazilian authorities have battled illegal logging and other activities that continue to reduce the rainforest and in January the Brazilian government announced it plans to prepare an inventory of the trees in the Amazon rainforest. The Forestry Ministry said the census would take four years to complete and would provide detailed data on tree species, soils and biodiversity in the world's largest rainforest. The last such exhaustive survey was conducted more than three decades ago but didn't help stop deforestation."

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94 comments

Closing the door a little too late? (4, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300697)

Isn't this Closing the door a little too late? Kind of like shutting that barn door after those cows have already gotten out into that brazilian rainforest? There must be other ways to head off this deforestation. For ivory poaching in Africa, international sanctions and prohibitions on export and sale seems to work, so I guess if there were universal (United Nations?) agreement to restrict the export and sale of "amazon rainforest meat" at a governmental level then that might have some impact.
.
Otherwise, a brazilian supermarket chain eschewing the sale of "amazon meat" is as useful as a bunch of hippies saying they won't work for no defense contractor no sirreee or a large bunch of idiots around the earth turning off non-essential power-consumption for one hour as occurred during the last week or weekend. It's a strange vain showing off of one's ideals and beliefs that will have very little impact or result in the real world.
.
Why, yes, I am quite a cynic.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43300725)

The UN does nothing but sit there and pretend to play politics. If someone breaks the rule they do nothing about it and it's not too late, they can always regrow trees or whatever.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43302879)

Actually the problem with deforestation in the Amazon is that they can't regrow the trees.

The rainforrest is a sort of unstable equilibrium, where the soil is crappy as hell, but the huge amount of plant-matter makes it's own ecosystem (with blackjack and hookers). once you clear the land you're left with basicly a desert and bootstrapping back a forrest is really freaking difficult.

Gods only know how it got there in the first place, but in the here and now the rainforrest is basicly irreplaceable, on a level that most other forests are not.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300923)

Amazon sells meat? Excuse me, I gotta update my shopping list.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

tokencode (1952944) | 1 year,26 days | (#43302011)

Hahaha that was my exact thought.... and to think I've been paying sales tax on my steaks all of these years...

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

sarysa (1089739) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303299)

Will this end the stereotype of the discount butcher? Probably not, with all the talk of "green" around here...

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301439)

Isn't this Closing the door a little too late?

Actually, it's not even that, it's purely symbolic. They need to stop McDonalds from selling Amazon meat if they want to make an impact.

It's a strange vain showing off of one's ideals and beliefs that will have very little impact or result in the real world.

You had me until "vain".

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301559)

McDonalds products contain meat?
That's news to me.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

Alioth (221270) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301753)

McDonald's sells Amazon meat? Are they actually barefaced lying when they say in their publicity they use (in the US) US sourced meat, and in Europe, European meat? I'm not a fan of Ronnie's Burger Bar but I'm sure the myth that they use Amazon meat was put to rest years ago.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302535)

You had me until "vain".

He meant the other definition of vain. He's saying that showing off one's ideals was in vain; e.g., useless.

No, I meant "vain" as in "vanity". (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,25 days | (#43302841)

No, she (I) meant "vain" as in "vanity", not as "in vain". It's the "vanity" of showing off one's superiority to others or the conspicuous show of charity such as calling serious attention to oneself as they slip the money onto the offering platter or wanting your name on a placque or certificate showing off how much money you donated to the hospital wing, or that you donated so much that they named the wing after you.
.
It's vain to do "show off charity", and saying "I refuse to buy ze blood diamonds because I've heard they kill people and support wars and that's what the cool actors all tell me I ought to do" is that kind of vanity, instead of realizing that the concept of "blood diamonds" or "why won't china stop burning coal and wood" (when we export coal to them! especially the super-hot burning stuff used to make steel) is the kind of industrial vanity that the "superpowers" assert. You other countries can't take the shortcuts we did or strip-mine land or use your resources because it's bad for the rest of the world.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303499)

What's your objection to my opinion "that kind of behavior is an indicator of the performer's vanity/vain-ness"? Just wondering, especially if you agree with the underlying idea that this behavior will have little impact other than pointing out that these people/supermarkets are doing this behavior. Isn't performing a symbolic action to show others that you are performing that symbolic action "vanity"?

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,25 days | (#43310777)

Isn't performing a symbolic action to show others that you are performing that symbolic action "vanity"?

Only if you're doing it so that you can enjoy them seeing you do it. If you are trying to lead by example in order to make a better world, no, that's not vanity. Intent is always relevant.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,24 days | (#43312103)

re:If you are trying to lead by example in order to make a better world, no, that's not vanity.

Ah. Okay. I concede your point. I had not considered that particular type of intention in my thought process. Thanks for the explanation.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (5, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301737)

No, you are right. But there's a bigger, probably unsolvable issue that caused all this. By American standards (I'm American), Brazil has really weird property laws. In fact, I'd argue that a lot of Brazilian laws in general are weird based on my understanding of them. But specifically to this article, private property is really strange there. See, nobody owns those lands in the Amazon rain forest and the law prevents the government from owning them. Brazil also has some crazy laws that give squatters rights that I've just never heard of in any developed country. In the US, somebody owns all the land. It may be the US government, but somebody owns all American land. There is no American land that is not owned. If people just started clearcutting American national forests and putting cattle farms on them, they'd wind up in jail as soon as Uncle Sam found out about it. In Brazil, such things are just met with shrug from the government, a sigh and a "What can we do?" sort of response. The government doesn't own that land, so they are powerless to stop such things. Also, probably as an overreaction to abuses by dictatorial governments in the past, Brazilian law is really weak at punishing people. Someone could go to Brazil, kill a million people, go to jail for 29 years and then get out in time to do it all over again. Brazilian cops can legally shoot you down and kill you under circumstances that are completely illegal in the USA, but once you are in the system, you are safe. You can't get more than 29 years for any crime and Brazilian prisons are rather notorious for being run by the inmates. So the lack of effective punishment deterrents, a justice system that more often than not actually feels sorry for the perp rather than the victim (this is very common in countries that are strongly anti-death penalty), the lack of default government ownership of land and unusually strong squatter's rights laws have led to a situation where the only response is an indignant "We're not going to sell your meat" from the grocers. I suspect that the farms will continue to deplete the rainforest and they'll simply ship the meat to China.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302231)

1) It's not weird at all -- it's called a Civil Law system, and most of the world lives just fine with it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_law_(legal_system) [wikipedia.org]

2) The real issue with Brazil isn't the fact that it's a Civil Law society; it's the fact that it's a kleptocracy. It's not weak at punishing people generally; it just looks that way to us because we're not used to that form of corruption.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43302863)

Yes you are, you call it Lobbying

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

jadv (1437949) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303593)

To be fair, lobbying is something only a privileged few are "used to." Being used to lobbying is not the same as being used to getting screwed over by lobbying, which is the case for most of the USA's population.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304105)

Brazilian here.
Most of the things you said are pretty accurate, but this: "Brazilian cops can legally shoot you down and kill you under circumstances that are completely illegal in the USA"

Wrong, it still homicide here. And now even when the police go missing with someone - even known hood thugs - someone will eventually record the action with their smartphone, media shitstorm will ensue, then cops will be persecuted and locked up.

I really feel for the lack of death penalty, but by the other side, our justice system would have to improve thousandfold to be able to judge it fairly.

Side note: We have such a shitty non punitive cold muderer forgiving justice system, due to the constitution being written pos dictatorial gov. by the guys still suffering from prison trauma.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304125)

See, nobody owns those lands in the Amazon rain forest and the law prevents the government from owning them

Let me set this straight: you're PLAIN WRONG. I'm a Brazillian so I know what I'm talking about.

The Amazon, regarding land ownership, is divided between three goups: government, private and "grileiros". The Brazillian Federal government owns most of the land. Other parts are legally owned by private citizens or private companies. Nothing in the law says otherwise.

The "grileiros" are a bunch of people that invaded and took ownership of some parts of the government's lands. Through bribery, they make that ownership appear legal, but obviously it's not. And it's a big problem, a 1999 government survey calculated that about 100 million ha (1 ha = 2.471 acre) are ilegally registered as private, but in reality are Union lands.

And how come does the Union owns so much land ? Because according to the Brazillian constitution, all empty (portuguese=devolutas) land belongs to the Union. It comes from the time before Brazil was independent, all the empty lands belonged to the Portuguese Crown. So all that unexplored forest is legal property of the Brazillian Federal government.

What you have is a prohibition of private foreign ownership of land for a distance less than 150 Km of the border, for security reasons.

go to jail for 29 years and then get out in time to do it all over again

You're wrong again. Brazillian law says the maximum served sentence can't exceed 30 years. So even if you kill a bunch of babies in their cradles and your sentence is 9999 years, you'll only do 30. And if have good behavior, if are automatically eligible for parole in 1/6 of the maximum term, meaning most criminals get out after serving 6 years.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304619)

tá nervosa santa? sorry mas o gringo foi até bonzinho na análise desta nossa republiqueta. cheers.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304891)

Here is one thing that I find really funny about Brazil:

They appear to be absolutely paranoid about the idea that some foreign country will take over the Amazon from them. Usually, that suspicion lands right on the USA even though there is absolutely no evidence of any effort in that direction. The paranoia has even spawned some hilarious hoaxes (e.g., http://gringaperdidanobrasil.blogspot.ca/2009/02/hoax-and-forgery-of-purported-us.html) that are widely believed by Brazilians . I have heard so much crap like that when I was in Brazil.

You would think that such paranoia would convince them to deploy all of their armed forces in the Amazon in order to make sure that nothing happens there without their consent. Yet... most of their armed forces (e.g., the navy) are deployed far away from the Amazon - mainly in large urban centres like Rio. Good chunks of the airspace over the Amazon are not even covered by conventional radar, as we learned during the tragedy involving Gol Flight 1907.

What gives???

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301797)

It wouldn't be fair to tell the Brazilians not to cut down their forests after we cut down most of ours. What we need is a system similar to carbon credits that makes it profitable for developing countries to keep their forests.

Re:Closing the door a little too late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302271)

Give them the "pollution tax" ?

The greater amount of forest a country have should give them a % of the taxes collected for pollutions... then invest it to create non-cutting wood jobs, or simply pay peoples to protect it...

BEZOS WANTS YOUR MEAT TO BE HIS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43300711)

He would sell anything if he though it would help him escape death !! He wants to be cryogened at death !!

Amazon Meat (1)

stoploss (2842505) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300721)

...that's from the same source as Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz. [amazon.com], right?

Re:Amazon Meat (1, Redundant)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300757)

I always wondered about why Brazil couldn't protest to the WTO about the use of "Amazon" as a trademark to sell books and things... Is it that geographic names are not so protected, or is it that books are not oftenly commonly associated with a river?

Re:Amazon Meat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43300823)

Maybe it is because you are a moron.

Re:Amazon Meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301295)

According to the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] Amazon meat comes from Pontus near the Euxine Sea, although catching it is extremely difficult.

Re:Amazon Meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304549)

It's a great headline.

My first thought was that grocers in Brazil were slaughtering one-breasted women archers...

Why not put penalties in place if it is illegal? (1)

abies (607076) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300785)

I don't really get it. If it is illegal to raise a cattle in rainforest, put these people in jail or fine heavily. They won't do that, but they expect same people to label the cattle 'It comes from illegal farm in Amazon, don't buy it, because we are breaking the law' ? They are cutting trees and bribing officials, but not putting a label will be beyond their capablities?

Re:Why not put penalties in place if it is illegal (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301099)

The Amazon is big, and policing the farms directly is tough. OTOH, a major supermarket chain is a single point of delivery and redistribution for many farmers' produce. Thus it is simpler to prevent undesirable behaviour by refusing to buy the goods there. Of course, this only has a chance of working if a substantial fraction of all the supermarkets in Brazil refuse to accept the produce.

Re:Why not put penalties in place if it is illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301103)

Well, it adds one more authority which they will need to bribe.

Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43300845)

There's a recent TED talk where, counterintuitively, using more livestock instead of less is an actually proven way to fix desertification:

http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (3, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301435)

A better way to fix desertification is to not cut down the rain forests in the first place! The risk to the Amazon basin isn't coming from the presence of the cows per se, but from the fact that a well-established, thriving rainforest ecosystem was there one day, then destroyed for cropland the next.

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301683)

Yes, but if they'd fix the desertification, there'd be no need to further chop down the forests.

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43302823)

The banking and moneysystem is hard at work 24/7, preventing that to happen!

Captcha: calculi

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (3, Informative)

rewarp (1736742) | 1 year,26 days | (#43302125)

Pseudoscience alert! From KCET's Chris Clarke
http://www.kcet.org/updaily/socal_focus/commentary/east-ca/learn-how-to-hate-the-desert-with-ted.html [kcet.org]

Savory's talk is full of red flags, and to document and rebut each one would take more time than is really wise to spend on the talk. But three stand out as especially egregious.

The notion that bare, unvegetated soil in the American desert is an evil to be avoided flies in the face of everything we know about desert soil science. Bare soil in the desert includes desert pavement, a self-regulating system that controls air pollution. It includes alkaline crusts and dry lake beds, both homes to unique assemblages of organisms. Seemingly bare soil may hold seed banks of diverse assemblages of annual plants, some of which are limited enough in extent that covering the soil with grassland -- even if you could do so -- would push them toward extinction. And sparsely vegetated soil is crucial for the survival of many animal species, including desert tortoises, fringe-toed and horned lizards, and other animals that actually belong in the desert far more than do cattle.

The idea that grasses must be eaten by livestock to perform a valuable ecological function is similarly absurd. Grasses provide food, shelter, and even construction material for hundreds of desert animals ranging from jackrabbits to tiny insects, each of which is eaten in turn by other animals. Send in a wave of cattle to crop those grasses and we've diverted that ecological productivity to our own ends, depriving the local wildlife of food and habitat. Bunchgrasses can live for centuries if untrampled, providing year after year of ecological benefit to hundreds of generations of wildlife. Savory, like many grazing advocates, seems to regard such ancient bunchgrasses as decadent: In Lynn Jacobs' 1991 book "Waste of The West," Jacobs says "Savory claims like most ranchers that old growth range plants are 'useless' and 'decadent.'" But, adds Jacobs, "like tree snags in forests, standing dead range plant material is itself an important, natural environmental component."

Lastly, Savory's contention that the "algal crust" he shows developing on arid land soil is "the cancer of desertification" is unscientific in the extreme. He makes the statement at 4:00 into the TED video, but it's one he's made for years. Lynn Jacobs wrote in 1991 that students of (what was then being called) HRM learned from Savory that "Cryptogams are a prime indicator of a deteriorating environment." (To underscore his postulation, commonly Savory scuffs apart the cryptogamic layer while walking on Rangeland.)

This is, of course, completely false. Cryptobiotic soil crusts are a crucial underpinning of old-growth desert habitats across North America, and indeed throughout much of the world.

Savory has been around for a very long time preaching the same fallacious grazing gospel, and his name raises curled lips among land management scientists the way Velikovsky's name raises the ire of astronomers. He's merely the latest practitioner of a tradition a couple centuries long of land management mythologies based on wishful thinking that don't turn out to work. A century ago land speculation boosters in the American West claimed that "rain follows the plow"; Savory has merely updated that to "grass follows the cow."

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | 1 year,25 days | (#43304003)

Dude, I've grown up in Nevada in the heart of cattle country. I've seen first-hand how cattle herds have converted old mining tracts that were almost completely stripped of vegetation back into riparian habitat. That's how the BLM is reconverting damaged environments--by allowing cattle rights to ranchers to go free range and graze. Where the cattle go and graze, the wildlife soon follow. Savory's right, and you're wrong.

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | 1 year,25 days | (#43304049)

And another thing: my father was the head of the Farm Service Agency in Nevada, and he worked with the Sierra Club, the ranchers, and the BLM to repair damage to the environment using cattle. Free-range grass-fed cattle are very good for the environment, and they're one of the reasons that wild horses have managed to thrive to the point now where they are the culprit for destroying the environment by over-eating on the range land and thus starving themselves. We'd be doing wild horses a huge favor by shooting the ones we currently have penned up now and sending them north for meat. The wild horses are now the ones responsible for driving other wild species close to extinction on the desert.

Re:Answer isn't less cattle, but more. (3, Insightful)

rewarp (1736742) | 1 year,25 days | (#43305211)

It's the "deserts are evil" mentality that is at fault here with the Savory talk - and with much of the support behind it. Deserts have their own unique ecosystem supporting their own unique niche of animal life. "Repairing" an ecosystem that doesn't need repairing is one of the most destructive practices I have ever come across because of a misunderstanding that somehow desert ecosystems are a waste of land unless you can get cattle to graze on it, and remove much of the niches to substitute them for those more beneficial to ranching.

Europe can help! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300877)

Europe has tons of prime Romanian meat that they would be happy to provide at a killer price.

. . . you may whinny and snort after eating it, though. But you will run as fast as a Triple Crown winner!

Re:Europe can help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302031)

And you'll be as well hung as a horse!

cool story (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43300919)

Yeah lets keep land owners from capitalizing on their property to feed their families when the Earth is greener than ever and the huge forests in the tundra are growing at a fantastic rate due to the rise in co2.

Re:cool story (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301009)

Except it's not privately owned land. It's like someone in the USA going into a national forest reserve and clearcutting.

Deforestation for farmland aside. (3, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | 1 year,26 days | (#43300927)

Rainforests make 20% of our oxygen. And we let people cut that shit down?

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301141)

I hate to break it to you, but it's not your call. There used to be forests all over the world, and they were cut down where you live by your stupid ancestors and mine. The Amazon doesn't belong to you. If you want to do something radical, send the army into the sprawling suburbs, deport the people there into the cities and grow trees where the McMansions and malls used to be.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301433)

I hate to break it to you, but it's not your call.

Might may not make right, but it decides whose call it is.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301817)

Try us.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,26 days | (#43302267)

Try us.

You'll regret those words if you have any water left when the water wars come to a head. This is not going to be like Orkut.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

will_die (586523) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301193)

In which case donate to various organizations that purchase forest for the purposes of not developing it. Otherwise the land is not yours.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (2)

Andrio (2580551) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301457)

Not many people seem to know this, but most deforestation occurs so that there is grazing land for cattle, than for wood and paper.

And in a double whammy effect, the billions of cows we've bred around the world produce a "shit ton" (hah!) of methane; a greenhouse gas 20x more potent than CO2.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | 1 year,26 days | (#43302395)

Methane reacts with O2 to produce a lot of CO2 though. It doesn't linger very long.

The only thing possibly wrong with this proposal is that Greenpeace is historically stupid. "By far the biggest cause" could be "what we're most aware of" and turn out to be the smallest factor ever. Like when Greenpeace gave Apple the lowest score for "being good to the environment," while Apple was using less packaging, less toxic shit, and less energy to manufacture their products by far than everyone else in the industry. "But they use a type of plastic we don't like for a small piece in the iPod!" while Apple used less mercury, lead, and overall plastic in general than anyone else.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (2)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301731)

Where did you get that bullshit from? Even if the rainforests have sequestrated all the CO2 in the atmosphere, that's just 0.04% compared to the 20% of oxygen in it. We could burn all the forests and carbon reserves without running out of oxygen. Also, forest don't produce oxygen actively, they only store carbon. Not to mention that you ignored the effect of marine life.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | 1 year,26 days | (#43302421)

He could mean that 20% of the capacity for converting CO2 into H2O is in the fucking rainforest. That's a flow resource, and you're thinking of a stock resource. The 20% of O2 in the atmosphere is a stock resource; the conversion of 1ML of CO2 to 1ML of H2O is a flow resource. There may be 0.1ML of CO2 in the air, but people may consume 1ML of Oxygen and produce 1ML of CO2 per 24 hours. If there's a mechanism to convert 1ML per 24 hours of CO2 into O2, then you retain 0.1ML of CO2; if not, you QUICKLY exhaust your oxygen supply.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303245)

He could mean that 20% of the capacity for converting CO2 into H2O is in the fucking rainforest. That's a flow resource, and you're thinking of a stock resource.

Except that a mature forest produces as much O2 as it consumes. There's no net flow there.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | 1 year,25 days | (#43304323)

Not true. Plants are the only producers of oxygen (algae ...), but not the only consumers. Plants have a relatively low metabolic rate, and are the providers of food--fruit, leaves, etc--for other things. They produce much more oxygen than they consume (where 'production' is the refinement of CO2 into free O2).

Trees are the largest net producers per growing area of oxygen (and also, massive--grass isn't exactly heavy). During the day, when plants are producing oxygen, animals are absorbing that oxygen; at night, when plants are absorbing oxygen, animals are also absorbing oxygen. Air circulates through the atmosphere and is being absorbed into the ocean, where it is consumed by marine life. The biosphere is a spectacular oxygen sink, and plants which refine oxygen from CO2 must work hard to keep up.

An adult human consumes between 550 and 650 liters of oxygen per day. It requires 20 trees per person to process the CO2 that a person produces, says NASA who has an interest in plants in space to filter air (some absorb toxins like formaldehyde) and produce breathable atmosphere. One tree thus produces between 27 and 33 liters of oxygen per day. That's processing of between 42 and 100 kg of CO2 per tree per day, net flow.

Your assertion violates the laws of thermodynamics. There are more consumers than producers of oxygen.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,25 days | (#43306021)

Trees are the largest net producers per growing area of oxygen (and also, massive--grass isn't exactly heavy). During the day, when plants are producing oxygen, animals are absorbing that oxygen; at night, when plants are absorbing oxygen, animals are also absorbing oxygen.

...and both of them are using the oxygen to "burn" carbon compounds recently produced in the same forest by releasing the same amount of oxygen. Unless the forest is continuously sequestering carbon, e.g., by continuously dumping dead biomass into some sort of anaerobic environment, there is no long-term net output of oxygen. (Alternatively, you can turn the trees into books and sequester the all the carbon in libraries! E-books are destroying the world by preventing this from happening! ;-))

One tree thus produces between 27 and 33 liters of oxygen per day. That's processing of between 42 and 100 kg of CO2 per tree per day, net flow.

100 kg of CO2 per day, that is 30 kg of carbon per day. That carbon has to go *somewhere*. Given that wood mass is something like 50% carbon, it would mean that the tree would grow 20 cubic meters per year. Now that would be a *spectacular* growth rate for a single tree, given that this is more like an annual biomass growth of a whole hectare of forest!

Your assertion violates the laws of thermodynamics. There are more consumers than producers of oxygen.

That's irrelevant. This is not about numbers of producers and consumers, this is about the flow of mass.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | 1 year,25 days | (#43306335)

You mean with the leaves being eaten off by bugs and all? With the root system growing continuously? The acorns a large oak produces? Twigs and branches breaking off in the wind? That's how trees handle wind, by the way. Look up the engineering on tree houses. A big concern is the wind impact and uprooting the tree--the root system has to get stronger, because the tree's natural method of handling wind is to lose leaves, then twigs, then large branches; it won't lose a house. If the tree kept its leaves and branches, the wind would knock it over in a good storm.

And what about carnivores which are consuming energy that was taken from plant biomass years ago? In either case that point is irrelevant: the entire point of inhaling oxygen is to burn shit. That you're consuming 650 liters of oxygen because you're burning pieces of tree fruit sugar you ate doesn't negate that you need 650 liters of oxygen, and that that flows from the tree to you. Where do you think the CO2 that the trees process into oxygen comes from? Where do you think the carbon goes?

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | 1 year,25 days | (#43306463)

He could mean that 20% of the capacity for converting CO2 into H2O is in the fucking rainforest.

That would be photofission and would be quite amazing if plants could do that. Photosynthesis [wikipedia.org] doesn't work that way. Plants only produce twice as much oxygen as the amount of carbon trapped in them. Now there is an amount of carbon that gets into the ground in forests and form coal deposits, but that is insignificant on human timescales. Rainforests are pretty much a stock resource. The only real carbon-negative forests are forestries.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303235)

Rainforests make 20% of our oxygen. And we let people cut that shit down?

No, they don't, unless they're actually growing. You can't make oxygen from CO2 without producing biomass that gets deposited and doesn't rot away.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | 1 year,25 days | (#43305035)

That is something of a falsehood. Most of the oxygen generated by a rainforest is consumed by it during the night. The global supply of oxygen is largely generated by phytoplankton blooms in the oceans.

Re:Deforestation for farmland aside. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43308641)

Actually the most important source of oxygen in our planets comes from algae.
Forest produce good amount of oxygen but also consumes it at night.

I am not saying that deforestation is good. Just pointing it out.

Profit from exploitation (2)

meteormarc (1715840) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301077)

Amazon, sounds like:
Customers who purchased this meat also purchased:
- cheap clothes from Vietnam where factories pollute their environment
- this nice device from Chine where laborers health is affected by bad working circumstances
- fish caught against over-fishing rules

Oh man ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301101)

Jeff Bezos is gonna be pissed .....

Hopefully he can use his patent on being an asshole, fuck everyone else - unless Larry Ellison decides to contest it with his own greedy-fuckface patent warchest.

What do you mean off-topic?

Free market (0)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301269)

Clearly this is a case of government interference in the free market. If all that CO2 sequestration and oxygen were worth more money than cows, the invisible hand of the market would have led to an abundant rain forest rather than cattle ranches.

Re:Free market (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301453)

You're probably being sarcastic, but it's easy to make a profit fucking over the environment if you don't have to eat the consequences.

Tragedy of the commons is instructive on why sometimes government intervention is a wise course of action.

Re:Free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43302867)

It's against the free market though, so you lose, because all our faith is now in banking and the FIAT money system. Google the worth of american dollars the past 200 years to see where that's headed..

Re:Free market (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,25 days | (#43308557)

Is it really?

I find it odd that nature itself doesn't get a say in any of this. I don't know about you but I don't see anyone asking the animals how much their habitat is worth.

Re:Free market (1)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,25 days | (#43305917)

Tragedy of the commons is instructive on why sometimes government intervention is a wise course of action.

'The commons' generally only exists because of government intervention. Otherwise someone would already own the place and, if it's valuable, take better care of it.

force (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301363)

Given the lucrative profits possible from abusing the rain forest I don't think anything short of force of arms is going to put a stop to it.

Brazil needs to crack down on this and make it a crime, and then actually put some money behind law enforcement.

Frist st0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301445)

wall: *aBSD faces a The top. Or were, been siiting here OpenBSD leader Theo ago, many of you

Very amusing, and cynical (1)

gelfling (6534) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301533)

Most deforestation in Brazil is caused by slash and burn to make room for sugar beet production which is then turned into ethanol in order to make Brazil energy self sufficient.

Re:Very amusing, and cynical (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301859)

you are wrong. not only cattle take much more space but the rainforest soil is not suitable for crops. and it's sugar cane not sugar beet. and most of the production of sugar cane and ethanol occurs thousands of miles away in the southeast and northeast brazil.

Political Economics & V.V. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43301745)

Meat in Brazil is an export comodity. The bulk of production is handled by economic concerns the physicalmeat industry, and farmers, are attached, subordonate and subservient to. Also, controlled by. Since, these conglomerates usually have strong ties to banking, finance, agro supplies and machinery sales.

The economic crunch ("austerity") means the local people are already below the last rung of product substitution. Cattle meat rarely figures in their food basket, except in the very worst quality.

Election countdown economic shinkicking is already underway. And the usual not too subrepticious goading of discontent, unrest, and fear. As well as reciprocal scandals, investigations, and arrests.

Cutting off part of the older, more provincial, parochial ruralista pseudo-elite's funding, on the path to elections, on a steepening economic downturn (to be polite about it), has the effect of :
A) Served a message regarding the trouble they've been causing in poliics.
B) What little internal expenditure there is continues to concenrate in the southern economically priviledged regions. As does lobbying power.
C) The government gets some international PR in the offical media as doing something "PC".

  All part of the local version of 3rd world "Cultural Wars". "Newer" elites x older x ancient x truly archaic x local financial corporate x international "vulture" corp-fin x . traditional establishment corporate and finance. All, buying and pushing politicians and local "leaderships", thugs and strongpersons.

Flamewars Insue (1)

Caue (909322) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301929)

Since most people don't know the basics about brazil or it's forests and patriotic brazilians on the internet are as abundant as they are likely to troll and HUEHUEHUE, flamewars will definitely insue.

Save the Planet: 16 Ways (1)

wanfuse123 (2860713) | 1 year,26 days | (#43301999)

I wrote an article on things we can do to save the planet. It was meant for the Digg crowd but some might want to read it here. One of the ways was to buy up the remainder of the rain forest. It's expensive that's true but as they say there is probably a cure for cancer in there somewhere! Save the Planet: 16 Ways [rawcell.com]

Re:Save the Planet: 16 Ways (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302139)

Margareth Thatcher suggested something like that. Guess which banks end up holding the derivatives, mortgages, mer(d)s ... etc. ? And get to do the foreclosure. Latvia, Greece, Cyprus, Italy.

In other news, What right do those "primitive tribesmen" in the"middle east" (and elsewhere) have to control and dictate the use of resources the civilized world needs for its industry, progress, and wealth. A lot of Europeans saidthat. Not a few USAns, too.

The same thing happened in the US. "Primitive Indians" had no valid claim to land they "didn't know how to use", and the "whites" knew how to use so much "better".

As the dust bowls, rust belts, Detroits, 1000-mile long oilspills, Bhopals, Tschernobyls, Chelyabinsks, Niger deltas, planetary Fukushimas - and God knows what else - ensued.

Logging and exporting (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,26 days | (#43302019)

It would be much better to outlaw wood exports/trade from Brazil.

Go to any furniture store in Brazil and you cannot find any mahogany piece, because it is extermely regulated.

Go to any good USA/Japan furniture store and you will find brazilian finest pieces from the rainforest.

Logging and farming are the main reasons, you must get rid of both.

How dare we! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,25 days | (#43303357)

Don't cut down your forests like we in the US did! All it did was give us a massively powerful, unparalleled economy inventing things and advancing the human condition at unprecidented rates.

Re:How dare we! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43305067)

You cretin.
The WHITE people of the U.S.A. are the ones who created the U.S.A., Brazilians are incapable of emulating it, and we don't need to cut down forests for fuel nowadays.

Epic fail on so many levels. You idiot. It's "unprecedented", by the way.

Should be easy to enforce. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43304745)

Not. Thanks, Brazilian gubmint for "encouraging" the masses to move to the hinterland then 30 years later banning the sale of their produce. WIN!

Can't eat Amazon Meat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#43305903)

WTF? I always liked eating an Amazon.

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