Tuesday, June 28, 2005

USA wants to seize the Amazon?

Many Brazilians are convinced that the USA plans to control the world’s biggest tropical forest. They believe the Americans would do it by three possible ways, through:

(a) commercial stealth by buying up or developing plantations and farms in Brazil;

(b) American military surveillance technology purchased by the Brazilian military but providing crucial intelligence data to the US;

(c) control of the Amazon by an organization like the UN under the pretext that the tropical forest is an international treasure to be administered by a global organization, which will in turn be controlled by the Americans.

The Amazon is not only the Earth’s principal oxygen producing factory but contains limitless natural resources, from wood and gems to medicinal herbs, and various to-be discovered resources.

Update 29 June: A reader advised that most of the world's oxygen are produced by phytoplankton or marine vegetation. I googled and found that rainforests produce around 22% of the world's oxygen, while phytoplankton produce 32%, but as the previous link suggested, the verdict is still out on which source generates the most oxygen. Some say that rainforests account for 40%. Rainforests have an additional benefit - they are gigantic airconditioners, preventing our atmosphere from warming up.

A Brazilian, Flavio Lacerda, a 31-year-old street vendor, seems a bit paranoid about the USA when he said “They’ve already laid claim to it morally. They say the Amazon ‘belongs to the world’ of which they’re the best representative. They say they have a real interest in the world and the Amazon, but in actual fact they care only about themselves.”

I don't blame him considering there's a USA that goes around making illegal and hypocritical 'regime changes' when it suits her interests, while at the same time nurturing various dictatorships around the world.

Another Brazilian, Leandro Schilipake, a sociology professor and obviously more at the other end of the Brazilian social spectrum, worries about encroaching big North American interests on the rain forest. He said “We don’t have a xenophobic attitude regarding the Amazon. We don’t think the riches are here only to benefit Brazilians. But we defend the principle of the sovereignty of nations. The Amazon is a part of our national identity. It’s a symbol of Brazil.”

Hmmm, distrust of avaricious American business interests is obviously not confined to just Asia or the Middle-East.


  1. not true, the amazon forest isn't the principal oxygen producer, in fact doesn't produce that much mainly due to decomposition of the forest itself (they die, produce CO2). the main oxygen producers (50%) are ..... miss phytoplankton (single cell plant living in the oceans)i.e. by products of their photosyhthesis. We should thank them instead. But the amazon does have cool plants, animals and landscape.

  2. I stand corrected - I learn something new everyday, thanks to Anonymous.

    According to this link http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/sep2001/1001605307.Es.r.html the rainforests contribute approx 22% (some other links says the Amazon alone provides 20% of Earth's oxygen, but suffice to say, it does generate a lot), while as Anonymous corrected me, the phytoplanktons produce some 32% of the O2.

    The info on the link says that the figures are still debated upon, but most certainly the phytoplankton are doing a great job - and don't they dare stop!