Although there was no such thing as a “greenie” when I was a kid, I think I’ve had a touch of green all my life.
I first became upset about deforestation when I heard that local farmers/ranchers were chopping down the Amazon rainforests and clearing them to graze cattle. I can remember reading about it in Readers’ Digest when I was six- although I mispronounced the river as “A-may-zon”, until I heard the word again at school about 3 years later!
I could understand that the native people of South America slashed and burned a small patch every year or two so they could grow a few crops, but I was quite frightened of the idea that the forests were just being laid waste to graze cattle and replanting rough grasses.
Obviously, this trend has accelerated and spread to the rainforests of other countries, eg. Indonesia, where they are plundering the rainforest to plant disgusting palm oil for consumption and export. It’s certainly not the cheap product it is touted to be, as we are paying invisible millions of dollars for the loss of the forest habitat. Rare animals have been pushed near to extinction by the mindless land-clearance, eg. orang-u-tangs.
Michael McCarthy tells a sorry tale in The Independent [Friday 04 November 2011]. He visited the African country Burkina Faso, which was formerly a French colony named Upper Volta. There the inhabitants have used ALL the rainforest to fuel their primitive cooking fires, making the country into a barren, dry wilderness with little potential to support plants or animals. Yet their population is increasing rapidly. If only someone would help Burkina Faso to leap into the 21st century with sustainable energy generation, plus educate the people to look after the country they have, which is roughly the size of Britain. In the blog “Music Cycles” there is some really engaging information and photos of the dry landscape, eg. one of the group rides a bicycle across a bridge where there was once a river;
We are destroying the planet to feed the current humans but leaving nothing in reserve for the next generations. I shudder to think of millions dying from starvation or disease because they cannot obtain proper nutrition.
Rethink you multinationals who finance local companies or towns to clear their land for your mass-produced but nutritionally harmful foods, such as palm oil. Rethink, you bankers and investors who are buying into this madness. Rethink, ordinary consumers who eat all the prepared foods containing ingredients like palm oil. You will all live longer and help save the planet by preparing your meals from fresh ingredients, obtained from nearby farmland.
Let’s have some change! If I can pretty much avoid packaged, supermarket food [like biscuits, pre-mixed sauces and packs of flavoured noodles], so can anyone else. It doesn’t hurt and everything I eat is full of flavour!
Save the planet and lengthen your life, all in one go. Go green.
The US State Department has some basic information and statistics on Burkina Faso. Take a look and educate yourself. It could be quite sobering.