Saturday, January 31, 2009

Secondary forest growth beats human consumption 50:1

Tome has pointed out a remarkably balanced story in The New York Times,
New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Rain Forests.
Secondary forests i.e. new jungles are growing in previously agricultural (or logging or natural disaster) areas as much as 50 times faster than people are able and allowed to cut the primeval rain forests. The area of secondary forests is doubling every 18 years and people are quoted in the article as saying that there are many more forests than they could see 30 years ago.

In the good old times, rain forests were one of the main symbols of environmentalism. They're so pretty and diverse. (You know, I am an old environmentalist who has participated - together with Greenpeace guys - in weekly voluntary events to help the trees in the Bohemian Forest and elsewhere!)

That old environmental problem was arguably captivating but it has never gained the political power of the contemporary greenhouse religion, especially because of its local (and distant) character. People may be just revealing that even the old problem was based on a deep misunderstanding of the internal mechanisms of Nature and Her inherent strength.

I guess that the higher concentration of CO2, the gas we call life, is contributing to the fast expansion of the new forests, too.

Needless to say, those green people who will never give up the idea to regulate everything use trash-talk to deny the importance of secondary forests and their palms, lizards, and ants for the forest budget and the diversity budget of the Earth. But many other people are beginning to see the light: the number 50 simply can't be neglected relatively to the number 1. The environmental zeal is genuinely punishing the local economies in Latin America. It's time for rational people to take over and to use the term green bigots for the green bigots.

Nature can surely get rid of people's impact very quickly. The real question is whether the people, especially the poor ones, are able to preserve their space and influence.

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