Sunday, February 25, 2007

Eye for an eye

Naked Indians in trees are holding tommy guns. Their bodies are painted in war colors and their faces are beautifully sculpted. Even though the government proclaimed their territory a protected area, it doesn’t mean that their land was really saved from the white man. The year is 2007.

Lungs of the planet. Who came up with this stupid phrase?

Besides an oxygen production plant, it’s also the home of people. Some of the people living there have not been touched at all by civilization as we know and love it. This civilization hasn’t found them yet and “made them happy”.

They have their own habits and religions and they have no interest in those of the white man.

Government-sponsored research shows that there are 727 protected areas in Amazonia, but other research and satellite photos show that on twenty five percent of this land forest clearing continues the same as before they got on the list of protected areas.

Then the destruction supporters get on. They are sometimes called men of progress and product increase, and claim that researchers are anarchists and that what’s happening is not an outright clearing but only a selective timber cutting, which is actually better for the virgin forest than if there’s no cutting at all.

Then the cattle farmers claim that they need more cattle and that their cows just get confused in the forest. That’s why they need to burn the forest down, so they can create great meadows and feed the hungry masses. The result is that the majority of the forest isn’t cut down, as some people may think, but burned down. The fact that people live there is of no interest to the farmers - you know, they have to feed other people and make money, so they can raise more cows, and it’s for those cows they have to burn down a new living space.

Researchers timidly point out that the pictures speak clearly and if it continues this way, one won’t be able to breathe any more in a few years.

Politicians, bribed by the lumber and farmer lobbies, immediately curtail the funding of the researchers and explain to the public that the research isn’t valid because one of the researchers receives funding from the USA and his colleague has an illegitimate child.

The nervous public heaves a sigh of relief that there’s no danger with nature and immediately switches their attention to the world of soccer.

The area is so large that the law can barely be enforced there. The government does not have the money to pay an army of soldiers to send to the forest to enforce the law against wild lumberjacks and soybeans growers.

While this chattering is going on, hundreds of acres of virgin forest disappear every day together with unique plants, animals, and… people.

Indians do not see a tree as a “piece of wood”. For them, it’s a living creature who somebody, in their mind for no reason whatsoever, burns down alive or cuts down with a chain saw.

Death awaits every white man who tries to cut down a tree or destroy the forest on the territory of the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe in the state of Rondonia.

Eye for an eye.

While in other protected areas the destruction of the forest has been increasing by tens of percent annually, on the territory of the mentioned tribe, it was just one percent in 2006.

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