Page 25 - On the Trail of Elizabeth May
ISSUE : Issue 53
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1
started convincing poor landless people from the south that all they had to do was follow these roads. and that if they burned out an area of rain forest, they could have it. and they could grow food on it, they could have cattle on it, whatever. They told the wealthy cattle ranchers that if they went to the Ama? zon and burned off the forest, they'd get tax deductions, they could put their cattle on it. So you have a migration of people who are just as much victims as the Indians. They go out. and then they burn down the rain forest. And unfortunately, all of the wealth, all of the organic material (of the rain forest) contains all of the potential fertilizer. None of it is in the soil. The soils are very thin and very poor. It's almost like a glass terraritim, and you have a lot of nice moist mosses and little things living on glass. You scoop that out. and you're not going to grow anything else on the glass. And that's sort of what the rain forest is like. As soon as you remove the for? est, the soil bakes dry, and nothing grows. i'
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