It is at this level we get such gems as “Capitalism is the best means of protecting the environment.”
This crossed my mind the other day when I came across a little article in the Herald detailing the areas of the Amazon Basin that had been cleared over the past few years. The rub of the article was that 2004 apparently was the highest year since the Brazilian government placed “restrictions” on the clearance of the area in 2000/01.
For the record, the area cleared in 2004 was approaching 26,000 sq kilometers. That is an area roughly 160 km square, or as I understand it, about the same size as Belgium.
Now in the past that would be chalked up in my brain as “same ol’, same ol’ ” on the basis that it was the landless poor out to do their best that were clearing the bush. It turns out not so.
The greatest increase in clearance took place in Mato Grosso.
But then this morning, my breakfast was rudely interrupted by this little piece of news…
The ruthless obliteration of the Amazon rainforest is continuing at a headlong rate, new figures reveal. The man who more than any other represents the forces making it happen is Blairo Maggi, the millionaire farmer and uncompromising politician presiding over the Brazilian boom in soya-bean production. He is known in Brazil as O Rei da Soja - the King of Soy.
Now, that name did not ring anything beyond “strange coincidence” until I read just a little further on in the article where I meet up with –
Half the destruction alone was in the state of Mato Grosso, where Maggi, whose Maggi Group farming business is the world's biggest soya bean producer, also happens to be the state governor.
No, there is no connection to the Nestle Group…
But, to those few who might pass this way and who believe that “Capitalism is the best means of protecting the environment.” this is a supreme example of environmental protection by capitalism.
Oh, the market for the soy? It sure is not soy sauce!
So, there y’go. Capitalism is turning all of that wasted, tree and snake infested wilderness into truly wonderful productive country that produces an excellent and cheap stockfood supplement.