Dec
10
2007

A nice and tidy future: And, see, there are still trees!
A nice and tidy future: And, see, there are still trees!Courtesy NASA
Aren’t you tired of the rainforest already? Who’s with me on this? Who else is sick of tapirs and spider monkeys? Show me a tapir that can fetch a Frisbee, or a spider monkey that can be prepared in under five minutes and we’ll talk, but I don’t see those things happening any time soon. A don’t get me started on rainforest themed television! Please, people, as far as good TV goes, the rainforest was tapped out about ten years ago. National Geographic needs to move on, maybe get it self a new image (I’m thinking something along the lines of The O.C. That was a show I could get behind).

Wouldn’t it be good for everyone if there were a little (or a lot) less rainforest? I mean, think about this: in Minnesota, we have zero (0) rainforests, and an annual death-by-poison dart frog rate of zero (0). In Brazil, they have one (1) rainforest, and an annual death-by-poison dart frog rate of, um, greater than zero (>0). Do the math – that’s bad.

Well, good news is here at last: we’re winning! A new report by the World Wildlife Fund claims that not only can that great bastion of ho-hum, the Amazon rainforest, be defeated, but that it’s happening right now, faster than we had ever dared hope! 60 percent of the Amazon could be gone within 25 years!

The agents of deforestation have been hard at work for decades, but their progress has never been quite fast enough for me. See, they don’t hate the rainforest (not like I do, anyway), and their chopping and burning has been dictated by economic pressures for more agricultural land (primarily livestock pasture). Fortunately, it seems that the magic of climate change will be picking up the slack here.

The Amazon rainforest plays a significant role in absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. When it is slashed and burned (the preferred method for clearing more agricultural space) it not only releases lots of carbon, but it is then, of course, unable to absorb any more. The rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere then contributes to climate change, which, it is believed, will lower rainfall rates in Amazonia over the course of the next several decades. The lower rainfall will then result in more forest fires. It’s what they call a “delicious circle.”

These are exciting times we live in! What do you all think? Does anybody have any other ideas on how we could hurry the destruction of the rainforest along? Be creative! Have fun! Like, maybe we could all buy a piece of teak furniture, and then throw it away to make room for… our new teak furniture! Or we could try re-branding the rainforest – I’m thinking something along the lines of “the tropical painforest,” or “the land of root canals and dead puppies.” The second one doesn’t have quite the same ring as “painforest,” but I like how it gets right to the point.

So? Any ideas?

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Maybe we could call it the Tropical Rain Voldemorrest.

posted on Mon, 12/10/2007 - 6:21pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

You must not speak that name!!

But I like it.

posted on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 4:40am
Christopher Mims's picture

This headline is sick. And hilarious. Therefore wonderful. :)

posted on Mon, 12/10/2007 - 9:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is awesome i think. were on a field trip to see the pompeii exhibit and the greece movie. there are many ways we have to do this thing. idk what i just said.

posted on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:37am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Interesting. The Associated Press covered the same story, but gave it a much different spin: while deforestation continues, it is much slower than in the 1980s, and the amount of protected land has almost quadrupled.

posted on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:39am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Interesting indeed. The AP article is more thorough in acknowledging the progress made in protecting the Amazon, although I'm not sure I'd say the spin is "much different" - I mean, the headline is "Amazon Still Faces Threats Old and New," and it maintains that "while the rate of deforestation has dropped dramatically over the past few years, it remains alarmingly high and new threats loom."

I suppose you read it already, but the article I looked at mostly focused on the WWF report, and the combined impact of climate change and deforestation. The one in the Washington Post doesn't get into that as much, although it does a better job of explaining the economic and political factors behind deforestation.

That's not important, though. The real question is: do you hate the rainforest, and what are you going to do about it? Come on, Gene, just start hating. Everybody's doing it.

posted on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 1:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

omg, that made me giggle!!!

posted on Mon, 10/06/2008 - 1:06pm
 Someone Anonymous's picture
Someone Anonymous says:

This was good for a debate against the rain forest in school. Who truly hates the rain forest? :-P You people are too addicted to possessions.

posted on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 10:16pm

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