02 February 2009

Put Down That Cheeseburger

Don't you know that every time you eat a cheeseburger you are essentially destroying an entire acre of precious rain forest? Or are you?

These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that as once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster. “There is far more forest here than there was 30 years ago,” said Ms. Ortega de Wing, 64, who remembers fields of mango trees and banana plants.

The idea has stirred outrage among environmentalists who believe that vigorous efforts to protect native rain forest should remain a top priority.
That's because for plenty of environmental non-governmental organizations, outrage is the product of their industry and they'd be lining up for taxpayer money even after 100% of the planet is old-growth forest.

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