I’ve been reading a lot lately trying to find the true reasons behind deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The first suspect is the timber companies but, out of all the people chopping down trees, lumber companies have the largest incentive to make sure there are still trees. Sustainable lumber practices have come a long way and the footprint left
by timber cutting is minimal as they continuously replant and re-harvest the same areas.
The next obvious suspect is the cattle ranchers. While cattle ranching does result in deforestation, ranchers are required to leave 80% of their land untouched. The land they use causes permanent damage but, at least they still need to have grass so, it can’t be completely decimated.
Soy farming is another guilty party but, a somewhat new moratorium was placed on soy and no new land can be used for soy farming. Soy farms have created an issue but, they will not be infringing on any more forest land.
After seeing this devastating area, I find it hard to believe that the land can be returned to its normal state after a mining operation of this size. According to the aluminum industry, over 50% of the mines are found in forest and 24% are found in tropical rainforests. That’s almost 75% of their mining taking place in the forest. The Aluminum Institute claims that these lands are rehabilitated back to their natural state but, it’s very difficult for me to believe that this happens in places like the Amazon. Once the trees are removed from the land of the Amazon basin, the topsoil washes away quickly.
look. The soil left behind sustains no life. Nothing lives, nothing grows, and it’s just a baron wasteland in the middle of a thriving forest. It also appears as though the heavy metals are seeping into the ground water polluting rivers downstream. On top of that, the
air is clouded with dust from the mine and the processing plant.
Aluminum in important metal and I’m not going to say we should stop using it but, I plan to reduce to the amount I use by simply being aware of the impact it could be having on the exotic, diverse forests around the world.