Sitting Room

Friday, January 26, 2007

A few good lies

Sometimes I feel that missionaries and environmentalists are very similar. I grew up witnessing how missionaries prefer to be sent to distant Indian communities in the wild, teaching the rudiments of the Christian faith and guiding them until the day arrives for the official forcede removal of these tribes from their native and traditional headwater lands. They are then brought to live on riverbanks normally populated by all kinds of insects among them yellow fever, dengue and malaria mosquitoes. Once the Indians are established on the riverbank their houses start to be European-styled, namely one-house-one family, their settlements tend to have streets, school, a church, later on a police station and so on. The signs of civilization. Sooner than the Indians think they are left alone. They are now civilized. The native soil land back in the headwater lands is empty and open for development.

Environmentalists behave the same way or, at least that is my opinion. Firm opinion to say the best right now. Environmentalists tend to follow big attention-catching problems in certain ecosystems or ecoregions especially if they are far and removed from main civilization. As far as Brazil is concerned, all eyes and ears are open for any message coming out of Amazonia. Amazonia still keeps signs of not have been integrated to the Westernized Brazilian ways.

In the meantime important ecosystems, biomas or wherever word we want to use, are forgotten both nationally and internationally. It is the case of the "Cerrado" (savana) plains of central Brazil whisch is right now the most dangerously threatened kind of ecosystem. I am also thinking of the Caatinga, the "pampas" and areas like where I live - where the least remnants of Subtropical Foreststill stand above all within the Iguassu National Park (INP).

Through the years I have found myself up to the neck involved in solo environmental wars. Back in the 90s it was trying to stop projects to illuminate Iguassu Falls by night; then to stop the buidling of city dumb right on the INP border. It seems to me that no SOS Pampa campaigns seem to take off. No SOS Iguassu Falls campaign seem to be of interest to environmental groups. What I want to say is HELP Iguassu Falls is endangered! The Cerrado is crying for help! The mangroves, the sertão, catinga, the pampas! Iguassu Falls might dry up! In the meantime I see environmentalists talking about biofuel and saying that Brazil is an exemple. What is biofuel? All kinds of ecosystems are being destroyed in Brazil in order to produce thios envoronmentally sound biodiesel, biofuel.

No comments: