Brazil farmers deforesting Amazon 'to survive'

Thousands of troops and firefighters have been deployed to combat the fires devouring chunks of the Amazon
Thousands of troops and firefighters have been deployed to combat the fires devouring chunks of the Amazon

On his block of land deep in the Amazon rainforest, Aurelio Andrade says deforestation is the only way he and other farmers can survive in the remote region where fires are raging.

"Here we have no support from the or anyone else, only from God," Andrade tells AFP, wearing an army camouflage T-shirt and matching hat, on his property 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Porto Velho in the northwestern state of Rondonia.

"We cut trees to plant grass to survive, so that the cattle eat," says the portly Andrade, apparently oblivious to the growing global outcry over the worst fires in years.

Seen from above, the devastation around Andrade's land caused by fires and deforestation is dramatic.

Swaths of territory stripped of trees, some of it blackened and smouldering, in a scene that is repeated across the world's largest rainforest.

Andrade and his wife have lived on their small block for 19 years, eking out a living by raising cattle, horses, pigs, hens and ducks.

It was "no-man's land" when the couple moved there and Andrade hopes authorities will eventually recognize him as the legal landowner.

Land-grabbing by farmers, ranchers or loggers in the vast Amazon basin has long been a problem and a source of conflict with indigenous tribes.

On the other side of the boundary fence, fire advances across his neighbor's property.

View of fire in the Amazon rainforest, near Abuna, Rondonia state, Brazil, on August 24, 2019
View of fire in the Amazon rainforest, near Abuna, Rondonia state, Brazil, on August 24, 2019

While thousands of troops and firefighters have been deployed to combat the fires devouring chunks of the Amazon, none appear to have made it as far as this area where communications are poor or non-existent.

Andrade is losing sleep worrying that his neighbor's fire will cross into his property and he monitors its progress closely.

"I'm scared. Any night you are sleeping that fire could cause a very serious problem," he says.

"During the day, I come to look from here, next to the fence, and see where the smoke is and where the is."

Experts say increased land clearing during the months-long dry season to make way for grazing or crops has aggravated this year's fires.

Even small landholders like Andrade have been blamed for fueling the destruction.

But Andrade says they have no choice.

"Even if you take a deserted area you have to clear, burn and make a house where you can live with your children," he says.

"You're not going to make a house in the hollow of a tree, as if you were a bird, right?"


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© 2019 AFP

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Aug 27, 2019
All criminals justify their crimes. It helps them to sleep at night .

Aug 27, 2019
"On his block of land deep in the Amazon rainforest, Aurelio Andrade says deforestation is the only way he and other farmers can survive in the remote region where fires are raging.

"Here we have no support from the federal government or anyone else, only from God,""

--The lament of the generation born above the line of stability.

"I had to kill the last of that species in order to feed my 20 children."

Overpopulations a bitch.

And youll note who is responsible, dont you?

"25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matt6

Aug 27, 2019
All criminals justify their crimes. It helps them to sleep at night .


Why is it a crime? It isn't as if the Amazon was ever a permanent fixture.

Aug 27, 2019
Brazil government is solely responsible for not providing farmers enough to survive and triggering the global catastrophe endangering the lives of ~8 billion people of the earth.

Aug 28, 2019
Brazil government is solely responsible for not providing farmers enough to survive and triggering the global catastrophe endangering the lives of ~8 billion
-This is typical. As pops grow beyond their ability to support themselves they will always blame the people in charge no matter how benevolent or well-meaning they try to be. And so these govts take ever more drastic measures to quell unrest and prevent collapse.

We saw this throughout the middle east during the arab spring. Leaders such as Mubarak who were very popular when they first took power, ended up being called despots and criminals because of what they had to do to maintain order.

The comments in this thread are so illuminating. They illustrate the effects of overpopulation and the peoples response to it. Desperate religionists demand the right to rape the environment and blame the govt when it has to send in the army.

It is the fault of selfish gods who demand growth and promise to support it but never do.

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