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Brazilian environment minister commits political kamikaze

“I give up,” says Marina Silva today after resigning as the Brazilian environment minister, a post she had held valiantly for five years, whose efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest has been defeated at every turn by the powerful economic development lobby, and by the Lula administration, a puppet which mouths green talk but executes counter-green action.

After the disastrous drought of 2005, Amazon deforestation slowed momentarily, but as of late 2007, it has been skyrocketing again.

The best way to look at this resignation is that it is a political kamikaze attack which could sink the ship from which the suicide-plane had originated.

Brazil aside, we are talking about the Amazon rainforest which contains one third to one half of the world’s biodiversity, which amounts to millions of species. I reject the view that it is Brazilian property, or Peruvian property, or Bolivian property, or Colombian property, or Venezuelan property. The Amazon is the “lungs of the world”, not the lungs of Brazil, or of Colombia. It is a world heritage treasure with global causes and effects. Brazil has the privilege, not any right bestowed by nature, to take responsibility for the wellbeing of the Brazilian Amazon. If Brazil takes advantage of this responsibility for its own economic and political gain, we people of the world, and all parents of future generations, have the right to demand global action to protect this world heritage treasure and preserve it for our children.

And the same for the Bengal tiger of India, by the way, which I as a Canadian, not an East Indian, have spent the last 12 years helping to protect.

Last but not least, we are talking about North Americans and Europeans who say to Brazil, “We want you soy, and we want your beef. So, go ahead, hack up the Amazon to kingdom come for all I care, as long as I get more ethanol for my SUV and more hamburgers on my plate.

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Compassion for Animals Road Expeditions (CARE)
Global Emergency Operation (GEO)
www.HOPE-CARE.org 
www.MySpace.com/AnthonyMarr 
www.ARConference.org 

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