Periodical Report Assignment

Title ? ?Last of the Amazon? Geography #1
Author- Scott Wallace
Publisher- National Geographic News
Published- January 2007
Pages- 1 - 8 pages
The demanding power of market forces in globalization are invading the Amazon, hastening the demise of the forest and upsetting its most committed members. In the past decades, hundreds of people have died in the quest for land also known as land wars; countless others endure fear and uncertainty, their lives threatened by those who profit from the theft of timber and land. In this never ending battle of guns, chain saws, and bulldozers, government agents are often corrupt and ineffective or ill-equipped and outmatched. Now, loggers and cattle ranchers amongst others take advantage in the land grab, speeding up destruction and further fragmenting the great Brazilian wilderness.

During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down, more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization first began. The percentage could well be far higher; it does not account for selective logging, which causes significant damage but is less easily observable than clear-cut loggings. Many scientists fear that a larger percentage of the trees will be lost over the next two decades. If that happens, the forest's ecosystem will begin to unravel. When intact, the Amazon produces half its own rainfall through the moisture it releases, a system almost completely dependable on its own.

The geographical values of this report consist of the location of the incident on the earth?s surface in Brazil?s Amazon basins. The events set in motion by logging are almost always more destructive than the logging itself. Once the trees are extracted and the loggers have moved on, the roads serve as transportation for an explosive mixture of speculators, ranchers, farmers, and customarily hired gunmen. The land sharks follow these roads deep into previously unreachable forest, and then destroy the tracts leading to them to make it look as if they own the land. Land thievery is committed through corruption, strong-arm tactics, and fraudulent titles and is so widespread that Brazilians have a name for it called grilagem. They have been known to go as far as creating phony land titles. For example when Brazil's agencies, reviewed Amazonian land ownership records over the past three years, it voided more than 62,000 claims that appeared to be fraudulent.

Personally I feel distressing about the fact that each year, thousands of square miles of Brazilian rain forest fall to agriculture and development. Even though 16 million acres of protected land have recently been set aside, the Amazon basin?s still continues to decline. It?s a never ending battle that I feel we won?t win. Despite our best efforts and intentions it will eventually and ultimately catch up with us in the long run. The Amazon rainforests will never be what they once where, an amazing skeptical on planet earth.