(Languages of this post: Interlingua, English)
Quasi 20 pro cento del accrescimento de anhydrido carbonic–le gas que es le causa principal del effecto de conservatorio–pote esser attribuite al incendio del forestes tropic. Multes de illos occurre in Brasil. Lo que occurre ibi, secundo un del plus prominente ambientalistas de iste pais, es un “holocausto biologic”.
Herbert Girardet, qui ha viagiate trans le foreste pluvial, describe le amplitude del devastation: “Io sapeva ben que mi viage al region del Amazon coincideva al culmine del saison del conflagrationes, ma io habeva nulle idea del grande amplitude del incendios forestal.”
Brasilia, le citate capital de Brasil, era coperite per un nebula de fumo le qual, io supponeva, esseva le resultato del grande circulation de vehiculos que passa per iste nove e grande citate sudamerican die e nocte. Ma quando nostre avion partiva pro volar a Conceição pro le parte final del volo, al est, verso Redenção, le fumo deveniva tanto spisse que le pilota se perdeva. Le lacrimas descendeva currente per le genas de alicun passageros. Le fumo acre e le sensation de ultrage e de impotentia in fronte a tante destruction quasi impediva nos a respirar.
Finalmente le pilota succedeva a trovar le pista de atterrage a Redenção. Quando nos arrivava in iste urbe de frontiera habitate de minatores de auro e elevatores de bestial–que ante 50 annos solmente era un village indigene–le fumo era tanto dense que on non poteva vider trans le strata.
Le die sequente, nos partiva per minibus sur le via non asphaltate a Gorotire, le village del indigenas Kayapo que era nostre destination. Nos habeva un nove companion, Beptopup, un shaman qui debeva explicar nos su uso de plantas medicinal.
Le humor de Beptopup era melancholic. Le paisage ardente que nos transviagiava era le terra de su ancestres. In le locos ubi on habeva jam destruite le foreste on ora conflagrava le herbas pro “meliorar” le pastura del bestial.
Nos stationava plure vices pro reguardar le conflagrationes que consumeva le arbores de mahagoni, lipona, e omne species de palma. Non era isto un destruction horribile de ligno, un annihilation de ressources unic genetic? In le paisage nigrate nos videva alicun bestial ossose que masticava le tuffos remanente de herbas sic. Alicuno citava un nova que reportava circa 400 de bestial que periva de un conflagration facite pro crear ancora plus de pastura.
In le anno 1987, secundo le governamento brasilian, 20 milliones de hectares de foreste e pastura era destruite per incendios. In 1988 al minus 40 milliones de hectares era consumite–un territorio plus grande que Grande Britannia.
Beptopup se succuteva le capite. “Proque le blancos sempre conflagra omne cosa? Proque illes non planta arbores como nos? Que mangiara nostre infantes? Que cosa mangiara le infantes del blancos?”
Le politica de Brasil de provider terra gratis al colonos es le major contributor al problema. Le medietate del terra debe esser deforestate pro validar le concession; le lege dice que le altere medietate debe restar intacte. Ma on quasi nunquam observa le lege.
Al village indigena de Gorotire, le chefes del tribo Kayapo exprimeva lor indignation contra le destruction del foreste. Non sapeva le rancheros que le terra disnudate restarea fertile solmente pro pauc annos? Non comprendeva illes que le calor del sol facerea fissuras in le solo e que le tempestates de pluvia lo consumerea per erosion? Non sapeva le rancheros que, le anno sequente, esserea necessari conflagrar mesmo plus del foreste simplemente pro reimplaciar le pastura que habeva devenite infertile?
Le indigenas del Amazon apprende rapidemente un lingua que le homines del “media” (pressa e television) pote comprender. Ultra facer protestationes al autoritates in Brasilia, communicar con le media es lor defensa unic contra le devastation.
Interim, le incendios forestal continuava usque le venita del pluvias in octobre. Le major parte del paises del mundo combatte pro salvar lor forestes, ma le brasilianos pare hastar se a destruer le lores al maxime rapiditate.”
(Publicate in anglese in le “Daily Telegraph”, e traducite per Brian Sexton in interlingua e publicate in “Panorama”, No. 2, martio-april 1990, republicate in “Interlingua in interlingua”)
Almost twenty percent of the increase in carbon dioxide–the gas that is the principal cause of the greenhouse effect–can be attributed to tropical forest fires. Many of them occur in Brazil. What occurs there, according to one of the most important environmentalists of that country, is a “biological holocaust.”
Herbert Girardet, who has traveled through the rain forest, describes the extent of the devastation: “I was well aware that my voyage to the Amazon region coincided with the high point of the fire season, but I had no idea of the great extent of the forest fires.”
Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, was covered by a cloud of smoke which, I suppose, was the result of the large amount of automobile traffic that goes through this large, new South American city day and night. But when our plane took off to fly to Conceição for the final part of the flight, at the east toward Redenção, the smoke got so thick that the pilot got lost. Tears ran down the cheeks of some passengers. The acrid smoke and the sensation of outrage and powerlessness in the face of such destruction almost kept us from breathing.
Finally the pilot was able to find the landing strip at Redenção. When we arrived at this frontier city inhabited by gold miners and cattlemen–which only fifty years ago was an indigenous village–the smoke was so thick that a person couldn’t see across the street.
On the next day we left by minibus on the unpaved road to Gorotire, the village of the Kayapo Indians that was our destination. We had a new companion, Beptopup, a shaman who was to explain to us the way he used medicinal plants.
Beptopup’s mood was sad. The countryside that we were traveling through was the land of his ancestors. In places where the forest had already been destroyed, the grass was now being burned up to “improve” the pasture for the cattle.
We parked several times to look at the fires that were burning up the mahagony, lipona, and all species of palms. Was this was not a horrible destruction of wood, an annihilation of genetically valuable resources? In the blackened countryside we saw some bony cattle that chewed the remaining tufts of dried grass. Someone brought up a piece of news about 400 head of cattle that died in a fire that had been set to create even more pasture.
In the year 1987, according to the Brazilian government, 20 million hectars (49,420,000 acres) were destroyed by fire. In 1998 at least 40 million hectares (98,840,000 acres) were lost to fire–a territory larger than Great Britain.
Beptopup shook his head. “Why do the white men always burn up everything? Why don’t they plant trees the way we do? What will our children eat? What will the children of the white men eat?”
Brazil’s policy of providing free land to settlers is the major contributor to the problem. Half the land will have to be stripped of its forests to grant them this; the law says that the other half will have to remain intact. But the law is almost never obeyed.
At the indigenous village of Gorotire, the chiefs of the Kayapo tribe expressed their indignation against the destruction of the forest. Didn’t the ranchers know that the denuded land will remain fertile only for a few years? Didn’t they understand that the heat of the sun will crack the soil and that rainstorms will erode it away? Didn’t the ranchers know that, in the following year, it would be necessary to burn up even more forest simply to replace the pasture that had become infertile?
The indigenous people of the Amazon are rapidly learning a language that men of the “media” (press and television) can understand. Beyond protesting to the authorities in Brasilia, communicating with the media is their only defense against the devastation.
In the meantime, the forest fires continued until the coming of rains in October. Most of the the countries of the world are fighting to save their forests, but the Brazilinas seem to be rushing to destroy theirs as quickly as possible.
(Published in English in the “Daily telegraph,” and translated by Brian Sexton into Interlingua and published in “Panorama,” No. 2, March-April, 1990, republished in “Interlingua in interlingua.”)