Rain Forest Myths

Karl Davies karl at daviesand.com
Fri Oct 6 06:39:34 EST 2000

Jim Campbell wrote in alt.forestry; KD responded in alt.forestry; JC responded
privately; this KD response cc'd to alt.forestry, bionet.agroforestry,
sci.environment, Philip Stott:

> > > The following article was written by Prof. Philip Stott, a Biogeographer
> > > at the University of London.
> > > His web site is http://www.probiotech.fsnet.co.uk.
> >
> >Yeah, check it out.  This guy Stott is nothing but a biotech corporate
> >stooge.  He probably wants to clearcut all the rain forests and replant to
> >frankentrees.  That's why he's so hot on exposing the rain forest "myths."
> >
> >KD
> Karl,
> Your response is not very objective. Prof. Stott is a researcher at the U.
> of London with excellent credentials. That hardly describes a "corporate
> stooge". Too many assumptions here. I read his web site and found not one
> hint he wishes to do anything of the sort with rainforests.

Any big fan of genetic engineering qualifies as a corporate stooge in my book.
Stott's a freaking CHEERLEADER FOR GE.   As for his specific designs on
rainforests, maybe he'll fill us in on that part.

> In fact, the
> rain forests that were converted to agri have largely been abandoned and are
> reverting due to excessive operational costs and many other factors. S.
> American governments are the ones needing the quick cash and willing to
> strip their forests.

This is the same Stott who teamed up with fellow corporate stooge Patty Moore to
write a similar rant on rainforests back in June.  See
http://csf.colorado.edu/bioregional/2000/msg00424.html for a report on their
rant.  Notice where Moore is quoted saying:

> "All these save-the-forests arguments are based on bad science," says
> Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace who recently returned from a
> fact-finding mission to the Amazon.
> "They are quite simply wrong. We found that the Amazon rainforest is more
> than 90 percent intact. We flew over it and met all the environmental
> authorities. We studied satellite pictures of the entire area."

They flew over it and met all the environmental authorities!  They studied
satellite pictures of the entire area!  This is "good science?"  Sheesh!

> Unfounded conjecture is persuading nobody. Comments like yours have inspired
> my own involvement in countering the wrong thinking out there. Stott backs
> his findings with data, not conjecture.

What data???  I didn't see any data in that rant you copied.  When Moore and
Stott did their thing earlier this year, they didn't gather any data.  They
didn't reference any data by others either.  These guys are CORPORATE
PROPAGANDISTS, pure and simple.  They're running interference for corporate
clearcutters and high-graders who want to cut more rainforest timber.  Here's
what they were trying to counteract (copied from

A report in the current issue of Nature Magazine puts in doubt
 the official Brazilian Government report of destruction of the
 Rainforest. The real extent of rainforest damage in the Amazon
 is more than twice as great as present estimates suggest,
 researchers say.

 The report says field surveys of logging and burning show far
 more deforestation than satellite monitoring has revealed. The
 researchers are based at several Brazilian and US institutions,
 including the Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts.
 They interviewed 1,393 wood mill operators, representing more
 than half the mills in 75 Amazonian logging centers. They also
 interviewed 202 landlords, whose properties covered 9,200 sq

 One specific area of the Rainforest in Brazil was classified as
 62% forested according to conventional deforestation mapping
 . But the study found that only about a tenth of the area
 classified as forest actually supported undisturbed forest. The
 researchers say the failure so far to register the much greater
 loss rate they have discovered is because the loggers reduce
 tree cover, but do not eliminate it.

[KD Note:  This is called HIGH-GRADING, ie, cutting the best and leaving the

The research also discovered
 that fires burning on the surface consume large areas of forest
 which again are not recorded. And where logging and fires have
 caused damage the vegetation will grow back fast enough to
 mask the true state of the Rainforest and distort the findings of a

  "Satellite-based deforestation monitoring is an essential tool in
 studies of human effects on tropical forests, because it
 documents the most extreme form of land use, over large areas,
 and at low cost. But this monitoring needs to be expanded to
 include forests affected by logging and surface fire if it is to
 accurately reflect the full magnitude of human influences on
 tropical forests."researchers said in the report.

Karl Davies, Practicing Forester

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