Why the Amazon is Burning

A cattle rancher put it to me bluntly a few years ago: “You all tell me not to deforest. It’s easy, isn’t it? Mix a drink there [in the U.S. or Europe] and talk. Now why do we have to stop deforesting? I agree that we should not deforest more, but we have a lot of people here. How will they live? What is the average income in the USA? Give that much to every person here. Then we can all sit around and watch the little birds fly.” 

Jeffrey Hoelle, 

Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara and the author of “Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia.”