Thursday, February 15, 2007
Fires, bulldozers consuming Amazon rainforest

Industrial activity takes place on land that was once pristine rainforest.

From the air, the Amazon appears overwhelming. An apparently continuous canopy of green, dark and rich, it seems to stretch to the horizon. That's deceiving, of course.

The Amazon basin is about 2.7 million square miles, a little smaller than the area of the lower 48 states. Up close, you see that it is not continuous at all.

Flying low in a chopper, as we did a few days ago, you see just how much of the forest is already gone. White smoke billows into the sky from fires set to clear the land. Bulldozers clear tracks of forest for planting. Large mines operate day and night. (Watch how the Amazon appears from a helicopter)

I've never been much of an environmentalist. I tend to pay more attention to politics and international conflicts. But seeing what is happening here, it's hard not to feel the planet is under a lot of pressure: An area of forest about the size of New Jersey is cut down every year; twenty percent of the forest has been cut and burned in the last 40 years; and while the deforestation rate has slowed somewhat the past two years, the threat to this valuable ecosystem is very real.

Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin and I just got back from two days with an indigenous group called the Kraho. They are farmers and hunters who are fighting hard to keep their land intact.

When we met them yesterday, the whole village poured out of their thatched homes to see us. Their chief said our helicopter was the first one to ever touch down in their midst. They painted us with a blue dye made from a local fruit. (Now that Jeff and I are back in a big city, we've realized the dye doesn't come off. Jeff has these big blue bands of ink around each arm; mine are a bit more subtle, but kind of hard to hide.)

We went hunting with the Kraho this morning. Last night, Jeff and I went out into the forest to look for wildlife.

If you watched the program on Tuesday night, you might have picked-up the fact that I don't really like bugs and frogs and things that jump. Wandering around in the pitch black with Jeff last night, I had to get over that fear pretty quick. (Watch Anderson jump when confronted with a frog)

Tonight, we'll show you a portion of what we saw with the Kraho. This is the first step in an ongoing series of reports from all over the world we are producing this year called, "Planet in Peril."

What we've found, no surprise, is that it's hard to shoot these reports as well as do a nightly broadcast from the Amazon. So that's why I haven't been on the show as much as I'd like this week. I hope you understand. I'll see you tonight, and we'll see if the dye has rubbed off my arms by then.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 2:25 PM ET
  64 Comments
Hello Anderson!
Glad to hear that you & Jeff had quite an adventure. Glad to hear the frogs didn't get ya! Thank you for bringing your viewers to the front row of a very important topic. People rarely realize that the things they use in everyday life actually come from the burning down of the rainforest.

Thanks again, and use some insect repellent.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly, San Francisco : 2:36 PM ET
Anderson,

What an adventure. And you get paid to do this. I hope your meeting with the Kraho was filmed. And the two of you getting painted. I guess that might be more of an anthropological experience rather than an enviornmental one. Oh, what did you hunt and were you successful? Yikes! As always I look forward to seeing tonight's broadcast. And frogs would not bother me but snakes would. To each his own. And definately not bugs of any kind flying in my face or biting me.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 2:49 PM ET
Enjoyed the show the other night, can,t wait to see your report tonight. I find this very interesting.And that is OK if you don,t like bugs, there are alot of us that don,t.
take care

sandy
Posted By Anonymous Sandy Belvin Richmond, VA : 2:59 PM ET
Which, if any, U.S. companies are directly or indirectly responsible for deforestation in the Amazon? What types of industries benefit from this activity and what ecologically sound alternatives do they have?
Posted By Anonymous Javier, Los Angeles, CA : 3:04 PM ET
I have a question, if you're able to take them. If you dislike bugs & critters, where are you guys sleeping at night? I can imagine the multiple layers of netting around your bedroll :-)
Posted By Anonymous Kori, Santa Cruz, CA : 3:10 PM ET
I'm really happy you are bringing light to this topic. Unfortunately sometimes the "green political correctness" have some ironic twists. The main causes of the Amazon deforestation are cattle pastures for meat production, and veggie 's favorite: soy bean. The vegan market is profitable that they don't keep track that whenever they drink their smooth Soy Milk, Tofu and its likes they are actually eating a piece of the Amazon. Irony of life. And for the blue marks, try vinegar. At least it helps with the red body paint used by the Yanomamis in Venezuela.
Posted By Anonymous Valeria Lippman, NYC, NY : 3:11 PM ET
Anderson, sounds like you've had an awesome couple of days! I can't wait to see the show tonight. I' glad Jeff Corwin is helping you get over your fears. There's a fear I'll never conquer!

And don't try to hide the dye, we'd love to see it!

No need to apologize for not being able to do both the show and these reports. This series sounds so interesting and important. The other news will be waiting for you when you get back!
Posted By Anonymous Maya Elena, Easton, PA : 3:11 PM ET
Greetings Anderson and Jeff,

Wow! Your adventures while gathering
information sound like a blast. It
must be great to meet new people
groups such as the Kraho people!!!
Did you eat anything new? I tried all
kinds of new foods when I was in
Costa Rica and Peru; it was great! Is
the travel there still mainly by boat?
That is very impressive that you were
able to overcome your fears, Anderson!
I don't like bugs and things that jump
and fly either!

I am a conservative mainly because of
pro-life issues. I believe that only
God can give life; I, also, believe
that only God should be the One to take
a life. I believe that global warming
is a real issue that all people should
be concerned about; furthermore, I
know that we need to do something. The
risks are too great to not do anything
about it!!!

Shalom!!! Cathleen
Posted By Anonymous Cathleen, Spring Hill , TN : 3:19 PM ET
Hi Anderson, thanks for the update. I was wondering how you were doing especially after the frog incident. Honestly, I laughed out loud at your reaction when Jeff pulled that huge frog out of that pillow case. I was thinking to myself, now he�s been shot at and had bombs dropped all round him and he didn�t flinch then.

I think your segment of the rainforest is very interesting and has prompted me to do some research of my own into the issue of global warming. Thanks for sucking up your fear of the creepy crawly things to give us an up-close and personal look.
Posted By Anonymous DeVon, Houston, TX : 3:23 PM ET
It is very sad what is happening around the world to nature and many people just turn their back on these issues.I can't wait to see tonights show. and take care down there!
Posted By Anonymous Hadiya . Monmouth Junction, NJ : 3:34 PM ET
Anderson, can't wait to see what creature Jeff has come up with tonight. The Amazon has so many creatures, some of which we don't even know about. It is a shame to see the rain forrest demolished where we many never know what 'new' creatures are out there.

Loved your 'frog' spot.
Posted By Anonymous Wynona, San Diego, CA : 3:35 PM ET
Gald to hear it, I was afraid we were going to have to sit through another two hours of baby daddy drama.

Keep safe, have fun, watch out for bed bugs. (Be careful Corwin seems...off a bit)
Posted By Anonymous Marcy, Mobile, AL : 3:39 PM ET
Thanks so much for doing this series of reports. My husband and I have debates about global warming all the time. He refuses to believe that it is real. He also refuses to watch An Inconvenient Truth. But he has agreed to watch 360's reports so hopefully you all will be able to get through to him where I have failed. Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca, Akron Ohio : 3:39 PM ET
I'm glad CNN is highlighting this topic. I just watched a "Digging for the Truth" in Guatemala and Mexico on ancient Mayan temples that have recently been discovered that date the civilation later than generally accepted. Their demise, eerily enough, was from burning the forests to produce lime to cover the stone of their temples. The reminants of the deforestation, impacted their agriculture (they could feed thousands with terraced gardens) and contaminated their soil so their civilation had a famine. You know that question in history class: "Does history repeat itself?" Your work this week provides an affirmative answer.

So happy Jeff Corwin is involved. A great team.

Best Wishes
Posted By Anonymous Joanie, Turners Falls, MA : 3:40 PM ET
Anderson:
Thank you for finally blogging about your experiences in the Amazon, many of us have wanted to hear from you and Jeff personally about the journies and adventurous you are on......and they sound incredible. We hope that you and Jeff will keep us up to date on the things we don't get to see on the show and maybe links so that we can learn even more on our own. Hopefully the blue marks will still be on tonight, consider them as badges of honour from a people who have welcomed you and Jeff into their world. This series in the one night of airtime have seen has been so fascinating. And honestly the frog segment was some of the best tv we have seen in a while....completely real and honest.

Keep up the great work and know that many of us are watching and learning from this wonderful series. God speed on your journey through this amazing "field trip" :P
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 3:49 PM ET
Anderson, et. al--

Thank you so much for doing this story. I read Al Gore's book, Earth In The Balance when I was a junior in high school, and alot of it was about the deforestation of the Amazon, and how it will affect the environment...thereby affecting us all. Alot of people, I think, tend to say "Oh, that's so far away. It doesn't affect us." People tend to be complacent, ensconced here in American society. But, with the recent natural disasters hitting areas that typically don't have to deal with that sort of inclement weather (i.e. the tornadoes in Florida and Lousisana), I think people are starting to sit up and take notice of how important the ecosystem in the Amazon is, how it can (will) eventually contribute to the fragility of the environment EVERYWHERE, not just in Brazil or the Arctic areas. I am hoping that your coverage will bring this even more to light, and I--honestly--think that it is helping people to sit up and take notice. Thank you for this. Oh, and, Anderson: don't feel bad about not liking "bugs and frogs and things that jump"....I grew up in a house that had four acres of land surrounding it, and was constantly confronted with frogs, toads, snakes and the like. It didn't make me like them any more...perhaps less. Bleh.
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Boston, MA : 3:54 PM ET
Anderson, no need to apologize for not being on the air. You are doing something really important in showing people that global warming is, in fact, real and a threat to our very existence. I learned more in your report on Tuesday night than I ever really knew about this devastating phenomenon. I have argued on message boards endlessly with people who seem to think this is much ado about nothing. At least now you have armed me with knowledge and facts to use in future discussions.

I sympathize with your dislike of frogs and other creatures. It's nice to see your human side and realize that you are just like us in many ways. I would not have wanted to come with ten feet of that huge frog that your expert managed to retrieve. I shriek if a mere spider appears. I hope that you are not enduring too much hardship as you work to bring this important information to your millions of viewers.

P.S. For your sake, I hope you can get that blue dye off, otherwise you may have to wear only blue suits for a while. Good luck, and I look forward with great interest to your broadcast tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Mindy Chatsworth, Ca. : 3:54 PM ET
We're too me-centric to be decent stewards of the earth and its resources. We want the latest everything no matter what the cost to the environment in the long run. We could all impact our environment positively by following the Earth-Day mantra; Reduce. Re-use. Recycle.

As for dye, Lestoil has helped me out of a few Girl Scout projects gone awry.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel Delgado, Philadelphia, PA : 3:55 PM ET
It is so great to hear your account of your trip to the Amazon. I am so excited to see "360" covering this important issue. Your broadcast on Tuesday was great and I certainly look forward to your reporting tonight. I am glad to hear that you have conquered your fear of frogs and other jumpy things, I'm sure it will come in handy in the future. Good luck on the rest of your many travels in the coming year and as I said, I am truly looking forward to this series.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly Miller, Hiram, OH : 3:57 PM ET
Hey Anderson. I am glad that you are showing this. This area is a large portion of The earth's lungs and it is being destroyed by a virus named human activity and once again, for financial gain. Thanks for caring.
Posted By Anonymous Mark in Akron, Ohio : 3:58 PM ET
Hi Anderson:

This is such worthwhile news. This is news that we all need, more than a lot of the stuff that gets so much attention. Thanks to you and CNN for being brave enough to take a chance on something more worthwhile than sensational.

Many artists, like Sting and Michael Jackson, have written songs about the destruction of our planet. Sting and his wife have been mavericks on the rainforest for years. It was an issue before the melting of the polar ice caps and now it seems that these issues are beginning to converge. What's really happening here? Greed. Opportunistic politics. The people committing these atrocities against the earth and its inhabitants only care about their bottom line and not the future.

What's the deal with the Brazilian government to allow these corporations to destroy the habitats of animals and indigenous people? Are they corrupt and taking payoffs? At the same time, Brazil has practically abandoned oil in favor of using corn to power vehicles. What an irony?!

What can I do as an individual to help? How can we make these "destructionists" understand that we need these precious trees for oxygen. Do they know why the planet was created the way it is, why and how all the parts work together? We all need to know that. Please address these issues in your reports on the planet in peril.

Thanks for this important work.
Posted By Anonymous Paige B., Arlington, VA : 4:06 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

The problem with clear cutting is the effect on the ecosystems and especially if the replanting isn't done right.
I've always been interested in int'l & national politics but I am an environmentalist to my core.
Leaders have to decide between making profits and our wellbeing and of the planet. It's sad to see the damage done. Our Prime Minister rejected Kyoto,but just yesterday, the opposition forced his goverment to accept a law project that will force him to respect to the letter the Kyoto accord. That's the beauty of a minority govern.Now we'll see if he'll comply.

As for the blue,you like blue Anderson and it suites you. You should be more worried about a creature crawling up your pants or down your collar. Not to stress you out or anything. I hear that frogs like the colour blue!!
I'm looking forward to the show tonight to see your escapade with Jeff and your little friends. There's so much to learn & to see. But we definitely need to stop taking our earth for granted.

Thank you Anderson,Jeff & crew for taking us on this journey.

Take Care
Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 4:08 PM ET
Thanks for covering such an important topic. I think that we will increasingly realize that our "mother ship" is in dire need of our attention. We need to preserve individual human liberties while at the same time taking taking the important steps needs to ensure that our environment is cared for, and poverty is made history.

Fabrice De Clerck PhD
Ecologist
Posted By Anonymous Fabrice De Clerck, Turrialba, Costa Rica : 4:10 PM ET
Hey Anderson - look on the bright side, at least they didn't put the blue dye on your face!

I'm looking forward to your report, for an admitted environmentalist, it seems to me these issues have been ignored for too long. Yes, I'm a tree hugger, and proud of it. That photo is posted reminds me of a place really close to where I live. It used to be densely forested; beautiful and white in the winter and brightly colored in the fall. In the summer, you could drive along that road without your car air conditioner running, it shady and cool enough with just the windows open. Then on day I drove past and it looked much like the photo you posted.

Many places where the deforestation takes place, the wood isn't even used for furniture or building houses, but for throw away things like paper cups and napkins. I hope you shining a light on the area will change the way we do things in this country.

Glad you're back tonight, and sorry we nagged that you weren't on. We just get worried that something bad happened.

Take care and stay safe down there.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 4:17 PM ET
I spent some time in the Amazon this past fall. Our guide told us that he was glad we visited - "before it was too late." A beautiful place. And, yes, Anderson, the Amazon at night does test your mettle.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Augusta, GA : 4:18 PM ET
The are burning out the lungs of the world.
The majority of the oxygen ir produced and CO2 removed by the forest in the amazon.
The entire world has a stake in the health of the amazon.
If we really wanted to do something worthwhile we should be sending troops to protect tha amazon, not wasting lives in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Don Atchison, Rio Rancho, NM : 4:18 PM ET
The impact of the possible collapse of the Amazon ecosystem should be an immediate concern to the world for many reasons. Although we each may not play a direct role in saving the Amazon, our actions and knowledge about this real issue have the ability to prevent further damage to this wonderful habitat. Shows like The Jeff Corwin Experience are able to educate the general public. I highly urge everyone to take a little time out of your night to see what is really happening in this part of the world, and to see just what about the Amazon is so important to save. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Ryan Brothers, East Providence, Rhode Island : 4:19 PM ET
I think Anderson Cooper continues to show how serious issues are in our news today. This story about rainforests diminishing lets people know the truths about how we are slowly but surely making our enviornment dissapear.
Posted By Anonymous Kelsey, Fountain Hills, Az. : 4:22 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
It really tells you something about us as a society that an indigenous group has thrived in the Amazon without all our technology. We certainly are "stuff motivated" which is probably what is getting us into this mess in the first place.
I look forward to seeing tonight's show.
And don't worry, I bet a lot of us would have jumped too if we saw that frog in person!
Take care, and tell Jeff to find that sloth- I want to see it too!
Posted By Anonymous Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 4:25 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
There's an awful lot of this earth that we really don't think about. But with all the new techno gadgets we have, we can see with crystal clear vision, that no man really is an island. We really are ALL connected to the world we live in and should act accordingly. Every human, animal, and even heaven forbid, your favorite..the Cockroach must live together. P.S. So we may live in different locales and have different customs, but no matter if it's a blue stained arm or a gift basket of fine, but stale chocolates, we are all the same and the rain forest is our neighborhood too. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 4:29 PM ET
Anderson, I have friends who used "natural dye" back at Burning Man this year and they're still blue in patches. You're doomed to some lingering Smurf-like tendencies, my friend.

As for the tropical wildlife, no one worries about the bugs small enough to fit through chicken wire. Anything bigger than that, well, you can simply shake hands and ask them to move along.

Good luck, have fun, mind the things that slither.
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth, San Francisco, CA : 4:31 PM ET
dear anderson,
thank you for giving attention to the most important issue on the planet.. its destruction by humans..
soon all of us, human and non-human..will lose our home. planet earth.
this is of the utmost importance, immediate concern.
Posted By Anonymous mary narkiewicz, portland, oregon : 4:35 PM ET
Industries, industries, industries... Isn't there enough industrial activity in the world? I think that we need to be cautious with the Amazon it provides most of the worlds oxygen and has tons of types of wild life. Now days some people do not care about the Amazon's wonders but that there is another piece of land that hasn't been used yet...
PS who cares about the dye blue is your color haha
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker, Millsboro: DE : 4:38 PM ET
A colleague from Brazil told me last year that the deforestation has already changed rainfall patterns and triggered a "self-destruct" cycle in the rainforest that is almost unstoppable. Basically, even if humans stop logging, the rainforest will still slowly disappear. Not sure how true it is (AC, something for you to verify), but it caused me to stop and think for a while.
Posted By Anonymous Bert Bras, Atlanta, Georgia : 4:39 PM ET
It was pretty amusing to watch AC jump from that frog the other night.

That being said, it's quite important that everyone develop an appreciation for all the different species that play a vital role in the Earth's eco-system.

There are many people who do not care enough even to educate themselves. I'm happy to see AC's taking advantage of the opportunity and also leading by example for others who don't consider themselves environmentally minded either.

Hope you packed a lot of insect repellent!!
Posted By Anonymous Fran, Dallas, TX : 4:40 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Of course we understand, but we were so looking forward to seeing you. Tuesday's show was so great though. I am truly enjoying this series and learning a lot. Jeff Corwin is amazing. I just recently got to see An Inconvenient Truth and am anxious to learn so much more about the environment. That is why I enjoy watching you, I always learn something new. Al Gore did a great job of explaining things in a way that anyone could understand it. You do that too and I can't wait to see the report of your visit with the Kraho and the blue dye painting. Loved your reaction to the frog. Take care and watch out for Jeff, he looks like a prankster.
Posted By Anonymous FloT, Pittsburgh, PA : 4:41 PM ET
Hi Anderson, This is such an important issue, take your time and get it right. I can hardly wait to see tonight's show, even if the perils of the planet comes in bits and pieces. I hope you plan to do a long show on your findings.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 4:43 PM ET
Hey Anderson, its great that your covering the Amazon. Its so sad to see it being destroyed. What the heck is wrong with the human race?! Why are we slowly destorying ourselves and our planet. How are we just standing by and doing nothing as this vital resource is being destroyed. Possible remedies for disease, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation. I don't know about you, but its really scary to see this happening right in front of my eyes. How does that continent, let alone the world not see the negative effects the destruction of the Amazon has? Why isn't something being done about it? It makes me very depressed. So very sad.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Los Angeles, CA : 4:45 PM ET
I believe there will be plenty of material for a series called, "Planet in Peril." However, as a journalist, like a scientist, shouldn't the data be gathered first, and the conclusions drawn afterward? A series named, for example, "State of the Planet" would convey that both the positive and negative would be sought. At the end of the series one could decide if she/he should be optimistic or pessimistic about the planet's future.

I believe the answer is, at this point, pessimistic. I'm anxious for someone to prove me wrong, but I can guess in advance that a series named "Planet in Peril" will not do that.

Effective marketing and messages conveyed by print and broadcast media help create in people a desire for products that, either by their creation or their later disposal, add to our planet's woes. These same tools may be the only means of convincing people of the negative impacts of our decisions. Hopefully the "Planet in Peril" series could be helpful to that end, but how many people might think the message is contrived because the title of the series implied what our conclusions should be?

Thanks for your time.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Golding, Jacksonville Beach, FL : 4:45 PM ET
Great subject! I think that the Amazon is one of the most exciting (and dangerous) places in the world. The interesting stories surrounding it are endless. It's a place where life and nature are extremely concentrated. My desire to visit the area lessens with age, but the thought of the place just makes my insides buzz.
Posted By Anonymous chris manchester, nh : 4:46 PM ET
When we hear talk about global warming, we don't hear much mention of the cutting down of the Amazon. I can't help but think that has a lot to do with our current carbon dioxide problem along with all the trees being cut down around our national shorline. I believe one day we will all just be blown away by the winds, much like New Orleans, because there are no trees left.
Posted By Anonymous Judy, Warren, NJ : 4:55 PM ET
Having just returned from Peru a few weeks ago, I'm wondering if you will talk about the highway that is being built from Lima to the Amazon and the impact it will have on the environment and culture of the region. The rivers in the south eastern part of Peru are so polluted by mercury from gold mining, the people can no longer fish n them. The poverty is overwhelming, the roads may bring jobs, but what is the cost?

good luck with an important story.

Kristi
Posted By Anonymous Kristi, San Francisco, CA : 5:13 PM ET
It is sad that we are killing our planet like this. The amount of damage that comes from this destructive action canot even me messure. If the local and federal authorities in Brazil don't do something quick about this we are all going to pay sooner or latter when the planet starts to tell us why we should have left that area alone.
Posted By Anonymous Robert P. Bedford Tx. : 5:13 PM ET
Hi Anderson.
Boy, thank goodness for this blog, I was beginning to think you'd been kidnapped by pygmies (or frogs)
Seriously, it's amazing and heartbreaking to actually see what's happening to this planet. I only hope that by you bringing this to our attention we can start to understand and take responsibility for our share in contributing to it.
Looking forward to this series. Jeff makes a great side-kick.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ont. Canada : 5:16 PM ET
Anderson - Here's hoping that this experience will convince you that our "planet in peril" is equally as 'reportworthy' as politics or international conflict. I'd be proud to have you in my court!
Posted By Anonymous Cherri Megasko: Chicago, IL : 5:26 PM ET
Welcome back to the blog Anderson!

I'm glad you profiled the Amazon for your "Planet in Peril" segments because while it seems vast and rich, flooded in flora and fauna, that doesn't mean it's not in danger. I remember donating pennies on the dollar in gradeschool to preserve the rainforest acre by acre. I'm hoping the government does a bit more with new environmental initiatives. I'd like to visit Brazil someday, and I'd prefer the rainforest still be there when I go.
Posted By Anonymous Aruna, Minneapolis, MN : 5:27 PM ET
Give the people of Brazil some credit. As an avid angler who fishes the amazon, I know the Brazilian people are becoming more aware every day and are taking some steps to slow the destruction of their ecosystem. I believe they will eventually thru time take at least the same steps we in the U.S. have to help their environment. We're just looking at ourselves in an earlier era.....
Posted By Anonymous Ray Alston, Belle Glade, FL : 5:30 PM ET
For the past few years now I have been coming to a grim realization. It is the feeling that there is little if any hope of stopping any time soon the "Planet in peril" causes and effects. And here are just a few of the reasons why I feel this way.

The Amazon is disappearing and may be gone in my lifetime (I'm 58 years old). Brazil seems to have no serious intent in stopping the destruction or even slowing it down.

We have been told by the U.N. report that even if we stopped all greenhouse emissions today we would still suffer the growing effects for as much as 100 to 200 more years.

China is about to overtake the U.S. as the no.1 polluter and their attitude is that we in the west caused the present situation so they have a right to a free ride on the pollution train. Same with India only they are a bit more polite about it. And the UNEP, who issued the report, sound like they actually symphatise with that sentiment.

We continue to allow people who can afford it to waste and pollute as much as they want so long as they are willing to pay a lot of money to do it.

We have come up with a scheme called �Carbon credits�. This allows small polluters to sell their unused credits to large polluters so they can stay in business. Same amout of emissions still being produced only we�ve managed to create a way for small polluters to actually profit from pollution.

It has taken us perhaps 50 years to come to a point where goverments have begun to publicly accept that the problem is real. How much longer will it take to actually begin and enforce large scale changes.

If what the U.N report and our scientists say is true then we need a hundred �Manhatten Project� type efforts to begin yesterday to even make a dent in the problem. We will need absolute and enforced commercial and personal emission limits. No credits to be traded, no increase in the price of a kilowat or gallon of gas we use over our limit but serious enforcement. Like enforced brown outs or no more gas for you for a year limits or lose your driving privileges or your cars.

Like I said in the beginning I don�t have a lot of hope, but I�m trying to do the right thing none the less.

I am afraid that in 25 years our grand children will hate us for what we�ve done or more importantly for what we failed to do. We have caused this disaster and we are truly guilty of crimes against humanity on a global scale and one day many of us may be held personally accountable for this.
Posted By Anonymous Lou M., Lake Forest, Illinois : 5:31 PM ET
It sounds exciting. And you seem to jump into a monumentally important and complex issue. Exploring and utilizing environment has been our(human beings) main source of industrialization and prosperity. Constant pride of Western civilization, especially of the profit-oriented industrialization and ultra-capitalism (if such word exists). Now that we begin to understand such incessant industrial growth and development has reached to the point of no return-destruction, then what? The power of human greed and desires are so strong that I can't help but feeling endlessly pessimistic. Too many webs of lives and human interests are intertwined with environmental exploitation. What are the practical, lasting steps to take now, by what people, how? I hope to see some focused analysis and experts' commentary on those questions along with your field trip reports.
One thing annoys me in the program is that you interject so often some trivial celebrity stories with this very serious issue. Why don't you run this series without interrupting with those sensationalized stories (i.e. Who would claim Anna Nicole's body, etc). But I will still watch you faithfully.
Posted By Anonymous Meang Jang, Columbia, Maryland : 5:32 PM ET
Hello Anderson,

Thank you for facing your fears with the criters for the sake of this noble report. I know I couldn't do it but I have got to say I do enjoy watching you brave the wild from the comfort of my living room. Looking forward to learing more tonight about this precious area of your planet. Keep up the great work. Hope you and your crew stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Danielle M, Toronto, ON : 5:33 PM ET
Our national forest in the Pacific Northwest should also be scrutinized while we're complaining about destruction. NOWHERE in Washington State can you go any longer without seeing a clear cut. Corporate greed is rapidly destroying what little is left of our national heritage. It is a DISGRACE!!
Posted By Anonymous A. Forbes, Selah, Washington : 5:38 PM ET
Well the money speaks louder in brazil, wood is a great business specialy if they dont need to pay for the land.
Very soon it wont be anymore the rain florest, instead will be "what used to be the rain florest"

I wish someone could stop but the gov does not even care about
Posted By Anonymous Rod Brasilia Brasil : 6:01 PM ET
And why isn't the depletion of the rainforest included in the causes for Global Warming? The trees provide a shield (shade) from the sun, absorb the energy to turn carbon dioxide (THE greenhouse gas) into oxygen. Go figure! We take away the shade, we take away a major processor of carbon dioxide and the planet gets warmer. But it's really cars!
Posted By Anonymous Will, Peculiar, MO : 6:07 PM ET
Anderson,
Very interesting story. My question is a bit more political and is regarding both the US government and the governments of other nations' involvement with the rainforest issue. Granted that it may not be a welcome effort, telling another country how to use its land and resources, but when will these countries realize that the ecosystems they are destroying are going to have huge reprocussions on the ecology of the rest of the world? Does the Brazillian government take heed to this issue? Will it take US and world action to stop the slashing and burning before it is too late? Would subsidation to the economies of these poor rainforest nations help slow the destruction?
Posted By Anonymous A. Scheff, Chicago, IL : 6:07 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

So intrigued by your travels. Thanks for taking on this topic, it is very close to my heart. Glad to see you blogging about your experiences, many of us are very interested in the behind the scenes aspects that we do not have the pleaseure of seeing on the air. I cannot imagine the statistics of broadcasting from a rain forest in the middle of nowhere - so please do not apologize for not being on air as much as you'd hoped. I am relishing the times that you are on.

As far as the blue dye, what an amazing experience! Wow! As an Anthropology minor in college, I would have loved to be in your shoes for that one. Good thing blue is your favorite color!

Keep safe, have fun and watch out for Jeff, he seems like a bit of a tease! I am sure you will get back at him somehow.

PS. Hey Anderson....look out...FROG!
(Heh heh, just kidding -I'd have jumped too)
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 6:16 PM ET
Since you are interested in politis, I wonder if you managed to talk to someone in government, or someone directly involved in the deforestation process like cattle ranchers, miners, farmer, etc... I come from the town of Belem by the mouth of the Amazon river, and although I currently live in Atlanta, GA, I have a lot of interest in the well being of the Amazon region. I unfortunatelly won't be able to watch your program (I don't have a TV), but I applaude your effort in trying to wake up our civilization of its suicidal path. Take care!
Posted By Anonymous Corina Brito: Atlanta, GA : 6:26 PM ET
The comment "who is to blame, loggers, miners,farmers ect" Is completely incorrect. It is politicians. The people will do what they can to survive and care for their families. If they're near the forest, and their are no jobs, they go to the forest in the form of slash and burn. Politicians who are getting paid by the logging and minng companies are to blame. There is only one way to stop the process. Teach the people how excruciatingly important their forest is and how to love it and to create industries that give them non-forest destroying jobs.
Posted By Anonymous Denise Waterford Pennsylvania : 6:45 PM ET
Global Warming's biggest contributor is the emission of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere (mostly through the burning of fossil fuels - E85 actually creates more carbon dioxide for a comparable amount of energy to a more pure gasoline blend). Plants need carbon dioxide to make energy. The Amazon, at least 15-20 years ago while I was in Elementary/Middle School, produced an estimated c. 50% of the world's oxygen. You want to slow down Global Warming? Then the Amazon must be regenerated NOW, and alternative means for energy production developed NOW, before we are past the point of no return.

When I was in 2nd grade, it was projected the world's oil supplies would expire c. 2020. This is not true, as we develop more technologies to "economically" extract oil from previously impractical sources. I wonder where Fusion Power would be today, had all the money invested in oil exploration and production in the past 20 years been invested, instead, in a clean, renewable resource? Or solar/wind/hydro power, for that matter?

Money isn't the root of all evil. Greed is, and money is just the most prevalent symptom. Let's stop this madness now, and stop coming up with stopgap measures - which are increasingly expensive and hazardous to both humans the the environment in which we live - and develop something truly clean and pure. Humans don't have to ruin the planet - but living cheaply will. There is no "warranty" on this beautiful chunk of rock.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Deck, Buffalo, NY : 7:49 PM ET
Anderson says, "I've never been much of an environmentalist". Why not, Anderson? Why the hell not?
Posted By Anonymous Phil, Tampa Florida : 7:54 PM ET
"Which, if any, U.S. companies are directly or indirectly responsible for deforestation in the Amazon?"

Hey Javier, here's a crazy idea, put the blame on Brazil, not the U.S. There's one, and only one, country that could stop all of this right now, and it's Brazil. Brazil could simply nationalize the entire rain forest. Like many people you want to find a way to blame Americans. Why not put the whole and entire blame where it belongs, on the government that allows this to happen, the Brazilian government!! Brazil, China and India are some of the countries that are doing, or will do the most damage to our ecosystem this century, but so many people want to give them a a pass. Let's put the blame on the deforestation on the people that are making money selling the land, the Brazilian government!
Posted By Anonymous John, San Jose CA : 7:56 PM ET
Hey Anderson!
Strange as this may sound....I dont watch your show, I listen in (!!!!) on satellite radio 'cos I have no CNN TV signal (YIKES!!!). So I have to rely on the blogs & the uploaded clips to catch Jeff & you in action! What a fantastic experience it must be for you! I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" a few weeks ago & it's fantastic the work Al Gore is doing to bring this issue to so many people around the world. And now you too are part of it!
Personally I think awareness must precede action.

Every government functions to serve the needs of their own.......but what is key now is to come together to serve a larger global interest. And we
have to do it NOW! Loved your piece on the Kraho...Anthropology was one of my 2 grad majors. Took me back to a field trip we'd taken...we spent a few days with an Indian group of indigenous people in Maharashtra,India. We couldnt believe how their world was so far removed from 'civilisation'. Yet despite no electricity or water or transport, they were perfectly happy in their environment. And we left feeling thoroughly humbled at how indulgent our own lives are back in the big city! And lastly I think the onus lies with each one of us....we can constantly make smart choices in our individual lives to help.
Love your work....and ummm your reaction to the creepy crawlies :)
Stay safe. Stay strong.
Posted By Anonymous Avril, Mumbai, India : 12:14 AM ET
There was a comment about soy beans being grown in Brazil for tofu and soy milk for vegetarians,and are part of the destruction of the forest. The majority of the soy beans grown in Brazil are for cattle feed not for feeding vegans! Stop eating hamburgers and you'll be doing your part.
Posted By Anonymous Patty Webster Iquitos Peru : 12:48 AM ET
Every inch of air teams with life...mosquitos stick in my nose with each breath .. Teahupoo, Tahiti...it becomes exceedingly clear who's on top of the food chain...and it's not us.The Tahitians take joy that the road ends five miles from our home...in between..just jungle...my daughter and I are brought to the edge of the lagoon by outrigger canoe...we eat whatever Ti Frere pulls out of the lagoon in that day's early morning catch..I count five persons in the home next door...a seven count including us..no electricity, no radio, no TV, past times and games of our own invention...all in French....two weeks later the two of us need and depend on each other to live....invaluable lessons....western civilization conveniences get in the way of learning that level of dependence...but, the Kraho, they know....everyone will know now, hopefully. Thanks Anderson..Thanks Jeff.. All life is interconnected, valuable, and if not respected ..lost
Posted By Anonymous Christina Williams, Hemet, Ca : 2:41 AM ET
In response to people's naivety about the Amazon regions and the animals and people found there, there is a 5000 square foot touring science museum exhibition called Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches. It was developed by the Miami Museum of Science where I work. We collaborated with US and South American scientists to produce the exhibit and it has been to the Smithsonian and the Carnegie where it was seen by more than a quarter million people. Its currently at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It was funded by the National Science Foundation.
Here is the website http://www.amazonvoyage.org/
Posted By Anonymous Sean Duran, Miami Florida : 9:49 AM ET
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