As isadora points out deforestation is almost certainly a major contributing factor to the hypothesis that is global warming. I say hypothesis as there remains much speculation and conjecture. We are witnessing quite rapid shifts in climate but the science community is still debating which particular scenario to hang its hat on, although this is somewhat based on whether these are cyclical changes or truly a man made catastrophe in the making.
Good old fashioned pollution itself of course has also been implicated in die back of tree crowns and the death of large tracts of forests and it is likely that mankind is both poisoning and thrashing its very life giving lungs into oblivion. Perhaps what we are witnessing presently is akin to a smokers cough and time enough remains to medicate and remedy this. I guess the more important question is how we both reduce potential damaging emissions on a global scale and halt deforestation. I doubt that there is much further mileage in appealing to the relatively deprived owners of the Amazon rainforest that we are all doomed if they continue to slash and burn their forests at the same rate as the developed world did for decade upon decade - as it is dashed irresponsible of them. If it matters so much, and there is little doubt that it does, the solution is surely to simply pay them the going rate to leave well alone. Though not glibly through eco tourism but rather through weighting a litre of oxygen equal to a litre of unleaded petrol. If we paid these intrinsically poor people to live like kings, in the same way that we support the livelihoods of the middle eastern oil sheiks, then I believe they would surely step back and have greater appreciation and respect for their cash cow. Surely the solution is quite simple - any alternative has to be more lucrative to the owners of these forests than razing them to the ground and growing beans for a few years.
Hmm, swapping your cow for beans - a familiar tale indeed. Perhaps we should heed the moral of the pantomime.
Swapping your cow for beans – Lord Sterne suggests this in an article in The Times today.
Climate chief Lord Stern: give up meat to save the planet