Charles Darwin Would Be an Environmentalist

Charles Darwin Would Be an Environmentalist

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In an article by Axel Bugge two opinions on what should happen to the Amazon are discussed. One view is that it’s more important to cut down the Amazon due to the growing number of people living in Brazil. The other more vocal side wants to stop any cutting down of the Amazon but at least wants to minimize the amount that is being cut down every year. They don’t want to lose the Amazon that is nicknamed “the lungs of the planet” for all the oxygen that comes from there (Bugge 1).

The Brazilian authorities and large percent of Brazilians know that they should limit the amount of Amazon that is being cut down. They cannot which comes from the problem of population explosion in Brazil. Brazils population has grown from 3.5 million people in 1970 to 20 million people nowadays. This would not be a problem but the Amazon represents more than half Brazil’s territory. Brazilian authorities also face pressures to develop the Amazon. There seems to be a $40 billion government economic development plan, which could possibility, destroy, or heavily damage, up to 42 percent of the Amazon (Bugge 2).

On the other side of the argument we have mostly environmentally conscience people. These environmentalists are against the deforestation of the Amazon especially since a piece of the Amazon equal to Rhode Island in size is destroyed every year. This is not that much of the Amazon as a whole especially since the Amazon is an area larger then Western Europe. In the end the feeling is that if we keep cutting down the Amazon at this rate we are losing, as many environmentalists call it, the “lungs of the planet” since according to them the Amazon produces the vast majority of the earth’s oxygen (Bugge 1).

A major problem of deforestation is the vast number of plants and animals living in the Amazon are not only being killed but also are dieing to points of extinction. Already a large number of sub-species of animals and plants have been killed. This is causing Biodiversity losses of unknown proportions. Also when you cut down large amounts of forest they don’t grow back that fast if ever and this accelerates the rate of “desertification.” (Bugge 2)

When talking about man destroying nature the person with the most to say is Charles Darwin.

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In his book Natural Selection Darwin has a problem when man makes the selection instead of letting nature take its slower but “truer” course then man’s inferior way of selecting what should and what should not survive. Man’s way of selecting is inferior because man’s selections are only beneficial to him and usually only apply for a short period of time while “natural selection” is very slow but in the end usually benefits the world as a whole (Darwin 440). These views of Darwin lead me to believe that Darwin would be against both sides of the argument due to the anthropocentric views taken by both sides. In the long run he would want the environmentalists to be victorious because it would make a smaller impact on nature by not cutting down the Amazon.

Bibliography:

Works Cited

Bugge, Axel. “Huge Amazon Areas Lost Each Year but Forest Stands.” Reuters. 18 Oct. 2001. 21 Oct. 2001 .

Darwin, Charles. “Natural Selection.” A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for college Writers. Ed. Lee A. Jacobus. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2002. 435-50.
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