Global Intel Hub - (Zero Hedge Exclusive) 9/22/2019 Quito, Ecuador -- Brazil is home to the largest forest in the world, known as the "Amazon" which is so big, the word itself has grown to mean something 'huge, massive'. The destruction of the rainforest has been much controversy so we wanted to fact check the fact checkers and just look on Google Maps to see what we see. Sure enough, you can see the logging and what's left, as evidenced here in these photos:
You can go to Google Maps and zoom around and see for yourself. You'll see two things. First, huge swaths of forest are clearly logged out, no different than in South Carolina or Georgia. I wonder though if they are replanting. In the South we have 'tree farms' that chop the native bush but then plant trees that will mature in 20 years. That's really the issue, isn't it - is what they are doing sustainable?
What are the numbers we are seeing here? According to Mongabay.com:
Since 1978 over 750,000 square kilometers (289,000 square miles) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. Why is Earth's largest rainforest being destroyed? For most of human history, deforestation in the Amazon was primarily the product of subsistence farmers who cut down trees to produce crops for their families and local consumption. But in the later part of the 20th century, that began to change, with an increasing proportion of deforestation driven by industrial activities and large-scale agriculture. By the 2000s more than three-quarters of forest clearing in the Amazon was for cattle-ranching. The result of this shift is forests in the Amazon were cleared faster than ever before in the late 1970s through the mid 2000s. Vast areas of rainforest were felled for cattle pasture and soy farms, drowned for dams, dug up for minerals, and bulldozed for towns and colonization projects. At the same time, the proliferation of roads opened previously inaccessible forests to settlement by poor farmers, illegal logging, and land speculators.
So who is profiting from this? We have one institution named, BlackRock, who has been given the title "World's Largest Investor of Deforestation" - and that is clearly seen here in the Amazon.
BlackRock has also come under fire for its disproportionately large holdings in coal, oil and gas at a time when the finance sector is facing growing climate risk. Analysis released earlier this month from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis showed that BlackRock lost $90 billion through its fossil fuel investments over the past decade.
Pre IPO Swap portfolio company Impossible Foods is actually an environmentally driven company, not a diet driven company. The idea is simple, one of the major drivers behind deforestation is cattle ranching. They are literally razing forests to make room for cattle. Why does the world need so much cattle? Because Americans eat on average 55.6 pounds of beef per year.
Let's do the math. 327 Million Americans, x 55.6 pounds of beef = $17,985 Million or $17 Billion pounds of beef consumed annually. It's clear why you can't find these statistics online. If we take an average mature cow at slaughter is about 1,000 pounds (can be as big as 1,300 so we'll be generous) that's 17.9 Million cows needed to feed Americans. It takes about 1.5 - 2 acres to feed a cow and calf for 12 months (this number can vary widely by region and grazing method). So if we use the 2 acre as an average, that means we need 35 Million acres of land, to have enough grazing pasture for Cows, just to feed Americans beef (that doesn't include Cow usage for other products, sometimes they are used for dual purposes sometimes not, there are 'milk farms' where cows are regularly milked and only used for slaughter at the end stage). There are 528 Million acres of range and pasture lands in USA:
Range and pasture lands are located in all 50 states of the US. Privately owned range and pasture lands makes up over 27% (528 million acres) of the total acreage of the contiguous 48 states, and these lands constitute the largest private lands use category, exceeding both forest land (21%) and crop land (18%).
But at what cost? Just like factory offshoring, it has become more profitable to do the same thing but in other countries. In Brazil for example, they don't have the same rules and regulations regarding livestock, paying workers, human rights, the EPA, and a ton-of-bricks government agencies swooping down to rain on your farm parade. In articles we are going to expose soon, we will show the deep fraud embedded in an agricultural system based on Petro Chemicals, with a state that is based on coercion rather than Entrepreneurship.
As outlined in this excellent photo article, Brazil's cowboy culture is rich and wealthy. Still, cows are cheaper in Brazil than in USA. Of course part of that is due to a strong US Dollar, but not only. Cut corners here and there and Brazil is another China when it comes to human rights, labor laws, consumer protection laws, and overall just resource capitalism at it's most native.
The takeaway from this article is do we really need to launch Impossible Foods in order to save the world from razing Rainforests? Or do we need to simply retask pastures in USA, here is a list of the top 100 Landowners. I'm sure they'd be willing to lease land to the Cowboys, for a fee. What can be more American than that?
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