Destruction of Rain Forests

August 9, 2000

Turn on the television or open a newsmagazine, and you will hear about the destruction of the rainforests. Environmentalists as well as celebrities like Sting and Leonardo DiCaprio call for extreme sacrifices so that we can save the rainforests. Just look at some of the movies.

The 1992 Sean Connery movie "Medicine Man" shows Connery discovering the cure for cancer at his makeshift lab in a heart of the Amazon rainforest. However, he loses the cure when developers destroy his facility in order to build a road.

Or consider the 1993 animated feature, "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest." It takes the Amazon's mystical charm literally as fairies of the rainforest fight against the industrialist's chain saws and bulldozers.

Actor William Shatner in a recent National Geographic documentary claims that worldwide, "Rainforest is being cleared at a rate of 20 footballs fields a minute." But is that statistic really true?

Patrick Moore, a former front man for the environmental group Greenpeace and now head of Greenspirit, says that the only way such huge numbers are generated is by using double accounting. "You would have cleared 50 times the size of the Amazon already if accurate." All the rainforests would be gone by now if those numbers were true.

Here are the facts concerning the Amazon rainforest. By looking at NASA Landsat satellite images, scientists have concluded that around 87.5% of the previously mapped areas of the Amazon remains largely intact. And of the 12.5% that has been deforested, one-third to one-half is fallow or in the process of regeneration. In other words, around 94 percent of the Amazon is likely to be intact or in the process of returning to nature. So remember that statistic the next time you read or hear some of these scary statistics from environmental activists.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.