Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Photo of the effects of clear cutting; deforestation and fires in the Amazon
taken by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon
from: Nasa Earth Observatory
In the Pre-Columbian period the population of the Amazon has been estimated to have been around 5-10 million, with metropolises comparable in population to London and Paris in the Middle Ages, and far exceeding the population of Rome in that period. This population was utterly devastated by the introduction of diseases from the ‘Old World,’ including malaria, but most devastatingly small pox, which combined with the destruction of their culture by conquistadors, missionaries etc., led to the wiping out of 95% of indigenous people in the Amazonian basin.
By the turn of the 20th century the indigenous population of the Amazon was reduced to 200,000
In the 1990s the indigenous population of the Amazon had returned back up to 600,000.
The current indigenous population is now only 200,000 once again, a reduction of two thirds of its population in less than a couple decades. Darfur at least received some notice and acknowledgement on the world stage (albeit very little action), yet this genocide has gone largely under the radar.
The recent massive reduction of the indigenous population in the Amazon is due to the clear cutting and slash and burning of indigenous forests to be replaced by grazing land for cattle for Mcdonalds and for other multinational burger chains.
Fact: The first page of a Google search on ‘Amazon’ reveals no information about the Amazon in South America.