Amazonia, Brazil, deforestation, rain forest
The purpose of this honors thesis was to summarize and analyze the competing positions about the causes and consequences of the continuing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon based on the positions recently presented ( i.e, from 2000 to 2010) in published sources on the subject. This analysis of the competing positions on the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has focused on and has been guided by a search for answers to two critical questions:
Which groups of people in the world benefit from the way in which the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon are presented in the book, and which groups of people are neglected or harmed by the way in which this issue has been presented?
Which assumptions about the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon have been accepted as truth and have not been questioned by the authors of the books?
In short, this honors thesis has been structured as a study centered on ideological bias and a study of how ideological biases affect the contemporary debate about the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The researchers whose books were examined in this thesis did not, for the most part, relate the role of ideology to the question of deforestation and its causes and consequences.
All of the researchers, whose books were critiqued, seemed to be aware of the severe shortcomings of the cost-benefit method as applied to the issue of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon; all except one researcher (Lomborg) seemed to lean toward the precautionary principle in decision-making on issues of deforestation. There were discernible gaps between and among the researchers regarding the necessity of regulation, at various governmental levels, of forest utilization and management.
The issue of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon can be seen to be more than just a debate between developmentalists and conservationists or a debate between the advocates of unregulated free-market decision-making and advocates of governmental regulation. The issue of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon illustrates that individuals and corporations pursuing their seemingly rational self-interest do not produce long-term benefits for the society or the world as a whole and certainly do not produce benefits for future generations commensurate to the costs of the activities they undertake.
Scholar Commons Citation
Morrill, Samuel, "A Critical Study of the Literature about Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon" (2011). Outstanding Honors Theses. 6.