Tuesday, September 18, 2007

well, i feel ignorant

I just finished watching a throughly depressing film called The Charcoal People, about the migrant workers producing charcoal in Brazil. Brazilian pig iron, made by combining iron ore with charcoal, is used in the automotive and construction industries in the developed world. The migrant workers (paid ridiculously little, of course) are hired to roam through Brazil, tearing down trees, building kilns, and creating charcoal. The Atlantic Forrest and much of the scrub savannas of central Brazil have already been deforrested, amounting to an area the size of France completely devoid of trees. Since the supply of wood there is dwindling, the charcoal people are migrating to the Amazon Forrest to find work. Since this segment of the population currently totals around 60,000, the Amazon could go fast. A frightening thought, no?

Although I had a vague idea this was happening, why did I never know these details? Why are we so obsessed with vacuous celebrity gossip when these horrible things are happening around us? Argh. I'm feeling like quite a fat cat this evening. And not a cute one whose belly touches the ground when she walks. Just an ugly, mean one.


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