Bruna and Kainer imply that
For example, when completed, the
Moreover, we do not advocate a “sweeping rejection” of proposed transportation and infrastructure projects in Brazilian Amazonia. We do, however, believe that a limited subset of the proposed projects—particularly those that would create major corridors between densely populated areas and the remote Amazonian frontier—will be so damaging environmentally that their potential societal and economic benefits are clearly outweighed (1–5).
The notion that society has “needs” for new infrastructure, whereas it merely has concerns for the environment and its services, is a false dichotomy that implicitly will always lead to choices in favor of infrastructure. The implied conclusion that planned projects should never be rejected or delayed, but only “balanced” with environmental add-ons, would clearly imperil Amazonian forests (5). Current efforts to reduce rampant forest loss are likely to fail, we believe, unless the Brazilian government addresses one of the most fundamental causes of forest destruction: the dramatic proliferation of new transportation projects throughout the heart of the Amazon basin.
1. P. M. Fearnside, Environ. Conserv. 28, 23 (2001).
2. W. F. Laurance et al., Science 291, 438 (2001).
3. P. M. Fearnside, Environ. Manage. 30, 735 (2002).
4. W. F. Laurance et al., J. Biogeogr. 29, 737 (2002).
5. W. F. Laurance, P. M. Fearnside. Science 295, 1643 (2002).