Aug 14th, 2012
Green Peace has declared victory in Brazil after concessions were made about the source of charcoal for producing pig iron. From the GP Press Release “Huge quantities of charcoal are used in Brazil to produce pig iron, a key ingredient used to make cast iron and steel for cars, airplanes and appliances, which has lead to the illegal destruction of vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest. Currently, up to 90% of the region’s pig iron is exported to the US.” It’s great to show the connection to devastation happening in Latin America to the end use being in the U.S. It’s also great to see deforestation being slowed in the Amazon.
What could be greater than all that is also talking about stopping consumption here in the U.S. While those pig iron producers are going to have to get their charcoal from somewhere else, they’re still going to get it. And with that charcoal is going to come more pig iron to produce more earth destroying machines up here. We aren’t trying to cut down the victory, just trying to keep it real on the big picture.
This comes out just as an article was posted on the Environmental News Network about how much charcoal affects the planet. A study done in Brazil by Brazilian scientists found that, “…torching the Atlantic Forest released about 200 to 500 million tonnes of black carbon. Given the material’s half-life, they estimate that it will take between 630 and 2200 years for just half of the black carbon to leach out of the region’s soils.” Further studies are in the works, but initial results are showing that all of this black carbon is leaching into the ocean and hurting marine life.
So, kudos to Green Peace on the steps made. It’s unfortunate that those steps don’t go as far as is needed to save this dying planet.