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The Forum > Article Comments > Can a fast food company save the Amazon? > Comments

Can a fast food company save the Amazon? : Comments

By Lena Aahlby, published 14/5/2009

The tale of how Greenpeace and McDonalds came together in Brazil reflects the complexities of a globalised economy.

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Suddenly I feel a whole lot less guilty about Big Macs. This article is hopefully a pointer to the future where profit and sustainability mesh in the minds of all corporations as rational re-investment in the product from start to finish.
Posted by STAUNCH, Thursday, 14 May 2009 1:58:01 PM
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When presenting a list of facts and figures to try and bolster you argument, it might be honest to at least compare oranges with oranges.

The area of the Amazon is given as 6.5 million square kilometres, and the area estimated to be used for soya as 1 million hectares.

Sounds scary - until you realise that translates as 1/650th of the area of the Amazon. Suddenly - not so scary.

Similarly, while it is stated that "during a 12-month period in the early 2000ís the equivalent of 12 soccer pitches per minute disappeared", what is not mentioned is whether this was a peak rate which has since declined, or even perhaps an anomaly. It could be said that in 1994, over 35 people were murdered in Tasmania. This would sound truly alarming, unless you knew that nearly all of this were accounted for by a single, horrible crime.

We are told that "since the 1970s, an area twice the size of New Zealand has been lost" - what the author does not say is that this translates as just 8% of the total area of the Amazon.

When it is said that "a significant part" of the more than 80% of the Amazon that hasn't been cleared "is under direct threat", the nature or extent of this threat is never explained.

This (mis)use of figures and statistics is sadly typical of too much of the green movement. Exaggerating a threat to try and scare and intimidate people into doing what you want is dishonest and bullying.
Posted by Clownfish, Thursday, 14 May 2009 4:19:38 PM
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