Posted by: ecodestination | February 20, 2009

Activism wins for Argentina’s forests

Flooding in Tartagal, Argentina

Flooding in Tartagal, Argentina

If you called in or emailed Argentine President Cristina Kirchner last week, you deserve an enthusiastic pat on the back: it worked!

Greenpeace reports that over 1,000 people harassed the government daily demanding the signed implementation of the Forest Law-and we got it. Things like this always make me smile, and wide.

Such efforts are crucial to fight deforestation and the resulting natural disasters such as the flooding in Tartagal, up in the northwestern province of Salta in Argentina, where thousands lost their homes to the violent infiltration of volumes of mud.

Deforestation is about destroying the fertility of soil, biodiversity, and leaving the soil useless to protect the land against intensive flooding (due to accelerated erosion) as it warps the natural regulation of river basins. Fighting it is, therefore, imperative to our planet-and our human and non-human community.

Meanwhile, Tartagal lays drowned in mud, with dead animals rotting in the streets, people missing, snakes everywhere, its waters polluted, and ravenous mosquitoes sucking the blood out of everyone in sight. As a bonus, people have to watch out for explosives in certain areas, as oil companies’ explosives were dragged out by the flood. Some explosives have fortunately been found and subsequently deactivated. Apparently, something as seemingly innocuous as a cell phone can trigger them.

The people in Tartagal are poor and humble, with nothing to spare and now nothing at all. The capitalist efforts to force oil out of the ground, tear down trees, and the ten million other atrocities they commit every second of every day make me want to puke.

Please take action however way you can to spread the word when you hear of something, and make your voice heard to demand change.

Always remember the wise Margaret Mead’s words: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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