Monday, October 15, 2007

New York City Is One of the Biggest Destroyers of the Amazon Rainforest

New York City Is One of the Biggest Destroyers of the Amazon Rainforest

By Robert Jereski, AlterNet. Posted October 15, 2007.

New York City's parks department is America's biggest destroyer of Amazonian rain forest, and Mayor Bloomberg isn't doing much to stop it

If you're riding the "L" in Chicago or taking a stroll down the boardwalks of Greenport, Long Island, or Santa Monica, Calif., you are connected to an international movement away from the most destructive use of the world's remaining rainforests -- industrial timber extraction. Almost two decades of environmental advocacy has shown significant gains: the park benches in Los Angeles are made from locally sourced wood, the subway ties under Chicago's "L" train and the boardwalks at the Saw Mill River Audubon wetlands preserves are made from recycled plastic lumber. Millions of acres of pristine rain forests are no longer being felled so Americans can park our asses or wipe our feet on the world's trees.

But for New Yorkers, many pleasant experiences the city has to offer bring us unwittingly closer to the obliteration of the most ecologically dynamic part of the world -- the Amazonian rain forest.

Where do those miles and miles of wooden boardwalks, benches and handrails on Coney Island and Hudson River Park come from? What about the bench you lounge on, sipping coffee in a quiet corner of Central Park? According to environmental scientist Tim Keating, New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation is the biggest destroyer of rain forests in America and has been for years. So much for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new "green" persona.

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