I like this idea of a wildlife governing body. It would have to have teeth of course; laws without a means of enforcing them are meaningless. Governments could no longer claim they don’t have the funds to stop illegal logging or land use if they could just call in the “governing body.” Think of it as the conservation branch of the U.N., dedicated to preventing biodiversity loss instead of preventing wars.

These articles, found here and here via the Daily Grist, are depressing, to say the least. If this study pans out, then we really should get on top of it because losing the Amazon would nullify all other efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, making everything we have to say here on the Grist blog an exercise in futility (assuming it isn’t already).

I don’t know what the solution should be, but this certainly does not sound like it:

Brazilian politicians say that the country has so many other pressing problems that the destruction is unlikely to be brought under control, unless the world helps to pay for the survival of the forest on which it too depends. Calculations by Hylton Philipson, a British merchant banker and rainforest campaigner, reckon that it will take $60bn (£32bn) a year, less than a third of the cost of the Iraq war.

What would the Brazilian government do with all of that money? It reads like an extortion attempt. “Give us 60 billion dollars and we will spare the forest.” In any case, we can’t afford to save the Amazon and fight “terists.”