“The End of the Amazon” – Who’s responsible?

Earlier today a friend of mine introduced me to an article about the Ecuadorian government agreeing to drill for oil in the heart of the Amazon.  Naturally I was a bit resentful of the issue as oil drilling damages ecology, soil health, and water quality, but as I read the article I began to question the reasons why Ecuador would dare to destroy their own homeland.  As it turns out, Ecuador is quite capable of providing for its own energy needs.  However, Ecuador’s economy is primarily driven by the exportation of oil to other countries, namely the United States.  So the problem is not that Ecuador is in desperate need of oil to sustain its own energy habits, it is that the Ecuador depends on excessive energy use by other countries to keep its economy afloat.  Although the article frames an important issue relevant to everyone, it fails to mention the real problem – that is our own energy consumption.  If we reduce the demand for oil, then oil producers will have no choice but to produce less.  So the solution to preventing this disaster is not through purchasing protection from Ecuador, but through reducing our own energy use.  To learn more about this problem and solutions to energy consumption, I suggest reading “Green Illusions” by Ozzie Zehner.  This book exposes the paradoxes of environmentalism and illuminates a path to a more sustainable future that many of us fail to contemplate.  Here’s a link to the original article about oil drilling in the Amazon:

Link to Article

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