Letters to the Editor: One reason not to burn the Amazon: Rainforest soil is bad for farming

A tree burns in the Amazon rainforest in the Brazilian state of Rondonia.
(Carl De Souza / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: The fires in the Amazon rainforest are wantonly destroying the area on Earth that is richest in plant and animal life and that has a huge role as the “lungs of the planet.” (“The Amazon rainforest is still burning and we’re all in danger” Opinion, Sept. 8)

This devastation is even more horrific because the Amazon’s leached soils are among the poorest in the world for farming. It is the tree cover that helps maintain the cycle of life; once it is destroyed, within a few years the soil becomes worthless as farmland or pasture. The place is abandoned and new areas cleared.

Brazil is selling its birthright (and that of humankind) for a mess of pottage. Many other nations, including ours, are busily buying the products Brazil exports.


We must realign our economies to reflect the needs of nature and end the “business as usual” mentality that is dooming the future health of our planet and human society.

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim