The Amazon’s Texan saviour

The Economist | May 26, 2005

Can John Cain Carter, an American rancher, save the rainforest?


At the helm of a second-hand Cessna aircraft, John Cain Carter is as preoccupied with the Earth below as he is with the clouds ahead. An expanse of pasture the size of a small principality “used to be all forest,” he points out, banking right. And the flood plain between the Rio Araguaia and the Rio das Mortes was once “stirrup-high in water. Today you can drive a jeep out there in the rainy season,” he concludes, ruefully. Mr Carter attributes the unnatural dryness to landowners who cut down trees to make way for pasture, shutting off the supply of moisture from tree to cloud. Watching it happen “is a nightmare.”


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