The clear-cutting facts about the rainforest

By |2001-01-01T00:00:00+00:00January 1st, 2001|CFACT Insights|4 Comments

For years, many environmentalists have expressed great concern about the fate of the rainforest. The Rainforest Action Network, for instance, has made the claim that the Amazon is losing “two to three football fields a minute, while actor William Shatner (a.k.a. Captain Kirk) has asserted that, worldwide, rainforests are being cleared at 20 football fields a minute.

But what’s the truth about this jungle story?

Well according to researchers Marc Morano and Kent Washburn of the American Investigator, a T.V. news magazine, the facts about the rainforest can’t be seen through all the emotion-driven trees surrounding them.

In their special report, entitled “Amazon Rainforest: Clear-Cutting the Myths,” Morano and Washburn note:

Landsat data indicate that 87.5 percent of the forest is still intact. Of the 12.5 percent that is deforested, one-third to one-half is in the process of regeneration, meaning that up to 94 percent of the Amazon rainforest is left to nature.

Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace, says “the rainforests of the Amazon, Congo, Malasia, and Indonesia, … are the least endangered forests [because] they are the least suitable for human habitation.”

The idea that rainforests are the lungs of the world, i.e. they take up carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen, is a myth. Only their fast growing, young trees take in CO2, and because trees fall down and decay, rainforests actually take in more oxygen than they release.

Fears that man is destroying a raw source of medicine are unfounded because the rainforests are remarkably healthy. Incidentally, the sea holds more mysteries for medicine than the rainforests.

The researchers also looked into claims about 50,000 species going extinct each year in the rainforest. And what did they find? Well, when they asked a member of Rainforest Relief to produce even one species that has gone extinct, the individual replied “No we cannot, because we don’t know what those species are.” Apparently, the extinction statistics are generated by a computer at Harvard University and may, in fact, carry no more semblance to reality than “electrons on a hard drive.”


  1. Erica Adams January 3, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I agree with the fact that the rainforest is regenerating, but you also have to look at the fact that those animals that have died and become extinct will never “regenerate.” This post makes “killing the rainforest” sound not so bad. I’m not sur eif that was the intention or not, but whether it was or not, it is not a good thing that is happening. And with the natural resources, sure, there may be more natural resources in the ocean (I’ve never heard that before) but there’s still so many that we use from the rainforest. And what I always think is “what if the cure for cancer is in the saliva of a frog that just went extinct?” and now it’s gone because of human greed…

    • Loren December 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Well unless you would like to stop your life style, it is necessary… maybe future generations will think more

  2. trent March 31, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    I would rather trust the statistics from a machine from the accredited Harvard University than a company backed by big oil (CFACT); whose trying to prove every environmentalist wrong about everything.

  3. Jay October 26, 2015 at 4:05 PM

    ‘rain forest take in more oxygen than they give off” lol. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more rediculous statement.

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