The Tuesday editorial from the Washington Post, "Planet needs the Amazon for survival," highlighted the importance of the Brazilian rainforest. It reminds us that, while Brazilians are well paid for their highly-prized beef, they do not receive a nickel for their most important export, which is oxygen. Nor are they rewarded for cleansing the atmosphere of carbon dioxide.

Washington Post: Without the Amazon, the planet is doomed

Using satellites for surveillance, it would be possible for the international community to make monetary payments to Brazil for each square mile of rainforest left standing or replanted. The cost of doing so would be significant, but would be offset by mitigating the effect of the unrestrained increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Brazilians could use the payments for education, health and enhancing economic opportunities for their people in high-tech, low-carbon endeavors.

Along the same lines, Madison should think about granting a tax credit to local property owners for each living and large tree on their property.

Frederick W. Nagle, Madison 


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