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I finally discovered, over the last couple of years developing a reforestation project in Brazil, where I was born, that deforestation and reforestation are both profitable.
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2012-05-05-ClimateDot2012.jpgI made my climate change dot out of the information I've discovered, slowly, painfully, over the last couple of years developing a reforestation project in Brazil, where I was born. There were so many things that just didn't fit together, until last week when I found the missing piece: deforestation and reforestation are both profitable. Climate change is just one of the costs of doing business, if you happen to be in the right business. Dow Chemical and Monsanto are.

So I put myself in their shoes to take a different perspective:

If you have a bad rap for your history creating Agent Orange, first of all, get rid of the stockpile. You could send it to South America and maybe people there would forget about it. Carnival and all. Or not. Maybe someday, someone would find it and figure out that it's an easy way to take out the rainforest without smoke being detected.

Once the trees are gone, you might as well sell your GMO soy and corn seed, and all the fertilizers it takes to grow them the (North) American way. Oh yeah. Cotton too. Lots of GMO cotton. It's a big country, you can really plant a lot of stuff there.

And business is all about partnerships, strategic alliances. So it would be a good idea to partner with some good guys, with well known names and stellar reputations to clean up any misgivings folks might have about you. Dow chose The Nature Conservancy (or maybe TNC chose Dow?), while Monsanto chose Conservation International.

Whoa, what do know? Those two organizations have big reforestation projects in the 93 percent deforested Atlantic Rainforest! What a great opportunity to help them with supplying all the seedlings they'll need for their billion tree initiative.

And since TNC/Dow were able to make arrangements with the state of Sao Paulo's Water Supply Managers (SABESP) to help supply trees for planting along the source of water for nearly nine million people, it's really good news for these guys. Not so good for the network of rural Brazilians who started nurseries to supply the demand organically, but those guys don't have good internet access or read English, so they're not going to figure this out for a long time.

And this is 2012, a year when all sorts of things are aligning nicely. The Dr. Seuss story The Lorax was made into a movie by Universal this year, and since they were green enough to know they ought to partner with BINGOs (Big International NGOs) who could plant trees for them, they chose TNC and CI to do the heavy lifting for them.

Isn't it amazing what you can learn from Google, if you just ask the right questions?