An Open Letter To Bill Gates; Save The Amazon Rainforest

by Captain Bill

Dear Mr. Gates,

My name is Gart van Gennip. I am a citizen of The Netherlands, but I live in the Amazon rain forest of northern Peru. You are undoubtedly aware of the dire state that the planet’s rain forests are in. In the last 100 years, 66% of the Earth’s rain forests have disappeared. With everything we know today, it should be illegal to cut down even a single tree here.

However, that is not the case; the destruction and deforestation continues at an unprecedented rate. In our province, Loreto, which is nine times the size of my country, 3.7 million acres of rainforest were lost to deforestation in the last  ten years. And now, this destruction is accelerating, due to the production of palm oil.

Recently, a company that previously devastated the rain forests in Indonesia, set up shop in our area, and illegally bulldozed 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of primary rainforest in the area of a village called Tamshiyacu. This has caused  quite some controversy here, but with a thoroughly corrupt regional president and administration that actually accommodate this kind of crime, there is not much anyone can do.

Just this week, it was brought to our attention that the problem is much greater than anyone could have guessed. One of the local NGOs trying to save our forests discovered that there is an agreement in the works to bulldoze and destroy no less than half of the entire province of Loreto, to produce palm oil. That is an area four and a half times the total surface of The Netherlands.

If this should ever happen, it would not just mean the destruction of 45 million acres of rainforest. Due to the nature of the industry, it would mean the destruction of the entire rain forest; all 91 million acres. This would also lead to the demise of its inhabitants; among others, 23 native tribes still live in these forests. Their culture and their way of life would be destroyed forever. Countless species of animals, birds, plants and trees would go extinct.

In other words; if this should ever come to pass, it would amount to nothing less than genocide, as well as ecocide.

Mr. Gates, I have enormous respect for your efforts to help the human population of this planet. You are under no obligation to spend your personal fortune on the education and well-being of others, yet you do. However, I would like to encourage you to redirect your focus somewhat. Humanity is hardly an endangered species, and while I applaud your efforts to prevent and alleviate suffering and fight ignorance (I do my part to achieve exactly the same  within my own limited means) I can’t help but worry that in the future, there will be no planet left to support the ever increasing numbers of humans.

There are forces at work that have access to resources even greater than your own, and only with one purpose; to acquire vast fortunes and unlimited power. These forces are willing to sacrifice the entire planet to achieve that goal, ironically destroying even their own habitat. These forces are evil, and they must be stopped.

With all due respect, Mr. Gates, and I do mean that; if you are willing to help save humanity, please try to help save the planet first, or humanity will be deprived of their home, with no place to go. I am not asking for anything for myself; I just don’t have the means, nor the influence, to make a difference like you could.

The whole world is concerned about a wide range of issues, from modern day slavery to the nuclear capabilities of certain nations; from preventable illness and death from treatable diseases to global warming. But none of these  issues will matter one iota, if we don’t make a real global effort to start saving the planet. The rain forests are a vital  part of that planet and essential to our very survival.

Thank you so much for your time. I know you must receive many requests like mine, all equally worthy of your consideration, but please consider this; the urgency of the well-being of our planet outweighs all other deserving causes.

Many thanks, sincerely

Gart van Gennip
Iquitos, Loreto,

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martin November 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm
2 Roy November 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

I think your writing to the wrong person Gart find one that gives a shit,

“Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions,” wrote Silvia Ribeiro in the Mexican news source La Jornada back in 2010.

“On the contrary, their ‘donations’ finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world … Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the ‘Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’ (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM).”

3 Roy November 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

Bill Gates, Monsanto, and eugenics: How one of the world’s wealthiest men is actively promoting a corporate takeover of global agriculture

4 Gart van Gennip November 20, 2013 at 12:51 am

Hi Roy!

Funny how articles like that never appear in news sources anyone has actually heard of, from journalists with a reputation for accuracy and such trivial things.

I will classify this vertically in the same file cabinet I placed the news item from reliable sources that the World Wildlife Fund is really a cover for a palm oil company, destroying millions of acres of rain forest.

Don’t believe everything you read, Roy.

Meanwhile, I did something. I wrote a letter. I know it’s not much, but it’s better than doing nothing. Where is your letter, Roy, or at least; your positive suggestion of who to write to, if not Bill Gates?

5 Leo Jones November 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

Interesting blog, Gart. As you know, the Devil is in the details. I think you would have strengthened your argument if you would have documented your contention of genocide and ecocide.

6 Gart van Gennip November 23, 2013 at 10:29 am

Good point, Leo!

I think one thing leads to another. Obviously, if you bulldoze 45 million hectares of tropical rain forest, like our friend assures us is the plan, albeit in phases, it is a statistical fact that you destroy a huge number of plant as well as animal species to the point of extinction.

Bulldozing half of Loreto will also have a devastating effect on the remaining half, because the 45 million acres planned for elimination will be destroyed in patches, cutting off remaining patches from each other.

Then, there is the issue of contamination of the soil with pesticides and other chemical toxins, which will then also contaminate the water of the rivers, further devastating the environment.

When the forests are destroyed, this will have an immediate impact on the climate. The rain forest controls the climate above the entire Amazon Basin, and any changes to this climate will have a significant effect on the global climate, for example on the trajectory of the global jet stream. ‘Significant’ being the key word, obviously.

When the forests are destroyed, the people who live there, many of whom belong to native tribes, will lose their habitat and will be plunged into poverty. Those who stay will have no choice but to work for the palm oil companies and they will suffer the health consequences of their contaminated lands and rivers; those who will be forced to leave will end up in the city. Their culture, their language, their way of life will be lost, effectively eliminating the last of the original cultures that remain to this day. And that, in my opinion, equals genocide.

The long term effects of this evil plan can even be considered terracide, because it will help bring about the destruction of the ecosystem of the entire planet.

7 Leo Jones November 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Roy, obviously, based on your choice of words, Gart’s blog struck a nerve with you. So I believe it’s safe to say that you are passionate about the subject. Frankly, I know little about the subject. Maybe Gart is right. Perhaps you are right. You would have done a more effective job of convincing me of your rightness if you had used less inflammatory words and provided me with the source of your information. Then I could have decided for myself which one of you has reason on your side. Anyway, thanks for your input.

8 Roy November 24, 2013 at 6:09 am

Hi Leo,

I just put info out there its up to the individual check it out and a lot of the time the people claiming to help are the very ones we should be watching, most people know about Monsanto so why is do gooder Gates in bed with them.and Gart sorry if my post caused you any offence there was none intended.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is sponsoring the Guardian’s Global development site is being heavily criticised in Africa and the US for getting into bed not just with notorious GM company Monsanto, but also with agribusiness commodity giant Cargill.

Seattle-based Agra Watch – a project of the Community Alliance for Global Justice – was outraged. “Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well being of small farmers around the world… [This] casts serious doubt on the foundation’s heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa,” it thundered.

9 Leo Jones November 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Roy, your choice of words in your blog did not offend me. I was just uncertain whether to believe you or Gart. Thanks for providing me with the sources from which you based your opinion. Thanks to you, I can now check out the sources you just provided me and come to my own conclusion.

10 Roy December 5, 2013 at 2:44 am

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