Amazon Death By Umpteen Thousand Illegal Cuts

The Amazon forest is dying by untold thousands of illegal logging operations, both large and small.

ALTAMIRA, BRAZIL - JUNE 17: A lone remaining tree is seen along the Xingu River in a deforested section of Amazon rainforest near the site where the Belo Monte dam complex is under construction in the Amazon basin on June 17, 2012 in Altamira, Brazil. Belo Monte will be the world’s third-largest hydroelectric project and will displace up to 20,000 people while diverting the Xingu River and flooding as much as 230 square miles of rainforest. Thousands of Altamira residents will need to be relocated as up to one-third of the city will be underwater once the project is completed. The controversial dam is one of around 60 hydroelectric projects Brazil has planned in the Amazon to generate electricity for its rapidly expanding economy. While environmentalists and indigenous groups oppose the dam, many Brazilians support the project. The Brazilian Amazon, home to 60 percent of the world’s largest forest and 20 percent of the Earth’s oxygen, remains threatened by the rapid development of the country. The area is currently populated by over 20 million people and is challenged by deforestation, agriculture, mining, a governmental dam building spree, illegal land speculation including the occupation of forest reserves and indigenous land and other issues. Over 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants and protesters will descend on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this month for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or ‘Earth Summit’. Host Brazil is caught up in its own dilemma between accelerated growth and environmental preservation. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ALTAMIRA, BRAZIL – (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)


By Richard Sauder
June 8, 2013

There are huge clear cuts and small clear cuts, as well as selective cuts that target one or a few trees that have valuable wood that fetches a high price on the black market. This is going on all across the region, in Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. 

In the case of Ecuador, I have seen information that suggests that as much as 60% of the logging in its Amazonian region is illegal. I have seen this with my own eyes. Piles of logs and lumber that have come out of the jungle are a frequent sight stacked along the main highway in Pastaza Province.

I have also personally seen evidence of illegal cutting and logging on the far back side of the finca where I lived last year, in the Amazonian region of Ecuador. In the case of the three photos immediately below, all of the cutting and logging is illegal, because the jungle on the finca is part of an Ecuadorean government program called Socio-Bosque, and therefore legally protected as an inviolable ecological reserve. But as the photos plainly reveal, the inviolable jungle has been violated. If I am able, I will do something about this, but it will take time and money. It all has to do with my current life effort here in South America. 


All of this matters, because the Amazon is so crucially important to the ecology of the entire Earth. It is not just that the Amazon jungle produces more than 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere; the Amazon is also home to myriad species of plant and animal life that go extinct as the forest cover is removed, tree by tree, hectare by hectare. Snakes, snails, turtles, humming birds, frogs, lizards, monkeys, panthers, orchids, vines, fish and more — they all die as the forest is cut down.

And the forest is disappearing. What does it mean to the Earth, what does it mean to humanity to lose the Amazon?

Irretrievable loss, that is what, maybe an extinction level event. Take away 20 – 30% of the planet’s oxygen and what will we breathe? This is not a hypothetical question. The photos above are graphic proof of the Amazon’s “death by thousands of illegal cuts.” Multiply what you see above by umpteen thousands all over the region and the end result is death of the Amazon and probably the death of humanity, as well. The Amazon is just that important.

The Global Tree Crisis

So we have to plant trees, that is obvious. We have to plant a LOT of trees, billions and billions of trees, in the Amazon and everywhere that trees will grow. 

Most of my readers are in the USA, so one way for my USA readers to get involved with tree planting and reforestation is via the Arbor Day Foundation. Just for joining they will send you ten free tree seedlings to plant.

Biden backs Amazon workers in Alabama to unionize

The Arbor Day Foundation website has many links about trees, planting trees, caring for trees, etc. Notice that they offer an extensive selection of trees and other woody vegetation for sale

You can join their hazelnut program and receive three, fast growing, heavy bearing hazelnut bushes. The hazelnut bushes are an excellent food source and also help revegetate the Earth. 

You can also join one of their many other tree planting or reforestation programs.

Your Own Tree Nursery

Or you can start your own private tree nursery. It’s important and it’s easy. Plant the trees that you sprout in your nursery anywhere and everywhere that you can, in your yard, along the street, in a vacant lot, by a stream, along a fence row. Be creative. Trees help hold moisture in the soil, they provide habitat and food for wildlife, they produce oxygen and shade, and they have deep aesthetic and spiritual value, as essential, biological life forms. We cannot do without them, and so we should facilitate tree planting and reforestation. 

As for where to get tree seeds? — walk in the woods or in the park and pick up maple tree seeds, or beech nuts, or acorns, or elm tree seeds, etc. In the past I have even saved the seeds from persimmons and planted them, yielding some perky little seedlings that I donated to a local arboretum.

I use a simple method for growing tree seedlings that is applicable almost anywhere in the world. It is a method used by the Planet Drum Foundation’s urban tree planting project in Bahía de Caráquez, here in Ecuador. 

The idea is to re-use plastic bottles that are routinely thrown away as garbage, the world over. I find them by simply walking along the highway and picking up bottles that people have thrown out of the windows of their vehicles. Once the top is cut off, you punch a couple of drainage holes in the bottom with a knife, fill them with soil and then plant tree seeds in them. Set the bottles up in a sheltered area and wait for the seedlings to sprout. Once the tree seedlings have sprouted and are established, you simply transplant them. Cut the sides of the bottle with a knife and slip out the seedling, along with its ball of soil, and plant it. The pictures below convey the essence of it. Of course, you need to use some common sense with the tree seedlings and the nursery. If you live in an arid or semiarid area, you will need to water the seedlings before and after transplanting, to keep them from dying. 

This is part of a small nursery I established last year.

And here are just a few of the many tree seedlings, of many different species, that I sprouted and planted. 

It’s a guarantee that if I can use this method, which Planet Drum is using very successfully here in Ecuador, then so can many of the untold thousands of people who are reading these words, wherever in the world you may be. It’s also a guarantee that if a lot of us don’t begin doing tree planting, and I mean now, and not in some far distant future, then we, and the planet are screwed. It’s over.

Biden backs Amazon workers in Alabama to unionize

I mean that literally. We are on a dying planet and if we don’t revive the Earth, then that is the end of any meaningful human habitation of this planet.

Extremely Telling and Strange Silence

I have noticed a very strange silence of friends and family members about the many wars the USA is involved in, the pervasive spying by the NSA, FBI and CIA, the thousands of drone murders and assassinations in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, the ongoing torture policy of the CIA and USA military, the depredations of the IRS, the overtly criminal banking system, rampant, global, ecological collapse, the Monsanto genetic engineering assault against the global biosphere and traditional farming, the multitudinous Obama administration crimes, the runaway criminal corruption of the Fortune 500 and Wall Street, the ongoing nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, Japan and much more. About these things they say nothing.


This indicates either deep complicity in the system, or alternatively abdication of individual responsibility to self-actualize in the face of imminent threat to life, limb, prosperity and posterity – as in, there won’t be any of any of that, if we don’t urgently address the rampant series of concatenating crises that bid fair to destroy us all.

The dictatorship is already here. 

And it is enabled, aided and abetted by our SILENCE. It is a well established principle at law that silence equates to consent. So the people have ratified the dictatorship by their silence. 

But not everyone is silent. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said in recent days that rule of law in the USA is suffering a ‘calamitous collapse.’Assange is right about that. The system in the USA has become completely lawless. Only fools and simpletons refuse to see and acknowledge the obvious slide into dictatorship. Assange has been in political exile in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June of last year, in fear of being renditioned to the USA and possibly executed, after a state show trial, or perhaps after no trial at all.

Of course, Assange has a well founded fear and the Ecuadorean government is on solid ground in continuing to grant him political asylum. The USA government is out of all control and clearly intends to subjugate the entire world, and everyone in it, if possible, by any and all means, whether fair or foul, and there is an awful lot of repugnant foul of late.

Such as the foul spy base that the NSA is presently building in Utah
. It is a Satanic installation, intended to spy on everyone and everything in the whole world. You can be assured that the NSA does not mean well, and that the data they gather will definitely be put to malevolent use.

Biden backs Amazon workers in Alabama to unionize

It is highly likely that the new NSA spy base in Utah has a huge, underground base beneath it, as do the massive NSA spy base at Ft. Meade, Maryland and the other large NSA spy base at Lackland Air Force Base’s “Medina Annex” in San Antonio, Texas. I mention both of these underground facilities in my most recent book on secret underground and underwater bases and tunnels, Hidden in Plain Sight: Beyond the X-Files.

We Are Fuk’ed

Then there is this:

Japanese Diplomat: We are facing global catastrophe over next 40-100 years because of Fukushima nuclear disaster

And this is not an urgent topic of conversation for everyone on this planet? Listen – the radiation from Fukushima will not stop coming. And there are likely to be other nuclear reactor failures in the coming years, perhaps even later this year, for all anyone knows, simply because there are 400 of them, and they all are getting old, they all have major maintenance problems, and they are all subject to catastrophic failure and/or explosion, as has already happened at Chernobyl and Fuskushima.

When they fail catastrophically, as has already happened at Chernobyl and now Fukushima, they cannot be fixed. Our predicament will therefore get worse and worse. Continued human habitation of this planet is not consonant with nuclear reactors, nuclear waste and the ever-present menace of apocalyptic nuclear warfare.

Either the nukes go – ALL OF THEM – or we do. We will not outlive the technology; it is so destructive and so deadly that we cannot for long coexist with it. 


My recuperation continues. I continue to receive therapy, after my long hospitalization of more than four months. I also am continuing the criminal case against the “shaman” who caused me such great harm. I have already incurred expenses of thousands of dollars of mostly legal, and also some medical fees, with thousands of dollars of expenses still to come. I am not a wealthy man and have paid out of pocket with resources that I can ill afford. I stand in need of assistance as I continue to seek justice in the Ecuadorean courts. My attorneys believe I can prevail at trial, and I agree. But I need their assistance to do so. The Ecuadorean legal system is like the system in a lot of other countries, in that it has a backlog of cases, and if you want your case to go anywhere you need to have someone down at the courthouse to push it along. That is where my attorneys enter the picture and they work for pay. If you can help me with my mounting legal fees, I would be most grateful. Those who are able and willing to do so please contact me at

The Shepard Ambellas Show is an all original fast-paced comedy, variety, news show where nearly everything goes. Shepard Ambellas is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular independent news website (news and politics). Bethany Adoni sits shotgun. The Shepard Ambellas Show airs LIVE weekdays (Mon-Fri) on the Shepard Ambellas YouTube channel from 5-7 pm Eastern/4C/2P. (CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE) Turn notifications on immediately. The show is nationally syndicated on iHeart Radio. An archived version of the show is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, JioSaavn, and Spreaker for you listening pleasure.