Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:34 PM
The forests absorb the vast majority of the pollution and carbon green house gases that we pump into the atmosphere. The faster the forests disappear, the faster climate change accelerates.
Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:39 AM
Deforestation is the result of an inherent problem in public ownership as a solution to the tragedy of the commons; it's a problem of incentives. The decision makers don't bear the cost of their bad decisions, nor do they receive additional value from any good decisions.
If a particular policy results in deforestation (allowing the wrong people access to the resource/poor management), you, as a policy maker, are not losing money out of your pocket. If anything, it's the taxpayers who are going to bear the costs.
Let's say that the problem is illegal logging. How is the government going to improve security? Public property generates little to no revenue, so if you increase the funding for security, you're not adding to the value of the forest. Moreover, the funding for the additional security comes from the public pocket. If you hire the wrong people or manage the security poorly you won't bear any of the costs, so you have no practical incentive to protect the forests (you can always blame the illegal loggers if environmentalists start complaining about deforestation). All of the above assumes no corruption on the part of the policy makers.
I'm yet to meet an environmentalist who's not a Marxist, so you can forget about free market solutions (private ownership, insurance, revenue generation) to the problem. If I remember correctly, the Brazilian government was going to auction off parts of the Amazon forest. However, the increased taxes that come with this supposed "privatization" effectively exclude all the small bidders. The large timber companies were already getting their way through lobbying, so you won't see a big shift in the way forests are handled.
Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:19 AM
Deficit - Difference between how much the government spends and how much it takes in taxes; shortfall in tax revenue.
Debt - Accumulation of deficit over time.
NPS is a federal agency and is therefore funded by the government. The public sector doesn't generate revenue. If a government is running a deficit, the entire public sector is contributing to the national debt. In case you haven't noticed, the U.S. government is running the largest deficit in history.
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