Podcast Episode 5: The Amazon Rainforest

Uncategorized Sep 18, 2019

Do You Know the Real Reason Why the Amazon Rain Forest is Burning?

Key takeaways from this week's episode:

- Bad intentions will always yield bad results, and the fires in the Rain Forest are the result of bad intentions.
- Understand why human beings will put their own survival over the health and survival of the planet.
- See how win-lose, hate driven thinking is destroying everything around us, and now it is destroying our planet.

And if you know someone that would enjoy this podcast, please share it with them.


Welcome back.  I’m Alan Gordon, creator of the Cycle of Mind System.  The notes from this episode will be published on my blog, and if you want to chat and ask questions joining the Facebook Group would be the next step. 

Every action has consequences.  Every action affects us and it also affects something or someone around us.  Even when we take action based on good intentions, that action has consequences, and some of those consequences turn out to be negative.  Those are called unintended consequences – we tried to do something good, but we didn’t see the negative coming.

But when the action begins with bad intentions, the consequences are always destructive.  And that’s what happening with the Amazon Rain Forest.

It’s very disturbing that the Amazon Rain Forests are burning.  There are fires every year in the Amazon, but this year the fires are much more widespread, and are reaching catastrophic proportions – I say catastrophic because of course we all know that the Amazon Rain Forest is the lungs of the earth, so it’s pretty important.  And those lungs are being damaged and destroyed.  Aside from the infinite life the Rain Forest contains, it’s the trees and the oxygen that make our life possible.

So why is the Amazon Rain Forest burning? 

We’re going to look at a lot of events in the world, and as with everything in the world, when you look at these events through the lens of Character, Values and Principles, you see what’s really happening.

So what’s going on in the Amazon?  Why is this happening?

Trump started a trade war with China.  He threatened a trade war with China during his campaign in 2015 and 2016 – in fact, he’s been talking about this for decades, but in January 2018 – he actually started the trade war with tariffs on washing machines and solar panels coming from China into the United States.

China, although it lacks freedom – perhaps because it lacks freedom – is the most organized society in the world.  China has a centralized economy – everything is done by the government – so across all industries, they are able to coordinate their strategy on a global scale.  They have many weaknesses as a society, but organization and planning is their strength.

China represents 19% of the world’s population, 1.4 billion people.  Although they do not offer freedom to their people, the government does go to great lengths to create and support large economies so that everyone can work.  Argue whatever about their politics, but this is a very organized economy – and they take their responsibility seriously to feed, house, and employ their population.  They realize that their strength as a nation lies in the strength of their economy. 

China’s world trade is massive, their share of world trade even outpaces the United States.  13 cents of every dollar that flows through the world, flows through China.  The United States is the second largest world trader at 12% - just behind China.

Although they face extraordinary challenges to becoming a self-sustaining economy, they are striving toward that goal.

Everything is really organized, and one of the more important functions in China is food production.  They need to feed 1.4 billion people every day, three times a day.  Much of China’s land is used for farming, but they can only grow a fraction of the food they need to sustain their population.

So in addition to what China can grow in their own country, they need to purchase huge amounts of food from the rest of the world – things like soybeans, grain, corn, fruits, vegetables, pork and beef.

Every year, China buys an additional 100 million tons/year of soybeans – just from the United States.  They are the largest buyer of soybeans in the world.  They have spent decades creating predictable supply relationships for soybeans and every other commodity.  And they need a lot.  They have well established farming relationships with Africa, South America, the United States, and Canada. 

You’ve seen those giant container vessels with hundreds of containers stacked one on top of the other going 12 stories high.  It’s an impressive site to see.  China has its own fleet of ships, but also leases ships from every other country.  It’s global trade, and it’s massive.  The extent of global trade is beyond our ability to imagine.

Every container ship coming into the US is loaded with things we buy from China – clothing, electronics of every variety you can imagine, small machinery, sports equipment, toys and plastics of infinite variety.  Everything you buy on Amazon was on one of those container ships.

In fact for every dollar of imports to the United States, 21% comes directly from China.

But those container ships don’t leave empty.  Once they’re in the United States they load up with commodities like soybeans, grain, and corn, cars, pork, and beef. 

Before this trade war, China bought 300,000 metric tons of pork from the United States every year.

Before this trade war, BMW shipped 63,000 cars to China every month, many of them built in South Carolina.

So Donald Trump starts a trade war with China.  In their astonishment, the Chinese government could not believe anyone would do such a stupid thing, but then Trump announced his first round of tariffs in January 2018, and the unthinkable became real.

This set off the first round of alarm bells throughout the global supply chain.

In July 2019 the Chinese invited Trump to personal discussions with Chairman Ji to work out a deal to return to normal trade, but Trump was in no mood for a deal – he enjoyed bashing the Chinese at his rallies and showing his supporters how tough he is on China.  It was a big part of his presidential campaign.  “We’re getting a horrible deal,” Trump said during his campaign, “Obama, and frankly Bush before him, should have taken care of this a long time ago.  I’m going to be the one to take care of it.”

But as we all know this trade war and these tariffs were not part of a grand US strategy, it was just Donald Trump being erratic.


"The recent tariff actions have been the product of Trump’s outrage. The Aug. 1 decision to slap a 10 percent tariff on nearly all remaining Chinese imports came from his frustration that China failed to response to US demands in the latest round of talks in Shanghai in July. Last week’s decision came after China decided to retaliate against Trump’s tariff decision earlier in the month."

From Donald Trump’s point of view, he needed a good line at his rally, and people really liked when he told them that he would straighten out our trade imbalance with China.  “We’re getting a horrible deal.  I’m going to be the one to take care of it.”  And everyone cheered.

On August 21, 2019 more than 18 months into the trade war, Trump referred to himself as the “chosen one” to finally fix the China trade problem.   “I’m the chosen one,” he said.

You see, in Donald Trump’s mind, even when it seems like things are going well, “life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat.  You just can’t let people make a sucker out of you.”

So the Chinese, meeting him in person, and confirming that Trump is a lunatic – decided to increase tariffs on American imports like cars and pork and soybeans and aluminum – and pretty much everything American businesses ship to China every day.  Just like Trump put a tariff on everything China ships to the US every day.

So now, the Chinese who are a whole lot smarter than Donald Trump, and unlike Donald Trump, they understand the consequences of this disruption in trade.  They realize that they still have to feed 1.4 billion people, and so starting back in 2018, they have been scrambling to place orders with their other suppliers for soybeans, corn, wheat, fruits, vegetables, pork and beef, cars. 

And now as suppliers from other countries are starting to deliver larger amounts to replace the US’s share of the trade, the Chinese have withdrawn their contracts with American farmers.  The trade relationship between US Farmers and China has been built over decades, and in just a few short months they were gone.  Billions and billions in commerce, gone.

We were always worried that the Chinese would destroy America by calling in all our debt – I thought they owned a significant percentage of American debt, but they actually only hold about 5% of our Treasury bills, notes and bonds.  So even if they called in all this debt, our economy could withstand it.

But China will not destroy us through financial means, we are destroying ourselves by pulling the plug on our own farming industry.  And the Chinese didn’t want to do this – they need our food to feed their people.  We ourselves have destroyed our own farming industry.

It’s like Donald Trump – just like a million times on the school playground growing up – was getting bullied for being stupid and weak and a loser (kids can be cruel) and then one day I imagine he stood up for himself and was such a loser and so stupid that he ended up punching himself in the face.  And everyone in the school broke out in laughter at what a loser he was.  And he vowed, I will never be a loser.  He remembered that cruelty on the playground – it stayed with him forever, when he said in 1981:

“Man is the most vicious of all animals, and life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat. You just can’t let people make a sucker out of you.”

We talked about how those experiences of our childhood repeat over and over again.  Well since his childhood, his hatred of other people, combined with his basic stupidity, vanity, and incompetence have destroyed everything he has ever touched.

And now he is destroying our world.  American farms were struggling for the past six years.  A farming couple ten years ago bought themselves the luxury of a cruise vacation.  They were feeling prosperous – but it hasn’t been that way for last half dozen years as prices have dropped, and Americans tastes have moved away from pork and beef and cow milk.

In fact, and I’ll put a link to this article in the blog,
Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with American farmers, and one soybean farmer was explaining how the trade war with China was destroying his business.  Well the Secretary of Agriculture told a joke about farmers and their penchant for always complaining.

“What do you call two farmers in a basement?  A whine cellar.”

Then he told them not to worry, "We're working on markets in India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia to develop other markets."   Stop whining, everything will be fine.

Things aren't all bad for farmers - the future may be bright.  Maybe Americans will start to eat vegetarian, and pretty soon soybean based tofu will become as popular here as it is in China, but the reality is that many of these farms will go out of business one by one – which will be the trend, they’re not coming back.  Between the loss of their biggest customer, and the havoc of record high temperatures and floods and weather changes brought about by climate change, our farming industry is slowly dying.  The entire interior of our economy is dying under Trump – as he continues to destroy everything he has ever touched.

So back to the Chinese.  They need to replace massive orders of soybeans, corn, pork and beef.  So they turn elsewhere to place their orders.  China will pay anyone, top dollar, if they can provide soybeans as soon as possible, and as much as you can ship.

So China turned to their number two soybean supplier, Brazil.  But Brazil is no longer the number two supplier - now Brazil is China’s main soybean supplier.  And the Chinese have an unlimited need for soybeans, pork and beef.  However many you can sell us, that’s how many we’ll buy.  They need to replace tens of thousands of tons every month that they had been buying from the US.

But Brazilian production of soybeans, pigs, and cattle is only a fraction of what the US had been producing, so big Brazilian farms, small Brazilian farms, every poor Brazilian farmer who wants to earn a living is burning the trees to clear land for themselves – thousands upon thousands of fires in the Amazon jungle.  And the more land they clear, the more crops they can grow, or the more pigs and cows they can raise.  And as soon as their crop grows, as soon as they bring their pigs or cows to slaughter, the Chinese will buy it, they need everything they have, and more.  And because the Chinese like stability, they will keep buying it for decades.

And that’s why the Amazon Rainforest is being burnt down, to make room for farms to meet the new Chinese demand.  And right now, the Chinese refuse to buy soybeans from America, but in the not too distant future, they won’t be able to buy soybeans from America, because those farms will no longer be in operation.  Like most businesses they run on pretty tight parameters, and when you lose your biggest contracts – it is disruptive, and in many cases catastrophic to your business.  The land will be fallow.

The mass destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest is just one example of how Donald Trump’s Hate driven, win-lose anger is literally destroying our world.  There are hundreds of real examples, and he creates three or four new crises every day.

With his Hate, he has sucked the good out of everything he has ever touched and turned it to dust.  Now he is literally, destroying the world.

This is why I say that Character, Values and Principles are most important.  This is not an idle topic of conversation.  Our future depends on our ability to cooperate with Compassion.  We must use Compassion, Generosity, Cooperation as our compass to guide us.  Without that measuring stick, every action we take has negative consequences.  In our own small lives, these negative consequences keep us unhappy and those around us unhappy, but on a global scale, these consequences are devastating.

If we are to reverse these trends both locally and globally, then we must demand these character traits and values from everyone, but before we do that, we must check ourselves, look inside, and make an effort to direct our own thoughts to Compassion, Generosity, Cooperation and Service to Others.


And please jump onto my Facebook Group where we are always talking about Mind.  And I’ll be having some live Q&A sessions on Facebook very soon.

For those of you who may want to dig deeper into the Cycle of Mind System and begin taking control of your own thoughts, your first step would be to register for:  “A Course in Self-Awareness.” That will get you started on the right path.


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