How often have you heard the claim that global capitalism is responsible for destroying the world’s forests? I encounter it often. For example, suppose a rich Wall Street executive wishes to rebuild his office and sheath the entire thing in elaborate mahogany paneling? What happens? His desire is transmitted to designers, who transmit it to custom furniture designers, who transmit it to shippers and middlemen, who transmit it to loggers, who transmit it to local inhabitants of tropical mahogany forests. All parties, caring only about money or getting a mahogany paneled office, allow the immediate and permanent destruction of mahogany forests to the detriment of the land and the inhabitants who depend on the fragile forest ecosystems for their survival.
I do not intend to disprove that this happens. It has happened for hundreds of years and it happens today. And I do not intend for you to downgrade the importance of things like this happening. But I’d ask you to consider two questions.