Having just read John Vidal's latest post in the Grauniad I see that the uncontacted Amazonian tribe story is in the news again. I find it fascinating , so I click on the link to Survival International and email the President of Peru as they ask, and I urge you to do too. Ive added my name to a standard mesage that goes like this
President Garcia: Oil drilling and logging in uncontacted tribes' territories could wipe the Indians out. Please protect these peoples' right to live in peace and security – stop the loggers and oil companies from entering their land.
But it occurs to me there is so much more to be pondered. Our civilization could learn something from them. They have developed independently from us in a similar environment yet entirely outside the support of human civilization. Our civilization spends billions looking for extra terrestrial intelligent life yet here is intelligent life on our own doorstep that is about to be decimated by loggers and oil prospectors. You might accuse me of being a yoghurt eating, sandal wearing, woolly minded liberal, but there are potential benefits to mankind that risk being destroyed. The bark of the Peruvian cinchona tree for example provided the cure to malaria. I have to suggest the casual destruction of these peoples raises more ugly questions about the philosophy of our so-called civilization than would be comfortable. So please email President Garcia too.