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Welcome to Whose Century Is It?, a podcast exploring ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century, with stories and conversations from around the world.



Oct 17, 2017

Breathe in. Breathe out. The oxygen that keeps you going, that keeps life going on earth, comes in part from the vast Amazon rainforest, most of which is in Brazil. Lush, vast and rich in biodiversity, it is the lungs of the planet. But it also attracts miners, loggers, farmers and developers who, over the past 40 years, have contributed to reducing forest cover by some 20 percent. Foreign investors have played a role too -- American, European and now, Chinese.  Many dams have been built. Hundreds more are planned, to create power to drive further development in the Amazon, creating short-term profits, but at what cost to the planet? Speeding climate change, and losing species are only the start of it. Host Mary Kay Magistad travels in the Amazon with Jon Watts, environment editor with The Guardian newspaper, and author of When a Billion Chinese Jump: How China will save mankind, or destroy it, to explore the complicated present and uncertain future of the Amazon, and what it may mean for all of us.