The Amazon is enveloping and lush, a place of stupefying richness. But a powerful web of extractive forces is also at work here.
Every day, thousands of miners, loggers, farmers and ranchers burn or cut roughly 10,000 acres of forest, working to satisfy a growing demand for its resources. They are tiny cogs in a global machine that has destroyed nearly one-fifth of the Brazilian rainforest — an area about the size of California — over the last 35 years, driving more than 10,000 plant and animal species toward extinction.
During an extensive reporting trip through three of the Amazon’s