The Road To Disaster

If Brazil paves this route through the Amazon, the earth's largest rain forest could go up in flames

Deep inside the rain forest, south of the mighty Amazon River, lies a 435-mile stretch of dirt road. For many Brazilians, the paving of such rutted, often impassable routes has almost mystical significance as an essential part of economic progress. But to environmentalists this ritual of development always means destruction for the earth's largest rain forest, and in this particular case, could unleash forces that would make this road the most dangerous thoroughfare in the world.

Such concerns have not deterred the Brazilian government from its decision to pave over those 435 miles, the last unfinished portion of a highway called...

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