In the center of the maps from my collection that I placed on my floor to photograph is the black map which was sent to me in my April National Geographic Magazine. It has the benefit of modern satelite imagry to show how small the Amazon Rain forest has become today expecially under the leadership of the SUV leather seat belt maniac President Bolsonaro of Brazil. I put in an image that, should you wish, you can enlarge to see my post-it notes showing you which year the map was from. The first is from a 1930 Atlas that was circulate decades before the first Earth orbiting satellite when much of the Amazon was simply described as “unexplored.”
One Atlas is dated 1977 the other 1984. To give some context to this in 1960’s I read a DC science fantasy comic book about how the Brazilian capitol Brasília which has just been carved deep into the rainforest for the future was overgrown like some ancient Mayan City by the unyielding forest. The cartoonists had very little understanding of the power of human progress to paint earthlings into a corner. The 1977 and 1984 Atlas’s simply show Brazil as green as though not much had changed. The year 2000 map on the bottom printed by the National Geo is very interesting. It shows how South America looked 21,000 years ago as humans began inhabiting the Americas. Its quite a contrast with today’s map. When the Europeans came to the Americas the Brazilian coast was covered with rain forest. No more.
The box above is full of the National Geo maps I’ve collected since before I moved to Duluth. I tried to give them away a year ago but at least for today I’m glad I didn’t. They provide context. Context is important and our Congress has too many politicians that are too busy spewing hate and suspicion for their upcoming elections to pay attention to that meteor heading our way.