CAS Reading Response 5.docx - CAS 100 Dr Wiltberger...

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CAS 100 Student’s name: Austin Dycus Dr. Wiltberger Name of text: Environment Author of text: Beatriz Cortez, Douglas Carranza What is the main idea/thesis/argument in this text? Agriculture has been the backbone of most of Central America for a long time, but economic interests have drastically altered the environment with little regard for consequences. Provide explanations of five supporting ideas, evidence, and examples used by the author(s) to support the main idea. (If this is not a scholarly research article, but instead a piece of creative literature, film, radio interview, news story, etc., then break the work down into sections to explain the series of important events/ideas presented in the story, documentary, interview, episode, etc.). 1. After independence of the region, Central America was mostly open to foreign investment and thus expanded their production of agricultural goods in high demand, specifically coffee and bananas. In order to maximize profit and cultivate coffee for cheap, planters destroyed several forests and threatened the Indigenous peoples. 2. “For most of their working history the owners of large mono-crop plantations such as the United Fruit Company and he manufacturers of pesticides have gone unpunished in spite of their massive use of DDT and other poisonous pesticides in the region… It wasn’t until 2007 when a U.S. civil court found Dole, one of the lead banana producing companies, and Dow Chemical, one of the manufacturing companies of pesticides used in Central America, guilty of knowingly exposing their workers to poison in Nicaragua.” Cortez and Carranza sum up how agri-business in Central America has not only been damaging the environment, but also exposing their workers and to poisons and damaging the public health. 3. In more recent years, neoliberal policies, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, have allowed for privatization of the natural resources of Central America. These foreign business interests then sell these resources back to the locals for profit, or prioritize exporting them to other countries. “As a result, what is left of the immense wealth of the Central American ecosystem is not easily accessible by the general Central American population, and what is accessible to them is greatly contaminated, unhealthy and poisonous. In sum, the live in a damaged environment.” What conclusion do you take from this? What are your own thoughts or critiques about the material? In conclusion, foreign and local business interests have made a profit at the expense of the environment, their workers, the Indigenous people, and the public health. They’ve contaminated crops and destroyed the land of Central America all in the name of capital, leaving the local population with little to nothing in terms of resources.
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