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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    financial gain decades into the future

    1. The world's tropical rainforests comprise some 6% of the Earth's land area and contain more than half of all known life forms, or a conservative estimate of about 30 million species of plants and animals. Some experts estimate there could be two or even three times as many species hidden within these complex and fast- disappearing ecosystems; scientists will probably never know for certain, so vast is the amount of study required. 2. Time is running out for biological research. Commercial development is responsible for the loss of about 17 million hectares of virgin rainforest each year - a figure approximating 1% of what remains of the world's rainforests. 3. The current devastation of once impenetrable rainforest is of particular concern because, although new tree growth may in time repopulate felled areas, the biologically diverse storehouse of flora and fauna is gone forever. Losing this bountiful inheritance, which took millions of years to reach its present highly evolved state, would be an unparalleled act of human stupidity.
    4. Chemical compounds that might be extracted from yet-to-be-discovered species hidden beneath the tree canopy could assist in the treatment of disease or help to control fertility. Conservationists point out that important medical discoveries have already been made from material found in tropical rainforests. The drug aspirin, now synthesised, was originally found in the bark of a rainforest tree. Two of the most potent anti- cancer drugs derive from the rosy periwinkle discovered in the 1950s in the tropical rainforests of Madagascar.
    5. The rewards of discovery are potentially enormous, yet the outlook is bleak. Timber-rich countries mired in debt, view potential financial gain decades into the future as less attractive than short-term profit from logging. Cataloguing species and analysing newly-found substances takes time and money, both of which are in short supply.
    ================================================== ========
    What financial gain does the underlined imply? from logging or other economic endeavors?


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    #2

    Re: financial gain decades into the future

    not a teacher

    view potential financial gain decades into the future as less attractive than short-term profit from logging.

    As I understand it, this refers to potential financial gains from the type of medical and health-related discoveries mentioned in the previous paragraph (aspirin, anti-cancer treatments etc).

  2. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: financial gain decades into the future

    Does it mean only developed countries care about research results, while underdeveloped ones, felling trees?

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    #4

    Re: financial gain decades into the future

    not a teacher

    The quote is saying that a country in economic crisis is more likely to be tempted by the short-term profits from timber, than be prepared to spend money and time on long-term research and development that may or may not pay off financially.

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