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Every­one agrees that mas­sive defor­esta­tion is an envi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter. But most of the stan­dard solu­tions — scold­ing the Brazil­ians, invok­ing uni­ver­sal moral­i­ty — ignore the one solu­tion that might actu­al­ly work. And: humans, it has long been thought, are the only ani­mal to engage in eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty. But what if we’ve had it exact­ly backward?