There was a really interesting documentary on BBC 4 called Unnatural histories. It was all about the history of the Amazon and the effects that the indigenous peoples [pre-European involvement] have had on the so-called primeval forest. It was an eye-opener. To give a quick summary of the programme it states that, prior to the Europeans arriving there were abundant advanced civilisations living there. When, one of the first Spanish explorers, Fransisco de Orellana, arrived he wrote in his diary that the Amazon river was crowded with towns and cities [yes, cities] on its banks all the way along its length.
Fransisco de Orellana
It wasn't until the Europeans arrived with their diseases, which wiped out an estimated 90% of the indigenous populations, that the advanced civilisations of the Amazon Basin disappeared and nature took over the vast cities there, which is why we think we see untouched, pristine forest. But even that is not entirely true as the hunter gatherers of today were/are managing the forests. The BBC explains it better than I.
Which brings me back to the headline: 'The BBC is not all bad'. This is where the BBC are wonderful in their science and natural history programmes. I think that I can safely say that if there was an Olympic prize for these types of TV programmes then the BBC would certainly be in the medals.