Senator Bill Brady stated, “Every time I have some moment on seashore, or in the mountains, or sometimes in a quiet forest, I think this is why the environment has to be preserved,” but unfortunately in our vast society, the environment is having a hard time finding a place in our competitive resource era. Acres of forest are being mowed down by companies to feed their ever growing corporate empires and without being conscious about the problem that leads humanity in a devastating predicament.
Our environment is our life source, the trees, water, and to the animals is a huge part of our life source; we are too involved in our materialistic ways, with the wants and our needs. The problem concerning most of us is our inability to stop and question how we are getting our needs or wants met; we don’t think about the questions or issues, because some people just feel more comfortable hiding behind their wants and needs.
Corporations buy up properties in other countries; tear down miles of land where there are animals and destroy their only habitat. Eventually, these animals die off, because they have nowhere else to go. We need to examine that our lifestyle is killing our environment and in turn will lead us to the destruction of ourselves. We are pushing mankind to the brink of suicide. There are various effects of deforestation, such as, erosion of soil, disruption of the water cycle, loss of biodiversity, spreading of diseases, and climate change.
After the corporate mongers have cleared the forests, this action results in exposing the soil to the sun, making it very dry and eventually, infertile, due to volatile nutrients such as nitrogen being depleted. To also add to another existing problem, when there is rainfall, it washes away the rest of the nutrients, which usually flows with the rainwater into waterways. With all of this, replanting trees may not help in creating a resolution against deforestation, by the time the trees grow, the soil will be definitely depleted of essential nutrients.
This is an ongoing event in the Amazon Rainforest; Amazon Rainforest holds more than half of the world’s surviving rainforests and the rainforest accounts as the major control of the world’s climate. In his article, “Half the Amazon Rainforest to be lost by 2030”, David Gutierrez discusses an interview he had with the World Wildlife Federation spokesperson, Beatrix Richards. Richards states “The Amazon is on a Knifed-edge due to the dual threats of deforestation and climate change. ”
Deforestation also affects the world’s biodiversity. Tropical rainforests consist of around half of the total amount of species of plants and animals on Earth. Without the rainforest as a habitat for these organisms, they will not be able to survive. Biologists are worried that a vast number of species will become extinct before they can be caught and examined. There are many species there that have provided us with cures for illnesses, and with the destruction of the rainforests, many other cures could be lost.
The extinction of various species will also disrupt the food web they are in, possibly leading to the extinction of species which depended on them for survival. Vandana Shiva, the author of Stolen Harvest, expresses how cutting down forests or converting natural forests into raw material does generate revenue and growth for big corporations, but generating this revenue and growth also is robbing the forests of its biodiversity and to conserve its natural resources. The most unknown effect of deforestation is the spreading of diseases through various ways, including insects.
Experts have said that if we keep destroying remaining forests then there is a danger that some of the planet’s most threatening diseases, or even new viruses, could spread at an overwhelming rate and on unmanageable scale. Gutierrez also depicts in his article that the results of how deforestation offsets diseases. For an example, the effects of deforestation on rainforest birds and how their diseases and blood parasites could very well put human health at risk with habitats being annihilated.
Through my research, I have also discovered that deforestation leads to doors that open to highly dangerous insects in such a way as the mosquito, anopheles darlingi, which spreads malaria parasites, breeds in pools of water that are incepted in deforested land and on eroded land. Deforestation therefore creates a population explosion of newly evolved insects. Anup Shah whose article “Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions,” entails some of Malcolm MacCallum’s findings; McCallum who is head of the Biological Sciences Program, Texas A&M University studies has ound that effects of deforestation has to the amphibian species found that the current extinction rate of amphibians could be times to a couple of hundreds of background amphibians. The disruption of the water cycle is reaching an intolerable rate these days, because the amount of evapotranspiration has been reduced, the formation of clouds and therefore precipitation is also reduced. This threatens the existence of the remaining plants in the forest. Deforestation can also cause flooding. In forested areas, flood water is absorbed into the soil and taken up by the tree roots.
The water is then transpired through aerial parts of the plant and into the atmosphere, where it forms clouds. In deforested areas, the flood water runs across the area and is not stopped by vegetation. The top layer of soil is eroded in this process and gets transported into rivers where it causes the level of silt to rise. This rise in the river level causes floods to occur more frequently. Less evaporation also means that more of the sun’s energy is used to warm the surface and consequently the air above, leading to a rise in temperatures.
In the end, we need to question ourselves if we’re willing to give up our water, which constitutes most of our body, to meet our materialistic demands. Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco stated “Once you have liquid water, you have the potential for living organisms. ” What happens after deforestation is entirely up to us, because as in life with any action there is the responsibility to answer to the consequence at hand. In deforestation, there is an opportunity to clean or fix matters but time is not a factor.
In a tropical rain forest, nearly all the life-sustaining nutrients are found in the plants and trees and not in the ground, like northern or temperate forests. When the plants and trees are cut down for agricultural purposes for the poor people, the tree trunks are usually burnt to release nutrients into the soil. Rain leaches the soil, and after around three years, the ground is no longer capable of supporting crops. The farmers will abandon this area and it will be left to grow back to a rainforest. NASA experts Yorman Kaufman expresses that soil is very low in nutrient content, the forest will grow back very slowly.
It may take up to fifty years to grow back There are new agricultural techniques that help enforce against the aftermath of deforestation, such as, Shading agriculture and an intense agricultural system. Shade agriculture, where many of the original forest trees are left to provide shade for shade-loving crops e. g. coffee and chocolate. When this type of farm is abandoned, the forest grows back very quickly as most of it was left unharmed in the first place. Intensive agricultural systems use many of pesticides and fertilizers.
The chemicals kill a vast majority of living organisms in the area and weaken the ecosystem’s health. Plantations that use irrigation systems change the water balance of the land. After the abandonment of this kind of system, it can take many centuries for a forest to re-grow. An internet article, “Solutions to Deforestation,” shines the light that there are solutions to deforestations, such as, recycling, forest for climate proposals, and protecting endangered forests. In 2008, the Lacey Act was passed as part of a farm bill which gives the United States the authority to prosecute importers of illegally cut wood.
The Lacey Act has in turned successfully protected wildlife by preventing the illegal trafficking of animals. While the chief aim of the new law is to make illegal logging operations less profitable, it has the potential to save more than just the millions of acres of forest that are cut down every year by loggers operating outside of the law. Illegal logging operations devastate entire local ecologies, for instance, harming not just the animals who call the forests home but also the nearby communities. Illegal logging also subdues U.
S. businesses, which stand to lose a billion dollars every year to the illicit foreign competition. Perhaps worst of all, illegal logging contributes to global warming by producing dangerous and massive amounts of carbon gases. In conclusion, Deforestation is a threat to life worldwide. It has an effect on the global climate and causes the extinction of thousands of species annually. We have the ability to provide other solutions, as producing man made material, enforce bans, and creating sustainable forests.