Welcome to my third blog post, and thank you all for your support thus far! Today, I chose to take a different direction. My first two posts were about the ocean, as that is something that I am passionate about. However, today’s post has taken a more “solid-ground” direction. Deforestation.
Deforestation is something that plagues the Earth. As our population continues to grow, we continue to cut down more and more trees, forests, and woods to make room for our people. This occurs globally, but effects tropical rainforests the most.
It is estimated that, if current deforestation levels proceed, the world’s rainforests may COMPLETELY vanish in less than 100 years. This statistic was provided by National Geographic. Readers in the continental United States may not see this as a big deal. “It’s the rainforest, we don’t have any of those here. Who cares?”
My friends, this happens globally. This means that no one is going unharmed by this practice. Since 1600, 90% of the continental United States’ indigenous forests have been removed. That’s NINETY percent.
There are many different forms of deforestation. These include: burning trees, clear cutting, and many more. These forms leave the Earth with virtually no way to recover, for it is not used to recovering from such practices. Normally, the Earth can recover from anything that happens naturally. The only thing that these practices would relate to are volcanic eruptions which, as one can probably gather, take many years to recover from.
Deforestation also releases carbon dioxide in to the air, as well as water vapor. When trees are cut down, they release these greenhouse gases. For this reason, it is believed that deforestation is one of the major causes of global warming.
Unfortunately, reforestation (planting trees) will not completely fix the problem. It is still important that we, as humans, remain conscious of the waste that we are producing and the fossil fuels that we are burning. This also reins true with certain species. Reforestation will not save species that we have diminished populations of severely.
The legal field has taken small steps to stop deforestation, and to regulate the process when necessary. These include, in the United States: the Endangered Species Act, the Wilderness Act, the Lacey Act, and the Roadless Rule. Global treaties and regional rules are also observed to protect forests and the species that inhabit them.
So, what does this mean for all of us? I would say that it means changes need to be made, per usual. Make the conscious decision to use recycled paper products, or to walk short distances. Plant a tree at your own home, support organizations that are working to prevent or recover from these actions, or volunteer with a local organization.
It is the small things that, when combined across the globe, will make a big difference. Soon, these resources will not be available for use by anyone. 100 years may be a long ways away, but our children will be living through that time. If not them, our grandchildren. Our “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” mentality has to change before then, or they will suffer the consequences.
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