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The world's vast rainforests are under an ever increasing threat that shows no sign of receding at any point in the future. They are a huge natural resource that the worlds population seeks to exploit for their benefit. Timber is the driving force behind many national economies and its availability is very important.
The process of slash and burn is very popular in the Amazon rainforest in South America. The migrant tribes are constantly on the move and looking for more land to cultivate. They will clear a large area of land in the forest, felling all of the trees and clearing vegetation. This is then burnt on a large scale in an effort to make the soil more fertile and crop growth and yields much better.
There are problems that arise from this process and also a number of constraints. The main one is that the land can only be cultivated for a very short time, before it becomes infertile and unusable. The land then lies derelict and the forest struggles to recover with the lack of nutrients in the soil. The tribe will then move on to another part of the forest and undertake the whole process again, destroying more of the forest.
The amount of food that can be produced from the very weakly untreated soil is very low. The yields are only just about enough sufficient to support the tribes, with no spare to be sold or traded. There is no access to fertilizers or pesticides and the channelling of rainfall can also be very difficult.
The burning process that goes on can sometimes go wrong. Large forest fires can start if the area isn't properly cleared and prepared for burning. This can lead to sections of trees being lost where this isn't a need and therefore they are wasted.
The other main cause of deforestation on a global scale, is logging. The islands in and around Indonesia, such as Borneo, are particularly prone to this. The trees that are felled provide the inhabitants with a product that they can use to improve their lives.
It is used to construct homes, businesses and transport. These all go towards improving the living standards for many people in the area and they can then use that as a launch pad for further economic development and improvements. They can start to sell the wood, in its raw form or as crafted furniture to the rest of the world. There are some multinational companies that muscle in and log on a large scale and make huge profits from the rainforest.
The cheapest form of fuel available to many people in less economically developed countries is wood. They cook with it and heat their homes/shelters with relative ease and it is widely available. There isn't access to gas or electricity, so many people are dependant on a supply of wood just a basic living requirement.
The main issue that is raised when it comes to the global rate of deforestation, is how long can it continue at its present rate? There is going to come a point in time when there will be very little rainforest remaining and it will become a problem for everybody. The thing is, there is no way that the rate of deforestation can be reduced, with global demand at the level that it is.
The forests aren't being replenished on a large or effective enough scale to repair any of the damage. There has to be a set of measures put in place to aid the global replanting of depleted forests very soon, in order that we don't have wood and paper shortages in the future. There isn't enough attention paid to the seriousness of the problem and there is going to have to be some action soon.
There is also a wildlife factor to take into consideration when discussing deforestation. The ecosystems of rainforest are being hugely changed and the animals and plants that live within them are being impacted upon. They are losing their habit and breeding patterns and food supply are being changed. There is a huge threat to thousands of rare species on the island of Madagascar, as the island continues to be exploited for its wood by the population.
All in all, I think that the deforestation issue is one that needs to be looked at. I feel that in the future, wood supplies will be another reason to fight wars and the knock-on effects will be huge. Timber is a renewable resource that can flourish on earth, as long as it is not over exploited and that it is adequately replaced when it is removed. There should never be a problem with wood supply and the consequences of the serious issues can be easily averted with careful planning and organisation.
I have been fortunate to have the priviledge to live in Cleveland Ohio which has a wonderful Zoo. Half of that zoo is a facility called the rainforest. It is a large 3 story Rainforest that provides educational information as well as exhibits of the various life forms that inhabit the inperiled Rain Forest Regions. They have one of those 'so 1985' digital readouts that shows the depletion of the Rainforests in Red LED, it shows the destruction of the land, I watched it one day for 3 hours and noticed that it kept the same rate of decline, which cost it credibility with me, surely the guys would take breaks or have a siesta and I explained this to the gentile old retiree working there and she copped out with some explanation that it is not exactly literal but shows the average depletion. I felt using lies, inaccuracies and bad science is not okay, even for a good cause. I never really cared about the Rain Forests and the Tupi Indians who live there. I am more in touch with Ali G's attitude about them in his interview with Ralph Nader (You would have to be totally mental to want to live there, no Mackie D's no KFC, no where to drive around and a monkey might try to plop one on your head. I saw that James Bond movie where he is old and is running around the jungle trying to stop Cancer and I was touched. Most people disparage the destruction of the rainforest to use the land for cattle grazing. I agree, partially, I hate that low grade south American Beef that comes as a result. I respect the motives and goals of the people who try to save the rainforest by buying some pieces of land to protect. That seems to be the right approach, if some one really cares then they should buy the land and let it sit idle. It is so effing Blair and Bush to mouth off and say this land should be preserved while we sit in prosperity. The right thing to do is to buy the land and let it sit idle if it is so important to you. There are several websites that permit
you to donate money to buy land www.worldlandtrust.org here 25 squid saves an acre of rainforest www.ran.org Rain forest action network www.rainforestinfo.org.au I only recently became active in the issue, and it is entirely self centered. I am suddenly a conservationist. It's a long story so bear with me. As you may have noticed, I hope you missed me, I have been absent from my beloved Dooyoo for a few months. I have been under intensive mental health treatment. During that time I have chosen not to write. Now I have come to a point where I can express myself again to the world. My treatment and cause of my seeking treatment directly relate to this subject so I will explain it. I have my own youth hostel now. It is nice, it is in Sandusky Ohio, by Cedar Point. I let a whole bunch of people stay with me. I do not charge them as the city and the nuisance control board have made it quite clear that I am unable to charge people rent under my zoning. So people come and stay here for free, which is Okay. We turned it into a disco and have all the sound and light equipment of a proper disco. Everyone has fun. Some of the people work at KFC and bring me chicken every day. If you come to America you can stay with me there. I took a bucket of chicken to work. I was driving my train in western Pennsylvania on the way to Pittsburgh. It is truely a wilderness out there, hills and forests. I was at a place called Enoch and the Amtrak was going to run around me as I had a slow train. The signal is at the top of a hill and generally the trains are lucky to make 16-20 MPH up the hill. I had this rotten no good conductor named Doug Craven with me. He is a very bad man and I fear he will beat me up. So I try to bribe him by feeding him. I asked him if he wanted some chicken so he took this as an invitation to take my whole bucket of chicken for himself. Being that he had a whole bucket he would take
a few delicious bites from each piece and throw it out the window rather than picking the bones clean. We sat there an hour or so and he must have accumulated a huge pile of chicken outside. He gave me a dirty magazine to read and I was looking at it and he walked over and stood on my side of the engine with a totally whacked look on his face. Like he was going to kill me or something. He was white as a ghost and rattled. I thought he was going to have a heart attack or something. He leans over and says to me, "Come over here now" real soft but authorative. So I go look out his window and I could not believe what I saw. Outside the engine standing in the guage of main number two was the most spectacular creature I had ever seen. It was the fabled Bigfoot, yeti, sasquatch or whatever you want to call it. He was eating chicken. He was beautiful, probaly 8 foot tall, a lot like Chewbacca except with traces of dark fur and light fur. He was majestic. I watched in awe, forgetting my digital camera phone. I couldn't take my eyes off him as he ate. I was in awe, I always knew he existed, and here I had the distinct pleasure to see him this close. I heard the AMtrak blow the crossing but did not snap out of my funk. I heard the New Yorker coming hard. The Yeti didn't, he was greedily gobbling chicken. Out of courtesy we dim our head lights when passing other trains as to not blind the other crews. The AMtrak hogger suddenly snapped on his brights and the Yeti just stood there with this odd look of resignation on his monkey face. It was a look that I have to declare intelligent, it was like "Oh damn", like he knew what was coming and understood the implications of a train hitting him at 69 mph. The Amtrak hit him and he went under it. They dumped the air and slid to a stop about 2800 feet away. The AMtrak started yelling at me on the radio, all hysterical, "Why was your conductor down there!!! You ^*@$^" He was crying and freaked o
ut. He called the dispatcher and started screaming that he just killed my conductor. Meanwhile his crew had to start inspecting the train and our car people have to come out to inspect them. It is against the rules to talk on cell phones at wo rk but i gave the AMtrak guy my number and told him to call me. He did and I explained that it was a Big Foot not my conductor. But now Fort Wayne Line was on the radio telling us he would get an ambulance there and all that jazz. Then the STO from Pittsburgh called my phone and asked me what happened. I told him that Amtrak killed a bigfoot. I will try to make a long story short. Our supervisors showed up and wanted to say it was a bear that got hit so they could move freight. I went nuts, I lost it and punched my boss' boss' boss in the mouth. I wanted them to recover the body and he wouldn't so I spazzed out. I got taken to the hospital. Just for the record I knocked him out cold with one shot. Craven said it was a bear. Craven is driving a new Turbo Diesel Ram Charger now. I was told I could keep my job if I got "help". Basically trade my credibility for my job, I would always be labelled frootie and unreliable but I would keep my job. I knew the score right away, the railroad is afraid if people knew the truth that there was a valuable natural species that should be studied or at least protected it could interfere with the rail operations. The government may step in and try to limit how the railroad used their track, so thus There is no way in hell the railroad would admit that Big Foot lives on or near Rail Property. I understood this clearly, and it goes back to this rainforest preservation business, is it really fair to the owners of the land to tell them how they can use their property? There is other land to be used for slash and burn farming, but there is no other way for the CSXT to move frieght from NY to CLeveland that that rail line that has been used there for 125 years. Yet t
he railroad feared that the government would step in and interfere with them I was in the hospital for 5 weeks. I learned a lot about myself. I got tired of sticking to my guns and let them get to me. It was helpful, I found that although I was usually self controlled but I handled anger poorly and responded to negative stimuli improperly. I stood my ground about the incident and the railroad was worried and kept sending the claim agent to screw with me. I fought with him (verbally) I knew that there stoopid ass railroad was more important to them that they greatest anthropological discovery ever. One of my doctors was a believer and he knew I was telling the truth and he was able to clandestinely give me a polygraph and saw that I "sincerely believed" I had seen bigfoot. It was bad. My dad came up from Florida one day. He talked to me. I expected him to be hard on me and give me a hard time about getting myself together and getting out of there and taking care of my daughter and all that. But I saw in his blurry eyes how much he loved me and how much pain it was causing him to see me suffer for standing for the truth. He said when I got out of there, he didn't BS around with "when you get better", we would ride our motorcycles from Florida to New Orleans and go camping like we always wanted to do. Then he looked around to see who was watching since the whole facility was in the railroads pocket. He starting picking his nose and pulls out this real long hair (they search the visitors before they come in). He laughed about the hair and says, "I bet there are a whole bunch of them somewhere up there". SO I knew that he had proof. That is when I went along with my treatment and went with the bear story. My friend Kwik Karl had heard what happened, was in the terminal and saw them bring in the Amtrak power to clean it. I had called him on the phone and he had managed to sneak over to the pit and was able to get some bone fra
gments a partial hand and some hair and tissue. We are getting them studied outside the country where the railroad can't taint the study and we will put the remains on E-bay since I can't work so well. My point is this, there is so much life out there, things we don't know about. Like we could catch bigfoot and breed him and teach him to be a lumberjack or do hazardous jobs. Who knows what could be in the rainforests? Maybe there are valuable resources that we will never understand there that we can't understand now but may lose forever? We should preserve what is left of the natural world. There is plenty of room now for everybody. Maybe people should just pull out or use condoms and not have so many kids or something and people should not eat so much so they can stop world hunger. I don't have the answers but I believe that if the hidden world is lost we will all lose. But we will all lose out worse if the control and ownership of private propety is jeopardized by people who have the legislative initiative to take other people property and control it to thier own desires. That is the biggest issue here. If I care about preserving Big Foot I should start a campaign to buy acres of the railroad in Western Pennsylvania. The freedom and Prosperity we enjoy due to property rights is in far greater threat from the Greens than the stoopid ass parrots and giant beetles that live in the jungle.
Geography was always my favourite subject at secondary school. It taught me the way natural processes operate, such as glaciation, the water cycle, and rainforests. Every subject however seemed to have a common theme, which was that humans have interrupted with them, and, unsurprisingly, had led to detrimental consequences. It is rainforests that is perhaps the best example of where human interference has had the worst effect on nature. The destruction of rainforests is, in my opinion, indefensible, and for the large part, entirely unnecessary. Tropical rainforests are the biological honey pots of the world. They are found entirely within the inter-tropical regions of the world, between 23 1/2 degrees north at the Tropic of Cancer and 23 1/2 degrees south at the Tropic of Capricorn. Examples include the Amazon rainforest, which has flowing through it numerous streams and tributaries which are part of the mighty Amazon Basin; large parts of Central Western Africa; and large parts of what used to be called the East Indies, which incorporates countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. Despite the fact that the numerous species of trees found in rainforests have had to adapt to constant high temperatures, heavy rainfall and a perennial growing season, they house the most luxuriant vegetation system in the world. Most trees in rainforests are deciduous, but despite this, the rainforests of the world maintain a permanent evergreen appearance because the continuous growing season allows the trees to shed their leaves at any time of the year. These fallen leaves quickly decay due to the hot, wet climate and are recycled to keep the nutrient cycle turning. If you ever have the opportunity to see a rainforest from above, you will be stunned and indeed inspired by the sight. It is like a never-ending patchwork quilt of varying shades of green, with, every so often, a small break in the canopy where you will either see a small pa
tch of shrub land or water. Apart from these small breaks in the canopy, the ground is almost impossible to see because of the density of vegetation. Indeed, only 1% of sunlight can penetrate through the canopy to reach the ground, which explains the absence of undergrowth on the forest floor. The equatorial climate of the rainforests in unique. The temperatures of rainforests average around 27-29 degrees Celsius and may only have a variance of around 2 degrees all year round. They can experience over 2000-6000mm of annual rainfall, predominantly due to convectional thunderstorms that occur during most afternoons. Some tropical rainforests may experience 2 or 3 months of drier months, but rain is a constant feature throughout the year. The annual climate of tropical rainforests can really be summarised and characterised by its high humidity, its lack of seasonal change and a daily weather pattern that remains remarkably uniform throughout the year. It is this, what some may call extreme climate, which allows the great biodiversity present in rainforests to be supported. Despite the fact that rainforests cover just 5% of the earth's surface, they provide nearly 70% of the total biodiversity in plants and animals on earth. In a typical section of rainforest, such as an area of 10 square kilometres, you could find 1500 species of flowering plant, 750 species of tree, which can include hardwoods such as greenheart, rosewood and mahogany, 150 varieties of butterfly, 400 species of bird, 100 different reptiles and 80 types of amphibian. This does not include the many species still to be discovered and identified. Many of these indigenous species are not found anywhere else in the world, and are few in number. The luxuriant appearance of the rainforest masks the reality of rainforests that is that they are a fragile environment, with a great reliance on the unbroken recycling of nutrients. Why then do we continue to hack down vast swa
thes of rainforest? Why is over 85 million acres of rainforest logged every year? Why, instead of 14% of the earth’s surface covered in rainforest, are we now left in a situation where less than 6% of the earth's surface is covered by rainforest. Well, rainforests are not being cleared for the fun of it. Rainforests are generally found in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC’s). In recent decades, many of these countries, such as Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia, have experienced a population explosion. Land is cleared to allow for new settlements and farming areas, the best example possibly being the Brazilian capital of Brasilia that was built in an area surrounded by rainforest. New farms in the Amazon are constantly being created in newly cleared land, a process known as "shifting cultivation". This is required as land cleared in rainforests is generally of very poor quality, and so fresh land is needed all the time. Cleared land is also used by multinationals as cattle ranches. Logging is required to provide much needed timber for the increasing populations of countries, and it also provides a much-needed source of income for many poor countries as a valuable export commodity. In many rainforests, land is cleared to provide roads through dense rainforest, the best example being the Trans-Amazonian highway that rips straight through the Amazon rainforest. A great problem is that these new constructed roads act as starting points for logging because of their accessibility, creating wide strips of bare land instead of just the roads. These wide strips can also act as settlements for people, denying the rainforest a chance to re grow. In some parts of the Amazon, 10km wide strips have been cleared to provide new home for landless people, which is for me, a truly ugly and horrible sight. It is an irreparable scar on a previously untouched landscape. Many rainforests harbour vast quantities of minerals. Many
of these sources of minerals are exploited, the most damaging example in the Amazon being the Grand Carajas Scheme in Northeast Brazil. Carajas is the world’s largest source of iron ore, and that fact is not lost by government and multinationals. New settlements, railways, highways, reservoirs, dams and vast quarries have all taken shape out of the rainforest, changing that whole area of the Amazon forever. All this destruction is caused by people, and is for people only. We are causing all this damage with little long term thought for the consequences. The Amazon now is just 60% of its size in 1960, a worrying and frightening statistic, while rainforests in other parts of the world have either disappeared or are in a much worse state than the Amazon. Just think of what we have lost, never to be regained. All the things we didn't discover, all the places that were never properly explored; we can never get it back. The rainforests are the source of many modern medicines; just think of all the medicines that were waiting to be found in the rainforest, but now, never will be. The destruction is caused for the benefit of people who don’t even live in the rainforests. Natives have little say in the future of the rainforest, their views are the last to be heard. As a result, cultural diversity is being eroded continuously. Once the rainforest is gone, it takes a long time for it to regain any similarity to what is was like before is was cut down. Once it does grow back, it will have nowhere near the biodiversity it previously had. The most worrying fact about rainforests is from a recent study. It suggested that around 35% of the world’s oxygen supply comes from the trees in rainforests, while an even greater percentage of the worlds supply of fresh water is found in rainforests, 25% alone is found in the Amazon. If the rainforests disappear, all this will be lost. The clearing of rainforests undou
btedly has a massive contributory effect to global warming, making the problem even worse. Trees act as carbon cleaners, removing much of the damaging carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If the number of trees continues to drop, they will have a much-reduced effect. Also, much of the rainforests of the world are cleared by burning when setting up new settlements. The gases released in to the atmosphere include carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases. As I said at the start of this op, much of this destruction is largely unnecessary. In many western countries, which is the destination for much of the timber from rainforests, the recycling of materials is below what one could say were acceptable levels. This is a particular problem in the U.S. where there is little promotion of recycling. In Europe, the situation is better, as the European Union sets targets for its members to meet. Recycling reduces the requirement for new materials. The population explosion in the LEDC's where rainforests are present should be slowed down through measures such as better family planning, i.e. providing contraception. This would slow down the need for new settlements, and so slow down the clearance of rainforests. Something has to be done otherwise the rainforests will disappear before we realise they have. Lush rainforests could be left as deserts, take for example the Sahel region in Northern Africa, which is starting to extend in to the tropical regions of central Africa. Who wants that? I am not saying logging should not take place; of course, it has to, to a certain extent. More emphasis however needs to be placed on conservation rather than exploitation. A balance needs to be struck because the other options are not worth considering, and are rather depressing.
(Before I start i'd just like to point out that i'm not sure what "rating" to give this 'product'. Mainly because although in the link above it just says "Rainforests" however my opinion is about the destruction of the rainforests.... anyhow, i've rated it as a 5* 'product' seen as the rainforests are worthy of 5 stars!) We all know what's going to happen to the world if we don't stop cutting down the rainforests..... most of us suddenly have a moment when we think "we really must start doing something". Then, that fleeting moment passes because the dog's just thrown up, or EastEnders is starting.... Unfortunately, no matter how good the story line is that particular episode of EastEnders is showing, or how ill you dog is, the problems with the worlds' rainforests isn't going to simply go away. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface. They now cover a mere 6%. In less than 50 years, more than half of the world's tropical rainforests have fallen victim to fire and the chain saw and the rate of destruction is still accelerating. I believe over 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day in the world. Then, if you do the sums, that is over 150 acres lost every minute. Unfortunately the rainforests cannot keep up with this ever increasing rate of acceleration. And, according to: http://www.txdirect.net/sitc/sci-rain.htm Rainforests are being destroyed at an estimated rate of about one football-field-sized area per second! [everyone gasp]! I mean that's one 'ell of a lot of tree's meeting either the flame or the chain-saw don't you agree? Seen as the Amazon is one of the more well-known rainforests i'll use that as an example. The Amazon Rainforest is the world's greatest natural resource. It is the most bio-actively diverse natural phenomenon on th
e planet. Yet still it is being destroyed just like most [if not every] other rainforests around the world. ~ Why? ~ The problem and the solution to rainforest destruction both come under one word.... economics Rainforests are being destroyed worldwide for the profits they yield. We get our timber from them. We also graze our animals on the cultivated land. ~ What are we doing to stop the destruction? ~ Well, frankly, not enough. However there are many organizations who have demonstrated that we simply cannot go on destroying the rainforests at the rate we are doing. These organizations have also shown that if, instead of buring the tree's down for agriculture, and chopping the tree's down for timber, they were to use the many medicinal plants, fruits, oils along with like rubber and chocolate [as if that's not a good enough reason on it's own!] were harvested sustainably - rainforest land would have a much more economic value. The Amazon supports millions of plant, animal and insect species. Many chemicals to produce drugs (including cancer drugs) are found within the plant and animal life. If we have already found many of these drugs out there, surely it would make sense to spend more money on research into the many hundreds of plants still not looked at scientifically? ~ What can we do to help? ~ Well, most of us can't really do anything to help. Not directly anyway. There is one major organisation, "Rain-Tree". You can join in supporting rainforest conservation and preservation to stop the tide of destruction. They claim that "raising consciousness of the problems is simply not enough." Which, to a point is true, however it is a start....
Tropical rainforests are a vitally important ecosystem, an ecosystem that supports all life on Earth, yet has come under attack from human impact, particularly in the last 30 years. An ecosystem is defined as ‘a natural unit in which the life cycles of plants, animals and other organisms are linked to each other and to the non-living constituents of the environment to form a natural system’. All ecosystems exist in a natural state of dynamic equilibrium, but are extremely vulnerable to disruption, whether they be arctic tundra or equatorial rainforest. One thing that makes the rainforests so special though is their richness of life. The amount of biomass (living matter) present is 45kg/sq.m and this grows at a rate of 2.2kg/sq.m/year (comparable biomass and productivity rates for a typical UK oak woodland are 30kg/sq.m and 1.2kg/sq.m/yr and for tundra 0.6kg/sq.m and 0.14kg/sq.m/yr). Obviously, the rainforests support a wide variety of life. In the Amazon alone there are 80,000 tree species, you can find over 300 different species of tree in just one square kilometre, and the density of vegetation is such that there is an average of 300 trees per hectare. On top of this come many smaller plants, vines, fungi, etc. It’s not just plants either. The Amazon is estimated to be home to 2,000 bird species, 1,500 fish species and 600 species of insects. The River Negro has more species of fish than any other river in the world, Colombia has the greatest diversity of birds and the Peruvian rainforest is home to 1,450 species of butterfly. All figures are estimates, as new species are being discovered all the time, while others become extinct as deforestation deprives them of their habitat. In all though, the Amazon has over 9,000 species of life per hectare and rainforests are home to about 30% of all known species on Earth. The extent of rainforests is diminishing though. Currently the main expanses of
rainforest lie in northern South America, western equatorial Africa and south-east Asia. Being a highly specialised environment, rainforests occur only between the tropics, normally within 5° north or south of the equator. Here there is little annual variation in temperature (normally around 2°C), monthly temperatures generally averaging 26-28°C (although there may be large diurnal (day/night) variations). Not for nothing are they called RAINforests either, precipitation levels are often 2,000+/year. Despite the high levels of productivity, however, the soil is actually relatively poor. The secret to the high productivity is the rapid cycling of nutrients – dead organic matter (such as the plentiful leaf litter) is quickly broken down by bacteria and fungi, and this is what allows the plants to grow. Natives, such as the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon, have survived by practising nomadic ‘slash and burn’ agriculture. On reaching a new area, they burn down local vegetation, releasing nutrients into the soil. They then farm the area for a few years, before moving on when the soil is depleted. Done on a small scale, this causes no harm, and actually helps the area by removing dead plants and allowing new plants to grow in the clearing (little light normally reaches the forest floor). Early settlers, however, assumed the soil was highly fertile, and began deforestation so they could farm crops. At first, harvests were good, but the soil was soon drained of its nutrients, particularly by being exposed to rainfall, and yields dropped. The response to this was further deforestation, but the same thing happened! Currently, main causes for deforestation are to build houses and roads and for logging, as the limited use of the soil for agriculture has been recognised. Fast food chains such as McDonalds are still partly responsible though, for a lot of deforestation was done to make way for cattle ranches,
where livestock could be bred to make burgers. Another recently publicised cause of deforestation has been the widespread forest fires in Indonesia. These have been exacerbated by the El Nino phenomenon depriving the area of rain, but the fires were originally started deliberately to clear land, so I believe a more responsible method has to be employed in future to prevent a repeat of this. Current rates of deforestation are that over an acre is disappearing every second. The results of this include (but are not limited to) loss of habitat, destruction of irreplaceable scenery, extinction of many plants and animals, soil erosions, spread of disease to isolated native populations. Afforestation is taking places in some areas, such as Vietnam. The rainforest there was spoilt during the Vietnam War, and is slowing being repaired, although it is doubtful whether many species will ever return. By the late 1980s, however, the Vietnamese were planting 500 million trees a year (160,000 hectares of forest). This is good, because rainforests provide oxygen to support the plant; as well as being the home of many plant and animal species. Indeed, I once saw I film (I forget the name) where a scientist discovered a cure for cancer in a rare tropical plant, just before it was made extinct by the building of a new road through the rainforest. But why should the Third World countries such as Brazil be burdened with the responsibility of looking after their rainforests for the benefit of all? Many of these countries are not prosperous, and need to exploit their natural resources. Less than 3% of Europe remains in its natural state, so why shouldn’t developing countries be allowed to similarly develop agriculture, transport, etc? Well, firstly it need not be a burden. Rainforests can be exploited financially, such as by offering eco-tourism. As the home to many rare plants and animals, they are also valuable to researchers.
Imagine if a cure for cancer was discovered in the rainforest; think how (much more) valuable it would then be, and how many countries that had allowed deforestation for short-term gain would kick themselves. More needs to be done by the international community, however, to protect the rainforests. One possible solution is so-called ‘debt for nature’ swaps. The governments of developed countries (barring, it seems, George W) want to preserve the environment, so it is possible to arrange deals whereby Third World debt is reduced in exchange for protection of the rainforest. If you want to help, try to become more environmentally conscious and lobby your MPs etc. You can help over the internet too if you’re lazy(!) – unfortunately www.therainforestsite.com is currently offline (but back soon), in the meantime, try http://ecologyfund.com to save parrots.
Who the hell cares about the rainforests? I know I certainly dont, think of the amount of paper you could get out of them. We wouldnt have to worry about saving the rainforests if they weren't there wpould we. So that would be one less thing to worry about. The next thing to do would then be kill alll the dolphins, theyre too blue! If dolphins were extinct then the price of tuna would come down, thats a plus. The main way to cut out all these worrys is blow a hole in the ozone layer, I never use it anyway. The benefit here being that we could use CFCs again. See, Im all brains me!
Here I will have my say and speak my mind, no one can possibly agree that chopping down rainforests is a good thing, it's killing us as well as them, the only acceptable situation would be if the replanting was far greater than the removal. But in the last 30 years, 30% at least has been taken away - the amazon rainforest is the largest forest in the world, if it was destroyed, we'd all be dead - the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the world, due to lack of plants using it in photosynthesis, would lead to our deaths, and the end of this planet. Let that day never, ever happen. So, tree tappers - they're ok, tapping the sap out of trees, but those who chop illegally are to blame, and there is so much illegal felling going on that it's unbelievable, and would bring a tear to my eye/ I love life, we all should, it's been given to us, and I believe we should use it in the way which we like, but never to take other's lives, or to help the destruction of our planet. This earth has to last, well beyond our lives, and so keep the replanting higher than the felling, be kind to the animals, keep it alive.
Everyone not in the know will probably be unaware that the rain forest of the world and especially Brazil account for only 3 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide conversion. The so called lungs of the world are not majestic towering trees, but the less than sexy one celled haploid monads called planctum that convert 85 percent of the worlds oxygen through our great oceans. It doesn’t matter how many students sleep in tress for the summer break, the major chemistry on the planets biosphere is done in the Atlantic and not Manchester universities year out field trips. The locals and big logging industries hack down the trees to survive and stimulate the economy. People and the indigenous Indian and native populations have still got to eat. And if it takes clearing great swathes of Malaysian forests to plant crops then that’s the deal folks. I’m sure and know that logging companies do rape great forest for similarly great profits, often exploiting the local populations by buying out poor farmers or getting the army and police to evict them. What is a touch vulgar is the amount of Mahogany that is felled just to make sturdy town council tables for Maidstone Borough.This sort of thing should be clamped down on as its perhaps indicative of the corruption in export license given under the export credit guarantee. Yet again though it’s the majestic trees, Dolphins and Tigers that get all the sympathy while the less than attractive Tuna fish and ameba continued to be mindlessly slaughtered. The mighty Wales that cruise the pristine blue oceans are the ones who are ironically gulping all that life giving planctum. Clearly the biggest minus when humans cull the rainforests are the amounts of known a din unknown species become extinct. The top of those guys have incredible teaming life of such iridescent color and activity,let alone the exotic din. If I was an ecology student I don’t think I wou
ld spend my twenties trying to save rain forests or blocking runway extensions at Manchester airport. Tree huggers do come from all walks of life of course but their ideology seems somewhat flawed and silly. Why not spend time saving the starving than pestering trees folks. We do have a wild Laburnum running all over the shop if you fancy sticking a tree house up there. Maybe you could protest about the cropping of a near by hedge to put up a speed camera. Now if you guys protest about those evil demons then im all for it. If you do love these amazing eco systems and you don’t fancy three hundred jabs to visit a really tropical one, try Australia which has the worlds only non Malarial forest in the Northern Queensland area. I was there in 93 and the butterflies and spiders were as big as my hand It did rain a lot (312 days a year) but the wild life and walks were stunning.
There are three main areas of tropical rainforests: in Central and South America, in West and Central Africa and in Southeast Asia, the largest area being the Amazon Basin rainforest (covering 6 million square kilometres). Although they only cover 6% of our land surface, they provide a home to a variety of animals and plants. In fact, we are a long way from having discovered all the different species that thrive in the rainforests. An estimated 140,000 sq. km of rainforest is being chopped down every year, either by logging companies or by local farmers to make room for agriculture. On top of that we have the typical climate changes and those brought on by mankind all over the world, such as those caused by car and factory emissions, having a major influence on the rainforest's ecology. Local agriculture has existed for many centuries now, so the depletion of the forest is not a recent phenomenon, but with the population rising in density, the demands made of the rainforests have also risen as a consequence. The "coboclos", the traditional settlers in the Amazon, for example, have been using the forests to harvest Brazil nuts and to extract rubber latex for centuries. Despite several conversation attempts there is some suggestion that we will reach the point of no return (where it will become unsustainable) in terms of deforestation in 10 to 15 years, with the whole of the rainforest being wiped out within 45 to 50 years, whereas other projections suggest that this will "only" occur within the next 70 to 100 years. With the destruction of the rainforest come global changes in terms of climate and the ecology of flora and fauna, with many of the species unique to the rainforests already endangered or wiped out. But in a vicious circle the destruction itself changes the global climate, with skin-cancer rates going up dramatically, floodings becoming more and more common, to name only a few of the consequences
. The easy option seems to be to simply put a stop to deforestation, but there are many millions of lives depending on the use of the rainforest, many of these people living a life in absolute poverty already. But not only individuals, but large mining, developing and forestry firms are to blame. Indigenous people are fighting a seemingly hopeless battle against these large companies that construct dams, build huge hydroelectric power plants or build waterways or soybean plantations on top of the "usual" deforestation. Help comes from many organisations like the WWF or Greenpeace, but also from European and other countries. But other large companies, like General Motors, have also discovered "ethical and environmental marketing" and have started to donate money to help out. Cynics might say that it would help more if they actually started putting their money where they can avoid damaging the environment in the first place, as opposed to trying to help limit the effects of their actions. Attempts to help the rainforest have been made with the use of ecotourism, conversation areas, the spread of information and education etc. Despite all the warnings it seems we are too late. How are we going to convince the people that rely on the rainforest for survival that maintaining a healthy rainforest is more important than maintaining them? Does that not equal the old question of "is the life of a few less or more important than the lives of many"? But at least we can start using our say with regards the large companies that contribute to a very large degree to the destruction of the rainforests. By keeping a constant debate and boycotting their products and using our own influence on the leaders of our countries we can make our concerns heard and demand action. But we can also do our part by living "environmentally friendly" lives. Reduce our emissions, make sure the industry does
as well, by conserving energy to reduce global effects like global warming. All this will to some extent help the rainforest survive. Finally we have to come up with a long-term plan which will include the local communities of the rainforest areas and find alternative ways of life for them, as well as finding a way to prevent overpopulation. With the rainforest so far away, it will take more than just Sting's own efforts to make it a pressing problem in our minds.
Here I will have my say and speak my mind, no one can possibly agree that chopping down rainforests is a good thing, it's killing us as well as them, the only acceptable situation would be if the replanting was far greater than the removal. But in the last 30 years, 30% at least has been taken away - the amazon rainforest is the largest forest in the world, if it was destroyed, we'd all be dead - the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the world, due to lack of plants using it in photosynthesis, would lead to our deaths, and the end of this planet. Let that day never, ever happen. So, tree tappers - they're ok, tapping the sap out of trees, but those who chop illegally are to blame, and there is so much illegal felling going on that it's unbelievable, and would bring a tear to my eye/ I love life, we all should, it's been given to us, and I believe we should use it in the way which we like, but never to take other's lives, or to help the destruction of our planet. This earth has to last, well beyond our lives, and so keep the replanting higher than the felling, be kind to the animals, keep it alive. thanks
Most people haven't ever visited a rainforest and many people won't have the chance especially if distruction of this fragile ecosystem continues. I think the first thing that I need to discuss is why do rainforests need to be conserved?What is special about them? Rainforests need to be maintained to ensure dynamic equilibrium.This means a balance which has been built up over the thousands of years that the rainforest has matured over must be kept,with new trees and plants replacing old.This important to support the ecosystem,preventing food webs being damaged. this is an example of a food web and how removal of one species has repercussions on the rest: moss>caterpillar>parrot>jaguar removal of the moss(if this was the caterpillars only food supply)would cause extinction of the caterpillar species and would force the other higher species to exploit other food supplies which would diminish,therfore damaging the balance of the ecosystem. By destroying the habitat,ecosystems are damaged. Why should we care though?We should care because it is important to maintain biodiversity.it is important to keep the diversity of flora and fauna as wide as possible as there are many uses such as medicine and foods which we could use.So,thats why we should care!!!Deforestation also leads to flooding and the much talked about green house effect Whos to blame?Well, I think we all play a part in this,simply because we use fast food manufacturers who chop down large portions of the rainforest for cattle farming.Over packaged foods,and wasting paper and fuel also contribute to loss of the forests.I think we all need to take the blame ands start to recycle paper, choose simply packaged goods and don't waste energy! Then maybe there will be rainforests left for the future generations.
How can we keep mutilating our greatest natural resources and smiling in the face of disaster while we pat ourselves on the back for bigger and better 'technological advances'? I think it is apalling that with the amount of information and education provided about the damage deforestation is doing noone even seems to blink when a mention is made of the rate at which our rainforests are being cleared. Governments worldwide rant and rave about measures they are taking to ensure that deforestation is kept at a sustainable level and make promises which we know are empty but still we choose to turn a blind eye. If this issue continues to be swept under the carpet many problems are going to start emerging as a result. The ozone layer will continue to break down at a rapid speed contributing to the cancer epidemic the world is looking at. Global warming will ensure that many parts of the world are lost to flooding causing death and a shifting of the worlds population. This in turn would mean overcrowding of certain areas which brings with it many problems of its own including disease, increased pollution, increased crime and a general fall in the standard of living. Aside from these immediately obvious effects there are problems like extinction of many different species of animals which have their own place and purpose in the ecosystem. Destruction of these animals could mean a plague of others and so on and so on. As you can see the eventual outcome is not pretty. Why then do we continue to ignore this issue and silently hope that it will eventually fix itself. If action is not taken the damage will be irreversible. We have the knowledge to change this catastrophic behaviour so why do we not empower ourselves with it and fight for our forests?
Now this is the last op for the evening from me but a very important one to us all. I for one, am very concerned about the increase in global warming and Americas non-compliance with all other countries on the Kyoto agreement. There is another problem that seems to have been forgotten in all the US scandel - the Amazon Rainforests. I decided to take a look at the Greenpeace site to get some facts and figures. In Brazil in the last 30 years about 15% of the Brazilian rainforest has been chopped down by landowners and sold. Between 1999 -2000 19,836 sq kilometres were chopped down. We are told this equals four million football pitches which really is scary. Something must be done if we are to help save our planet from complete devistation. If we continue to allow large chunks of the rainforest to be chopped down the ozone layer will disappear much faster than it already has - and that will be irreplacable. I for one have sent a letter, which you can find ready to send to the Brazilian President at www.greenpeace.org. I hope that all you dooyooers out there feel the same and send one off it's our future and that of our children so lets not allow it to be destroyed.
I guess we all know what the rainforests are. Tropical trees awash with monkeys and multi-coloured parrots, chopped down by the bull-dozer load by short-sighted foreign farmers. We see the celebrities campaigning to stop the devastation, and we are told how many species are disappearing from these regions per year. Everyone of us feels the sadness in the pit of our societies stomach. The rainforest must be saved, we say, stop the madness. Ultimately, the vast majority of people in the western world would like to see an immediate halt to deforestation. With this kind of people power how can the conservation movement fail? This is where i quote an astonishing figure regarding the hectares felled by logging companies on this single Tuesday. The conservation movement is failing, and will continue to until those few areas which have been protected are all that remains, isolated pockets of canopy across a barren wilderness. We can shout SAVE THE RAINFOREST twice as loud and it will make no difference. Why? We are shouting at the wrong people. Here is a fact: Brazil is the country most in debt in the entire world. To whom is the debt owed? Almost entirely to western banks. How will the debt be paid off? There is no conceivable way in which the debt will ever be paid off. However, the coutry will always strive to do this, and to this end money must be made. Countries make money by exploiting their natural resources. We have coal, gas, north sea oil and, in a similar way, tourism. They have trees. Thus the heart of the problem: the developed worlds economy wants deforestation, it thrives on it. Ours is a society of consumption; we want it, they have to sell it. The perfect capitalist circuit. In summary, my opinion is that, whilst the problems of deforestation will have a massive environmental impact across the world, the process will continue until a way is found to break an economical catch-22. Dont moan at ethnic farmers, instead protest outsi
de the offices of our financial institutions.
The rainforests are a vital part of the eco system of the planet. The debate as to the effect of losing the rain forests, and the rain forests effect on global warming, is still raging amongst the worlds scientists, but whatever the consequences for the world I doubt anyone can say that losing the rainforests would be a good idea. But anyway, what are the rainforests and why are they so important? Rainforests are regions of dense forest, which tend to be found in the hotter parts of the earth around the equator. They cover only 6% of the worlds surface, but they contain 50% of ALL growing wood on the planet. 40% of the worlds species of plant and animals are found in the rainforest. Just think about that for a moment. 50% of the growing wood in the world squashed in to 6% of the earth, containing 40% of all animal and plant species. Before we even get on to climate issues I think we need to think about what we would lose if we lost them. The rainforests are areas of great bio-diversity, there are species that we haven't even seen before that live in the rainforest. And we aren't just talking about losing a few different types of insects, although that in itself would be a disaster, perhaps more importantly plants and animals in the rain forest may hold the cure to many diseases that we can't cure as of yet. I said that the rain forests covered 6% of the worlds surface, but that figure was once as high as 14%. We are destroying the rainforests at an alarming rate, and with it are going countless species of plants and animals that we will never see again. We have already destroyed over 50% of the worlds rainforests, and it could already be too late to undo the damage that is done. Rainforests contain valuable timber, and as the rainforests are mostly in poorer countries they care little about the deforestation, and more about the money that they get for allowing it to happen. Rainforests may also be cleared f
or farming, although this is not a good idea because it is the tree that protects the thin tropical soils and without the trees the soil soon erodes, leaving only desert behind it. The rainforests are also home to many native tribes, who have their own unique culture and way of life. Countless tribes have been destroyed, either because the forest they lived in was destroyed or the loggers brought disease to them. While culture and biodiversity is very important, of greater importance to everyone in the world is the effect that losing the rainforests has on the planet as a whole. The greenhouse effect is caused by excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Trees use this CO2 to grow and emit Oxygen in the process. If we have more trees then the greenhouse effect won't be as bad, so obviously cutting them down is a bad idea. But that's just the basics, because the rainforests are some of the most complex ecosystems on the planet. We cannot tell what effect losing them will have, or what will happen if we keep them. Tree's are composed on the majority of Carbon, so act as carbon stores. All this carbon comes from the atmosphere as they grown. Burning trees obviously releases this carbon again, but there is a deeper problem. Some scientists think that as the CO2 levels have risen over the last 100 years the trees in the rainforests have soaked up more carbon (i.e. acted like a sponge), making global warming milder than it may have otherwise been. If we destroy this carbon sink then global warming could get much worse, very quickly. No one really knows what will happen, but I don't want to risk finding out! So what is the solution? Simply to stop deforestation of the rainforests. It may be too late to undo the damage we have done, but we must stop it and stop it soon. We have to try to encourage the countries that contain the rainforests to stop letting people chop them down. A bit of money should do the trick, as well as banning
all imports that are related to the rainforests. Only by stopping the deforestation of the rainforests, and in tandem reducing CO2 emissions can we hope to avert the disaster that global warming will bring.