In industrial societies, there are those who believe that deforestation is an inconsequential issue, carrying the belief that it only affects animal welfare and therefore does not bear strong scrutiny. While they are correct that animals in the wild are the immediate casualties of deforestation, they are not the only ones to suffer from this careless act.
Rainforest and Planetary Needs
The rainforest is nature's perfect biosphere. The trees live off carbon dioxide (CO2) to help naturally regulate the climate of the Earth. The principle contributor to planetary warming is the use of fossil fuels. It releases concentrated levels of CO2 that stays in the planet's atmosphere trapping heat that would normally radiate into outer space. NASA Climatologist Dr. James Hansen calculated that between the planet's natural energy disbursement and the consumption of fossil fuels the Earth is generating an output equivalent to 400,000 atomic bombs detonating everyday without a balanced outer atmosphere dispersal ratio. Rather than escaping, the CO2 traps the heat and sends it back down to the Earth's surface creating a fever effect.
To put this effect into familiar terms, it would be like expecting a person to live, thrive, survive, and socially contribute with a chronic body temperature of 104°F (40°C) everyday without any healing time. Trees are nature's fever remedy. They take in the CO2 as a nutrition source and produce oxygen, providing cleaner air and a cooler global temperature. However, when trees are removed it compounds the heating effect and causes precipitation patterns to become erratic.
Besides watering the trees and nourishing animals, the rainfall produced helps to bring moisture to otherwise drought-prone regions of the planet. The destruction of rainforests are linked as primary factors in causing land erosion, desertification, biodiversity depletion, famine, malaria epidemics, and animal extinction.
Human industrialization of rainforests has caused species extinction unmatched in 65 million years. It has taken humans less than 300 years to cause ecological instability and planetary animal eradication. This makes humans a greater force towards species annihilation than the Ice Age. If deforestation remains unchecked, it is expected that 90 percent of the rainforests will be depleted by 2020. This will cause serious outbreaks of illnesses, permanent ecological instability, and an end to our food chain supply. It is estimated that nearly half of all plants and animals found on the planet exist solely in rainforest regions. Dr. Edward O. Wilson, a Pulitzer Prize winning biologist, calculated that 137 species of plants and animals are going extinct each day because of our genus.
Societies practicing industrialization are stripping away the rainforest at a rate faster than we are able to learn about the biodynamic compounds found exclusively in these regions. This leaves "modern man" attempting to put together a 5 million-piece jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing and endeavoring to comprehend what the completed picture is supposed to resemble.
On the entire planet only 5 percent remains rainforest, this approximates out to roughly the size of Australia. Humans have cleared the rest for logging, mining, and fossil fuel extraction. As the rainforests are cleared, local tribal members are forced out of the region and with that is the loss of medicine men.
For all our technological advancements, modern medicine relies on the ancestral knowledge of rainforest tribes. Their collection of data on plants, animals, and a properly balanced ecosystem has been meticulously handed down each generation since the being of human time. If it were not for medicine men sharing their wisdom, the birth of modern medicine would not have existed. Their teachings go beyond plant origins and purposes. They clearly articulate why a diverse animal population is essential to maintaining plant varieties. Medicine men have grown so reluctant to share their intelligence that it is no longer taught to future generations as an attempt to preserve rainforests from any further exploitation. Without their baser knowledge, cures for diseases likely remain unsolved.
- 70 percent of all cancer cures come from rainforests. Because of the knowledge passed on by medicine men, there is an 80 percent chance of surviving a disease that once meant certain death. Our unwillingness to learn that plant and animal diversity is necessary for sustaining human life and our flagrant exploitation of the land cuts us off from receiving ancestral information in the future.
- 80 percent of the world's fruits, vegetables, and nuts originate from rainforests. Without a sustainable core food source, global malnutrition, and famine are plausible outcomes in the foreseeable future.
Stop fossil fuel dependency: This practice is globally detrimental, finite, and unsustainable. Utilize effective Green energy alternatives that are renewable. The theoretically Green fuel called Biofuel is made from palm trees and is the product design of oil companies whose goals are to keep environmentally conscientious people hooked on finite fuel resources to control the market price. The use of palm oil promotes deforestation of rainforests and is unsustainable as a fuel source because they are slow to grow for mass harvesting. There are faster growing vegetable oil alternatives that do not require wiping out rainforests, do not bleed out CO2, and are more environmentally friendly than chronic fossil fuel use.
Tree farms: Generate tier-leveled farms away from rainforest regions. This allows for sensible lumber harvesting and replanting of one area while other tiers continue to grow. It services reasonable human consumption needs and increases the production of oxygen to aid in climate control.
Reduce unnecessary consumerism: People and companies who purchase goods from producers using irresponsible methods are directly supporting those industrial tactics. When consumers stop supporting deforestation for disposable chopsticks, the deaths of children for diamond jewelry, and the slaughtering of animals for fur the unethical practices stop because it is no longer profitable.
Participate in Earth observation days: Do more than observe planetary awareness days. Get friends, family, coworkers, communities, and businesses to participate in productive activities and have fun with it!
World Water Day: 22 March
Earth Hour: 23 March from 830pm to 930pm (2030hrs to 2130hrs)
Earth Day: 22 April
World Environment Day: 5 June
World Animal Day: 4 October
For those interested, sign the Save Animals From Deforestation Initiative.