There are many reasons for which forests are being cut extensively. Firstly and most important, wood is one of the most used and needed resources in the world. Secondly, people cut wood to practice agriculture. We are all aware of the negative effects which the cutting of trees brings, but we rarely understand it in a meaningful way, a way that will determine us to take action.
>> Forests protect us, provide us with oxygen, shelter species of animals and plants that would otherwise disappear, reduce carbon dioxide, etc. The benefits we get from it alive are far larger than the ones we obtain on short term by cutting the forest irrationally. A couple of facts about the effects of deforestation:
>> Forests play a major part in climate change because they absorb carbon dioxide emanations and release oxygen, a function that keeps the atmosphere clear and the air healthy for our lungs. Right now, it is estimated that roughly 15% of the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere are due to excessive deforestation.
>> The forest shelters a major part of all the living creatures; approximately 70% of the
species existent on Earth lives in the forests of the world. Most of them will disappear if their natural habitat is lost. Some already endangered animals or plants that are to be found only in certain parts of the world (and when I say some parts I say in some forests of the world) will become extinct if their ecosystem is destroyed for sure. This is one thing that always happens when man decides to change the course of nature, the balance that has been built in millions of years of evolution is disrupted and that entails negative consequences for the entire planet, sometimes, not only for us. It is actually shocking that we haven’t yet got to comprehend that all the money in the world will be useless if we don’t have where to live anymore.
>> If you cut trees from a forest in great numbers, the forest loses part of its canopy. That causes high fluctuations in temperature: it makes days hotter and nights colder, which can be fatal for some species of plants that are not able to adapt to these abrupt temperature swings.
>> The fourth negative consequence that deforestation entails is the erosion of the soil. That is something that concerns us – the human species directly. The roots of trees keep the soil from eroding and causing vegetation growth problems, but they also prevent landslides, which means your house won’t slide down the hill one day, carrying you with it. These are events that are taking place right now and about which we hear everyday on TV.
If you are fascinated with apocalypse movies, you have one going on right now, under your eyes, and it’s not spectacular and there’s no superhero that is coming to our rescue. Deforestation is a matter of individual change. If all people would plant a tree, in a couple of years you could see the difference. For now, we need to focus in adopting policies that prohibit trees cutting in a destructive manner and find ways to replace wood as an economical resource with other reliable options.