With our growing population, deforestation around the world is at an all-time high. We are removing large swaths of forest around the planet at alarming rates. This practice makes way for agricultural development, wood extraction for housing, and infrastructure development. By removing all these trees, we are removing valuable carbon storage resources and negatively impacting our already unstable climate. Also, we are destroying ecosystems that house other species that benefit our very existence on this planet. These unsustainable practices will affect future populations if we don’t stop now and develop a large-scale, sustainable operation to support our growing population.
Forest act as our planet’s air filtration system. They pull in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. A single tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year from our atmosphere. Trees are our most effective weapon against climate change. With our growing population and governments’ needs to support their people, we are destroying forests faster than they can regrow. In effect, carbon dioxide levels rise in our atmosphere. Leading to an overall temperature rise globally, allowing for more natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. Creating economic strife and heartache for the very people that governments are trying to support.
Another effect of deforestation is the breakdown of natural migration routes for different animal species. There is an island off the coast of Brazil named Snake Island. It’s named that for the large population of snakes that live there. The dominant species there is the Lancehead Viper, one of the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world. Being secluded to this island, their main source of food is migratory birds that stop on the island en route to the Amazonian Rainforest to rest. In recent years, with the rise of deforestation in the rainforest, scientists have noticed a decline in birds’ migration to the area. In turn, reducing the amount of food for the Lancehead Viper. It is believed, this will eventually lower its population and may even starve that population out completely, allowing for the snakes’ extinction. You may be asking yourself, “Why does that matter to me?” well, it should matter whether you believe in science or theology because the universal belief is that all species are here for a reason, to create balance. Another reason is that creepy snakes’ venom is used in blood pressure medicine worldwide. We all must understand that we are stuck in this world together. All life here is interdependent. Humans’, as the apex species of this planet, are charged with the stewardship of it. That is our burden.
So, with an exploding population, how do we deal with this deforestation issue? Well, we first need to set aside political differences. Politicians should stop pandering to these lobbyists that line their pockets, then acknowledge together there is a problem, and develop sustainable practices of farming trees just as we do food. The trees will allow our climate to stabilize. Develop a more sustainable way of harvesting the trees for building materials and more forest-based green areas should be implemented in our cities, along with the practice of afforestation, planting new forest, should become more common. Many may think this is a radical approach to the problem, but the way we are heading leads us straight to global extinction. So, I’m of the mindset that radical circumstances call for radical preventive measures.
Over the last hundred years or so, our population has increased dramatically, resulting in the consumption of more and more of our planet’s raw materials. Deforestation has become a problem throughout the world. The need to feed the global population, house them, and create infrastructure has driven the consumption of our forest figuring out a way to create a balance in our needs as a population and the health of our planet is paramount in the survival of all species. We will need to evolve our approach to this if we want to sustain this world to pass on to future generations.