Humans have always and probably always will depended on forests to a lesser or greater degree. Trees provide food, shelter from the elements and predators not just to humans but the vast majority of life on land. Unfortunately the forests resources and appeal is its downfall.
Deforestation is probably one of the greatest challenges we face. We need the forests to maintain the atmosphere alongside the burning of fossil fuels our destruction of the forests is a major contributory factor to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and global warming, the effects of which we are only now beginning to feel.
Large-scale deforestation for agricultural and industrial purposes transforms rich and diverse habitat in barren arid land. The resources are quickly repeated and another massive are of forest has to be destroyed to provide yet more. The damage to the land and soil has been done and little can grow on these areas once they have been finished with. Deforestation needs to be stopped before we end up with a planet that is little more than an arid wasteland incapable of supporting life.
Effects of Deforestation on the Environment
Rainforests are the richest and most diverse areas on the planet and are home to the vast majority of the worlds species, many yet to be seen or classified by science. Any one can wander into a rainforest and will fairly quickly discover a new species.
This biodiversity took many millions of years to evolve and can be destroyed with the swipe of a powerful saw. There is no possibility of getting back the estimated 50,000 species that go extinct every year a figure that is increasing. The chance to explore this forest world is disappearing fast and won’t come again once it’s gone, a chance future generations won’t thank us for denying them.
Not only are countless species being lost but also the chance to increase or knowledge of the world, chemicals and medicines unknown to science are out waiting to be discovered. The preservation of the rainforest also means the chance to explore these opportunities and make new discoveries and advance human knowledge.
Effects of Deforestation on Society
The indigenous people, whose home and way of life is turned upside down by the arrival of the lumber lorries, will feel much of the effects of deforestation. They survive by living in harmony with the forest and it’s inhabitants but are often forced to leave or change their way of living in order to survive. This displacement of people and the consequent loss of that culture makes the human race a little poorer. Those that live on the edges of the forest are also affected, as they can no longer gather resources from it for themselves.
These people are unused to living in towns and cities a totally alien culture and are unlikely to have the money, skills or education to make a decent living having learned to live off the land.
Nature cannot be completely replaced by our own efforts even after all our recent advances in technology she does it better than us. Nature serves us in far better ways than the best designed structures and industry, yet we treat her with nothing but contempt and unless we stop the consequences will be dire.