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Long ago, the Earth had a green belt of rain forests around its middle that covered almost twelve percent of the earth's land surface.(Miller & Berry 3) Today, the rain forest covers two percent of the earth's land surface and it is declining rapidly. The following will be a description of the rain forest, factors in its destruction, and if there are any answers to slow or halt the process. 'Today, as we enter the last decade of the twentieth century, we have reached a turning point; we can no longer use the excuse of ignorance.'(Hammond 2) People need to try harder to stop rain forest depletion. There are two major areas on earth where rain forests are located. One of these areas is called 'The Old World Tropics,' which includes Africa and Asia. In Africa, the rain forests are primarily located around the Zaire river.
The other area in which rain forests are located is called 'The New World Tropics,' which contains Central and South America. The New World tropics are in lower altitudes as opposed to the Old World tropics, which are at higher altitudes. Rain forests are located around the equator. This location of the rain forests makes them warm and humid all year round. There are never cold winters in the rain forests. During winter in the rain forests, people comfortably are able to wear T-shirts and shorts.
The rain forest has a rainy season which usually lasts most of the year. 'The rain forests of the world are home to more than half of the animal species that live on earth.'(CSIRO 1) Many of these creatures are some of the most beautiful and odd creatures in the world, Such as the large rodent Capybara, the Anteater, and many different colorful exotic birds. There are many beautiful creatures living in our Earth's rain forests. Many people are ignorant to the effects of rain forest depletion on our environment, and this ignorance is a major cause in the beginning of the destruction of the rain forests. 'European settlers exploited the rain forests for timber and cleared them for agricultural purposes.'(Parish 4) 'The name scrub, which was originally applied to the rain forest by European settlers, became a term for land seen as useless until subject to ax, fire, and plough.'(Parish 4) People did not think of the affects on the environment because the little knowledge that was known about the affects was not very widespread. Another cause in the destruction of the rain forest is people's values.
'Many people value species according to their worth to human beings.'(Miller & Berry 3) People often ignore the problems with the environment simply because they do not want to deal with it. 'Natural checks against over exploitation have been ignored because those who are now consuming the products of the rain forest are not those who experience the immediate effects of its degredation.'(Hammond 2) Many people believe that they will not live long enough to face the consequences of the destruction but they do not realize how fast the rain forests are depleting. Recently in Borneo's Sarawak rain forest, 24 cavers and scientists are braving the rain forests elements and creatures to save the regions natural riches. The cavers and scientists are trying to find plant and animal life diverse enough to protect it from mining and to declare it a national park. 'Whether the government sets aside the area this year, in five years or never depends on what's discovered out there.'(Webster 5) This is a case that often occurs in rain forests. Many governments see no reason to protect the rainforest unless there is an important plant or creature that lives in it. 'With chain saws, bulldozers, and other powerful equipment, we can bring the giant trees of the rain forest, the very symbol of strength and majesty, crashing to the ground from their lofty heights in just a few hours.'(Miller & Berry 3) All of this destruction and havoc is leading our world straight into events that will threaten life on earth itself.
Some of the possible results in the future if the depletion does not stop immediately are global warming and increasing ultra violet radiation as the ozone layer of the atmosphere thins. 'Already 80 percent of rain forest frogs and forty percent of rain forest birds are rare, declining or threatened with distinction.'(Parish 4) This is eighty percent of the frogs and forty percent of the birds which are a part of the fifty percent of Earth's entire animal species. The depletion of tropical species effects much of the biodiversityof rain forests, which is the variety of living things.(Miller & Berry 3) The variety of living things and preserving their environment is very necessary in the survival of life. 'People sometimes become more interested in protecting individual species of animals that may be endangered than preserving the animals' habitats, which are so necessary for survival.'(Miller & Berry 3) Hope in repairing the damage done to the rain forests unfortunately leads to unpleasant news. Trying to repair the damage would be like trying to put a band aid over a gaping wound. 'While we cannot rebuild the rain forests, scientists believe it may be possible to establish small islands of artificial rain forests using tree planting of a range of rain forest tree species.'(CSIRO 1) The best solution in the present to maintain and preserve our environment is to merely put a stop to chopping, burning and literally torturing Earth's rain forests.
If the destruction would stop now life on Earth would be much more prolonged. If every person in the world knew about the rain forest being destroyed and the future effects, destruction would not be tolerated. Humans cannot understand what they do not know. People who do not know what is going on do not see anything wrong with the destruction of the rain forests. Education about the rain forest needs to be spread in order for humankind to understand it. The rain forest is a very beautiful and mystical place.
It is full of wonders and creatures that look as if they are imaginary and were derived from a dream. It has so much meaning to our world that it is hard to imagine why people would destroy it. People may think that they are just rain forests, and if they were destroyed, they would be the only thing destroyed. The Earth must really love it's rain forests because if they go, so does the earth. Destroying the rain forests is like taking away the earth's imagination and ability to dream. People have to seek harder to stopping the rain forest's damage.
If every person just stopped and stepped out of their busy worlds of business and society , and would take some time to give a little bit of money or spread the word, they could buy our rain forests peace. Solving the rain forest problem could be one of the biggest steps ahead in history, the time when humans stepped together to right their wrong..
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