Research/ Final Version
May 21, 2012
The Impact of Deforestation on People and the Environment
How is the rate of deforestation, the process of cutting down forests, affecting the populations of trees and animals in the environment? The answer is quite simple, actually. Forests are crucial to the commonwealth of people, as well as scientific research and studies. Although it cannot restore extinct plants and animals, reforestation, the process of reversing deforestation, is one of the only ways of stopping the effects of deforestation. If done excessively, deforestation is harmful to people, as it is devastation for the livelihood of poor countries located in forested areas. Deforestation has many causes, with most of them being relevant to human needs. Humans need natural resources from forests, but rainforests are starting to disappear rapidly as humans keep cutting them down for their resources. In the same way, deforestation is increasing at an alarmingly fast and dangerous rate for both animals and humans. Deforestation is and has been tearing animals away from their homes, which, in effect, will give animals no shelter from their environment. Forests don’t grow back overnight. Once forests have been cut down, it is nearly impossible for them to recover from such a tragedy once the topsoil has been exposed to the sun for a certain amount of time. On the other hand, deforestation is helpful, because the products of deforestation provide for human needs, and the wood from deforestation provides warmth for many different people. Although it is useful to people, deforestation is harmful to many animals, because it unkindly tears their homes away. This has huge impacts on global warming when trees are being cut down at such a quick rate, and there are few solutions to global warming. Forests are crucial to the commonwealth of people, as well as scientific research and studies. For example, oils found in plants are important to the survival of some people with certain illness. Likewise, Rebecca Lindsey, author of the article “Tropical Deforestation,” writes “Some plants and oils found in the rainforests may contain ingredients that are really helpful in some medicines that may cure cancer, the common cold, and many other illnesses and infections” (2). Tropical plants in forests being cut down have very low survival chances. Likewise, the online article written on January 4, 2012, “Global Deforestation,” presents since less than 1% of tropical plants have been tested for uses in medicines, current deforestation will have consequential results in the extinction of plants. Drugs like vincristine and vinblastine dramatically improve the effectiveness of treatments for leukemia and many other forms of cancer (6). Back to talking about extinction of plants and animals, Rebecca Lindsey talks about how our economy somewhat depends on deforestation products. For instance, on the topic of deforestation, author she describes, “First, global markets consume rainforest products that depend on sustainable harvesting…” (2). In the same way, we also depend on deforestation products for luxury, decoration for our homes, and warmth for our family. Additionally, in the online article “Global Deforestation,” the author declares “Forests are the source of numerous non-wood products, including bark, incense, oils, tanning compounds, and waxes.” (5). Cutting down forests for these products causes great harm to forests, and they might not grow back once having been cut down. For this reason, in the online article “Global Deforestation,” the author talks about a famous study by Hubbard Brook, the man who found that stream flows greatly increased because the forest was no longer transpiring water and that nutrient outflow was also greatly increased (6). As a continuation, when nutrient outflow is increased, forests are very hard to sustain. When humans make room for cities and malls where forests ought to...