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Deforestation and Climate Change
Transcript of Deforestation and Climate Change
Although there are many benefits to cutting down trees, deforestation is a major cause of global climate change and therefore we should stop as much deforestation as possible and only cut down the trees that are absolutely necessary for human survival.
“Experts say deforestation threatens a delicate balance in which forests act as Earth's lungs: absorbing carbon dioxide — the biggest contributor to climate change — and expelling oxygen.” (Struck 1).
“the greatest potential damage caused by deforestation is its impact on the global environment” (Cooper 3)
Benefits to Deforestation:
Wood for building and warmth
Natural resources found in forests
Jobs for loggers
Make room for farms or real estate
A Brief History of Deforestation:
8,000 BC: Deforestation began
1,000 BC: Most of China's Forests are now farmland
1,000-1,700: Europe's deforestation causes the extinction of many plants and animals including the dodo bird in 1681
1822: Joseph Fourier discovered the green house gas effect
1954: G. Evelyn Hutchinson, a zoologist at Yale University linked green house gas emission to deforestation
1980: "President Jimmy Carter identified widespread destruction of rain forests as the most serious immediate threat to the environment” (Cooper).
If deforestation continues as it is then “all of the rain forests around the world could vanish in as little as a hundred years” (“Deforestation OVC” 2)
A little known fact is that the deforestation of rain forests, and deforestation in the tropics has contributed three times less to climate change than if one percent of the carbon gasses trapped in boreal forests (Struck).
The United Nations Food and Agriculture involves “the destruction of original forests even as they promote the planting of new trees. Less than 10 percent of … resources are targeted for conservation” (Cooper).
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization stated in 2007, “Deforestation is occurring at the “alarming rate” of about 32 million acres per year — nearly six square miles each hour” (Struck).
“Until now, forests have absorbed about one-third of the world's annual emissions of carbon dioxide. Yet, as the climate warms, forests die if they cannot adapt to the higher temperatures” (Struck)
The UN’s Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) plan, “would, in essence, have affluent nations pay developing nations not to cut down their forests, thereby “offsetting” the pollution created by carbon-producing industries in the developed world” (Struck).
Because in the words of the Once-ler from Dr. Seuss'
“Unless someone like you cares
a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
The world is dying, trees are dying, and many more are being killed. It has been going on forever and doesn’t look like it will be stopping any time soon, but maybe, just maybe we can slow it down.