The Detrimental Effects of Deforestation

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The Detrimental Effects of Deforestation

Deforestation has been around for many years. Before America was discovered, fuelwood was the main source of energy, so many trees were being cut down all over Europe to provide energy for the inhabitants. Even still today, 2000 million people in low income countries still rely on wood for cooking and heating (Causes, 1).

The rate at which we are loosing our world’s forests is steadily increasing. During the 1980’s, worldwide deforestation rates were at 15 million hectares per year for tropical forests alone (WRM, 1). This compares with 11.3 million hectares that were lost annually during the 70’s- a 50 percent increase (The Problems, 1). And as one might expect, this trend is being continued into the 90’s, as in most parts of the world, the rate of deforestation accelerated during this decade (WRM, 1).

There are billions of people living on this earth and we all use paper and wood. So why do we need to concern ourselves with deforestation? I would like to point out several reasons why I feel that deforestation is a problem that we need to work towards correcting.

First of all, the effects of deforestation are felt in the atmosphere. Trees soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere so that we can breath clean, healthy air. If trees help us breathe, then why are we cutting so many of them down? Besides, forests help stabilize the climate. Cutting down forests releases carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, causing 25% of the net warming effect on this planet (Durning, 21).

Forests provide us with beauty as well. Deforestation takes away some of the beauty of our great country and world. There is nothing I enjoy more than driving through a forest and feeling pride to liv...

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