The Issues Surrounding the Amazon Rainforest

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The Issues Surrounding the Amazon Rainforest

The battle for the Amazon rainforest is a daunting task. It’s a long going battle between miners, loggers, and developers against the indigenous people who call it home. It’s a battle like any battle in a war; it affects lives, families, the economy, politics, and the environment amongst other things. The main topic of this debate is the effects of the Amazon deforestation on the people who live in it, this will be the focus of this research paper. In this paper, I will discuss the history, causes, effects and solutions for the Amazon rainforest deforestation.

The environmental problems of today started a long time ago, before automobiles, electricity, and the Industrial Revolution. From ancient times to present day, humans have changed the world in which they live. As population increase and technology advances, more significant and widespread problems arise. The Amazon rainforest has not been spared from this. The Amazon region has long been seen as a land of great riches. “Early Europeans and others have long been fascinated by the Amazon, with early visions of a land of gold, the legend of ‘El Dorado’” (Faminow 32). The European invasion bought with it the increased population and new technologies that had a drastic effect to the Amazonian region, which was once considered safe from exploitation. This problem has continued to the present, with higher consequences. Ehrlich explains, “today, unprecedented demands on the environment from a rapidly expanding human population and from advancing technology are causing a continuing and accelerated decline in the quality of the environment and it’s ability to sustain life” (98). As a result, the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at an alarming rate, affecting all those that live in the region.

To understand the scope of the changes taking place, Howard Facklam has come up with some staggering statistics, he says, “it was estimated at one point in the 1980’s that the Amazon basin was being cleared at the rate of 50 acres a minute; another estimate put the rate at 78,000 square miles per hear” (53). These are astronomical numbers when you come to think of it, to put it into perspective, that’s roughly the size of the state of Idaho. Such deforestation has an alarming affect, “it means the loss of a multiplicity of products: Food, fibers, medicine...

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...e papers about it. It doesn’t mean that the problem has gone away, it’s still very much alive. It’s just not getting the coverage and attention it has before and that’s where the shame lies. People need to know about this, the more the better. It’s a valuable resource that mankind cannot afford to lose.


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Facklam, Howard. Plants: Extinction or Survival?. New Jersey: Enslow. 2000.

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York: CAB International. 2002.

Gradwohl, Judith & Russel Greenburg. Saving the Tropical Forests. Washington D.C..

Island Press. 2003.

Hecht, Susanna. The Fate of the Forest. London. 2001.

Hornaday, Anne. “Earth’s Threatened Resources.” Congressional Quarterly. 2 Sept.

2003: 28-29.

Linden, Eugene. “Paradise Lost?” Time. 19 July 2000: 50-51.

Smith, Duane A. “My Trip to the Rain Forest.” Mining America: The Industry and

The Environment. 3 Sept. 2001: 66.

Stewart, Douglas Ian. After the Trees. Austin: University of Texas Press: 2004.

Tropical Deforestation: the human dimension. Ed. Leslie E. Sponsel. New York:

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