“In the minute that it takes you to read this page, a piece of tropical rainforest the size of 10 city blocks will vanish forever” (Lewis, 1990, pg 40). Rainforests around the world are being destroyed at such rates, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.
The rainforests are “home to over half of all living things [and]…cover less than 7 percent of the land surface of the globe” (Lewis, 1990, pg 14).
This paper analyzes tropical rainforest destruction from many different perspectives because there are several contributing factors to the destruction of rainforests. Topics addressed in this paper include: an introduction to rainforests, causes and examples of rainforest destruction around the world, results of rainforest destruction and solutions to rainforest destruction. At the end of this paper there is an appendix to aid the reader in understanding the concepts presented.
Why are rainforests important?
Rainforests are an asset to the entire world. The destruction of rainforests worldwide is a problem because it eliminates habitat for wild life and depletes the earth of vital environmental services.
“Environmental services are what nature provides for human beings at no charge. Conservationists point out that people take these services for granted, so they are undervalued, exploited, and disappearing…We rely on forests for wood, medications, and food…on plants to pump oxygen into the atmosphere and absorb carbon dioxide; on wildlife to keep pests in check and distribute seeds and pollinate plants that provide us with food and other goods…If we put a price tag on these services, we might be more disposed to protecting earth’s other living inhabit...
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...edication will prevent the complete decimation and destruction of the rainforests upon which the planet so desperately depends.
1) Alexander Cockburn, S. H. (1989). The Fate of the Forest. New York: Courier
2) Gallant, R. A. (1991). Earth's Vanishing Forests. New York: Macmillan Publishing
3) Gay, K. (2001). Rainforests of the World (2 ed.). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
4) Institute, W. W. (2000). Vital Signs 2000 (1 ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
5) Josep M. Camarasa, R. F. (2000). Encyclopedia of the Biosphere (Vol. 2). Michigan:
The Gale Group.
6) Jukofsky, D. (2002). Encyclopedia of Rainforests. Connecticut: Oryx Press.
7) Lewis, S. (1990). The Rainforest Book. Los Angeles: Living Planet Press.
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