Save The Trees: Deforestation.

Essay by tb2313University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2005

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Deforestation is a serious problem today, and has been for a long time. It is one of the greatest threats to nature on Earth, if not the single greatest. It is one root cause of soil erosion, the root cause of global warming, and the greatest contributor to the endangerment and extinction of so many species throughout the world. To understand deforestation though, one must know exactly what it is first. Therefore, deforestation is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica Online as "The cutting down and clearing of trees from forests, usually causing ecological harm. The process has occurred as long as wood has been used as an energy source." Furthermore, "In the 1990's, the deforestation of tropical rainforests threatened to increase Earth's carbon dioxide levels, make much land unproductive, and force many plant and animals species into extinction," ("Deforestation" Britannica). Many reasons, including expanding population and resettlement schemes, ranching and pasture development, and the timber industry, are touted as root causes of deforestation (Mitten).

Each and every day more trees around the world are being felled due to the demand for timber, which has nearly doubled in the last twenty years (Mitten). According to Mostafa Tolba, in Audubon, "By the end of the decade, 2.4 billion people will be unable to satisfy their minimum energy requirements without consuming wood faster that it is being grown," (56). Some of the advantages to keeping well-maintained forests are the regulation of fresh water supplies, recycling nutrients and disposal of wastes, and the control of pests and diseases. The clear cutting that is practiced worldwide brings about a great many problems, one of which is the erosion of valuable topsoil. Loss of quality topsoil for farming leads to reduced crop yields, which can result in famine. Famine costs lives, and can...