Since the dawn of time, the earth has provided protection and nourishment to its
inhabitants; the ozone layer providing protection from the sun's harmful rays, the vast
forests providing oxygen and shelter, the rivers and oceans providing life sustaining
water. Until the industrial age, man's relationship with his environment had been a
beneficial one, in which only what was needed, was taken. However, with the advent of
technology and machines, mankind has slowly sunk deeper into the recesses of
destruction, rather than necessity. Blessed with the gift of intelligence mankind must
make an effort to curb the slow, but sure depletion and destruction of the earth's
Nature has been kind to its inhabitants: providing us with plentiful resources. However
man has in recent times, drained these resources, not out of necessity but out of greed.
Healthy forests are critical to ensuring clean water supplies, pure air, abundant fish stocks
and wildlife - the diversity of species on which all life depends.
Forests mitigate global
warming by absorbing and storing carbon. Intact forests regulate regional and global
hydrologic cycles insuring clean and adequate supplies of water. In addition, intact
forests hold soils in place, preserving fertility, and preventing floods, landslides and the
destructive siltation of fish spawning streams. Mankind has placed more importance on
paper and lumber than he has on the environment. Possible solutions include using
alternative sources for the creation of paper, and/or the recycling of existing paper.
However to the problem of deforestation there is only one solution: the severe regulation
of logging in industrial countries. Although the outlook appears grim, mankind can stop,
or at least slow down, what he started. Nature works in mysterious ways, and will
someday replenish her precious forests.
Perhaps earth's greatest gift to its inhabitants is protection from the sun's harmful...