Madeline W. Michigan

Nature Needs Our Help!

Stopping the destruction of our environment through deforestation will help to save plants, animals, and ourselves.

Dear future president,

Deforestation is the mass killing of trees that is occurring throughout the world, however, no matter where it happens, it affects us all. Ruining our environment can create a rapid decline in environmental health as well as our own. Deforestation is such a common practice that, “About 36 footballs worth of trees (are) lost every minute,” as researched by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). So much is lost it’s almost incomprehensible. It’s usually done by slash and burn techniques in which vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land. This will make these portions of the Earth infertile, or unable to support vegetation anymore.

Supporters of killing our environment may say that deforestation is necessary to meet production needs of many items like paper and wood. Chocolate is one of those items too, according to Michelle Kovacevic on blog.cifor.org, who states that deforestation is needed to expand smallholder cocoa farms. But does a chocolate bar really matter more than the countless lives, plant and animal alike, residing within forests? National Geographic voices, “The most dramatic impact (of deforestation) is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.” This loss of life will be devastating for forest ecosystems, which in turn could be devastating to us as humans.

The heartless may say that there really isn’t a need for any of these organisms so their removal isn’t a big deal. This might be because they don’t have the knowledge of what the effect of mass destruction of our surroundings can have on the Earth. But it matters. A lot. Not only is being responsible for the disappearance of millions of lives from the Earth flat out wrong, but it could result in our own disappearance as well. Think about it. When one organism is killed off, those dependent on it will die too. Then another organism dependent on that one will suffer the same fate. This cycle will continue on until the interconnecting dependencies run out. Now imagine this happening to not one chain of organisms, but millions. National Geographic states that the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years if deforestation continues like it has been. If this, and the fact that seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests is true, then there is no way human populations will remain unaffected by this epidemic.

Still not convinced this is a serious issue? Deforestation also contributes to global warming. Scientific American says that deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more carbon dioxide to the environment than the sum total of cars and trucks on the road. Scientific American also says, “The reason that logging is so bad for the climate is that when trees are felled they release the carbon they are storing into the atmosphere, where it mingles with greenhouse gases from other sources and contributes to global warming accordingly.” This proves that not only are we harming our planet’s beings, but now our surroundings too. Global warming contributes to climate change with what NASA says will cause temperatures to continues to rise, changes in precipitation patterns, more droughts and heat waves, stronger hurricanes, rising sea levels, and the arctic to become ice-free. All of these are factors that will injure our sensitive planet. All of these could have help being prevented by ending deforestation.

The detrimental future of our environment can be changed with the help of the White House. It is entirely possible for the American government to institute a policy that prevents deforestation. Reducing the amount of deforestation doesn’t even have to affect the production of goods that come out of this process. All that would need to be done is a transition from getting new materials to recycling old materials. Either that or at least make it law that for every tree these companies cut down, at least one needs to be planted in its place. Getting rid of the habit of just taking from our planet and not giving back would benefit the Earth greatly. We would take away one less man-made cause for global warming and save innumerable lives of those who depend on forests to live. Deforestation is a serious environmental issue that needs to be solved before our own mistakes slash and burn us down instead.

-Madeline Watson