Try to Make a Difference

December 3, 2011
By Rainshina SILVER, Chesterfield, Missouri
Rainshina SILVER, Chesterfield, Missouri
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Many people believe that tropical deforestation is a topic of no major consequence. This viewpoint is gravely incorrect, and may be largely due to a feeling of distance from the problem among Americans, as well as general ignorance. The situation is often written off as the measly complaints of poor, third-world countries and one of the many idiosyncrasies of hippies.

Sadly, this is not the case; the dangers of deforestation are most definitely real. 2.4 acres of rainforest are destroyed every second, totaling to one square mile desecrated in twenty-six minutes. Much of this is due to logging, the chopping of trees for their valuable resources. With a growing wave of environmentalists, logging has been illegalized in many countries. However, logging has turned such a prodigious profit that man firms have resorted to doing it illicitly. Are the blockheads who teach about environmental consciousness really all either idiots or not to be trusted? If not, why don’t we listen to them? Large organizations such as Greenpeace are dedicated to ending the destruction and spreading the word to benevolent people. Conspiracy theorists and treehuggers seem to make up a small portion of the community against deforestation.

The rainforests are not devoid of life; people are being harmed! Many indigenous tribes make their homes there. Generations have been raised to love and to rely on the forest for their daily needs. Some are kidnapped and forced to do unpaid labor for the illegal logging companies. However, the government can invade the land of the indigenous people as well, and they do not always ask kindly for the people to abandon everything. The tribes are often forced to relocate into urban areas and find it difficult to integrate into modern society. This can be compared to the average middle-class American being abruptly deposited in China.

Still, many Americans insist that no action is necessary to combat deforestation. After all, Brazil is across the world! Surely there are enough trees to go around for the poor people. This mentality is not to be encouraged. The timber trade is global. Thus, many illegally-obtained products are likely to be transported into the United States. Your fancy new dining-room set? That lumber you got for dirt cheap in the shady hardware store? The paper you use to write letters, create business transactions, and do homework? All of these and more could have been obtained illegally in the rainforests. Fiber-testing technology is used to examine products, and in 2009 U.S. investigators discovered illegal wood in Gibson guitars. Many animals’ homes are also destroyed; what good person can just sit by? This interruption of the ecosystem will have lasting effects of nature globewide.
If deforestation is not stopped, the resources will soon be exhausted, and the greedy firms will turn to… where? Your garden? The global economy will plummet, and the entire planet will be thrown out of whack. However, this can be prevented from happening, if one will accept the problem. Donations can be made to Greenpeace and other organizations. You can also choose to become a professional in the field of law or science and help with the effort to end deforestation.
The rainforests, and the world at large, are at the mercy of the people Wealthy Americans who are able to greatly help the cause often scoff and declare deforestation to be someone else’s problem. These people should try to learn as much as they can about deforestation and its effects on the world. They should try to make a difference.

The author's comments:
Part three of my multiple-genre project on tropical deforestation: the persuasive. Intended to spur the indifferent people to action.

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