Going Going Gone

January 22, 2009
By Chris Langlett, Centennial, CO

Going, Going, Gone
By Chris Langlett

Our world is at risk of losing one of our most natural eco-systems, the tropical rainforest. We need to band together and fight to preserve this prestigious habitat. The time is now.

Going, Going, Gone

This mysterious, majestic, magnificent paradise covers 2% of our world, wrapping the globe like a hula hoop. Rainforests take in carbon dioxide and produce clean air also known as oxygen. One of the most truly amazing facts is that the rainforest is home to two thirds of all living species on earth. Almost half of all medical compounds come from the plants in this lush forest. If there is a cure for cancer and other deadly diseases it will be found in the plants in these forests. Every year an area the size of the state of Florida is lost. At this rate of destruction the rainforest will be gone as fast as food on Thanksgiving.

Going, Going, Gone

Why are we destroying this forest? The main causes of this are logging, tourism, agriculture, mining, and dams. Commercial logging cuts down mature trees that have been selected for their timber. The heavy machinery destroys most of the trees that aren’t cut down. The tracks left by the machines end up eroding during big rains. The number two cause is agriculture. Forests are slashed and burned for crops and for cattle. Dams blocking the rivers causing flooding which destroys the natural habitat of the rainforest. Every year an area the size of the state of Florida is lost. At this rate of destruction the rainforest will be gone as fast as food on Thanksgiving. All of this destruction is caused by the selfishness of man.

Going, Going, Gone

In the 1500’s there was an estimated 6 to 9 million indigenous people thriving in the tropical rainforests. Since then the population has slowly declined to 250,000 people. These people can provide an untold amount of knowledge of the benefits of the rainforest. Astonishingly, mankind hasn’t taken the steps necessary to protect these people and their native land.

Going, Going, Gone

Every year we lose approximately 9,000 species that once lived innocently in the rainforest. Preserving the habitat of these precious animals helps maintain the balance in the rainforest. If one animal becomes extinct it can affect other animals in the area. If the jaguar’s food sources dies out then it will be doomed. Everyone loves the pictures of the cute red-eyed tree frog they too will be an animal only seen in pictures if something is not done. Can you imagine a world without amphibians? Primates? Insects? Fish? and Reptiles? I can’t. This thought is inconceivable.

Going, Going, Gone

Every second we lose an area the size of two football fields. This catastrophic consequence can be reversed. There are many organizations that are dedicated to preserving this eco-system. But they can’t do it alone. We must get involved. There are ways you can help at home. Recycle. Carpool. Reuse. Turn heat down. Don’t leave water running. Get involved. If we all work together we will have a chance in saving this unexplored environment.

Going , Going, Gone

This senseless destruction must be stopped. If strong and decisive action is not taken immediately the consequences could be catastrophic. We will experience the largest extinction of animals since the dinosaurs. There will not be enough oxygen to breathe. As the late, great conservationasists, Steve Irwin said, “I believe biggest issue the whole world is facing is habitat destruction.” Get involved now. It is up to our generation to save the rainforest.

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