Canopies of Beauty | Teen Ink

Canopies of Beauty

December 17, 2007
By Anonymous

Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and looking up to see golden sunlight acting as a halo to the protruding green leaves of a red cedar tree. Imagine hearing the joyous songs of tropical birds and tasting the sweet splashes of fresh, wild berry juice. About 42 million acres of these heavenly places are destroyed every year. We live in a world where beauty is a rare and wonderful treasure. How can we destroy the things that capture
that? Mother nature's natural beauty should not be destroyed by deforestation because of its harmfully effects on both the environment and the creatures living in the rainforest, and
because there are better options.

The lives of future generations count on how we protect our environment. By stoping the destruction of the rainforests, preservation for the future will become easier. The Facts and Figures section of Rainforest Live tells that tropical rainforests act as a global air conditioner by
absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, storing the carbon, and releasing fresh, clean oxygen. When all this is destroyed how will life go on? For the people near the Ganges Plain, in India,
severe flooding, because of deforestation, plays a depressing factor in their lives. Just because
these tragedies don't happen to us doesn't mean we can't do our part. Not only are rainforest essencial to the atmosphere, but also to health. "People who live in the rainforests have used
the chemical compounds of many plant species such as drugs and medicines," says Martin Banks in his book Conserving Rain Forests. "Curare, ipecac, wild yam, and Madagascar
periwinkle are just a few examples of plants whose compounds are used to fight major diseases such as cancer, leukemia, muscular and heart diseases(36)." If we don't keep these phenominal
resources of the rainforests alive our economy will drop.

Just like our own house pets, the animals in the rainforests need homes. When we strip the land of trees we are also stripping animals of their homes. Rainforest Live says,"We lose fifty species nevery day -- 2 per hour -- due to tropical deforestation." If we keep destroying these homes hardly any precious animals will be left, which could lead to airplane disasters.
"Biologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich have likened the loss of individual species, from bacteria to mammals, to the continued loss of rivets that hold an airplane together." Also, 90% of all
primates are found in tropical rainforests and 80% of insects as well. These animals are not just here, they can do many beneficial things like the cattle we raise. Facts and Figures states that land is cleared for cattle grazing but,"... land cleared for pasture or farming degrades quickely and is usually abandoned." In a way rainforest destruction can be considered selfish because it is only benefiting us.

There is no point to excessive deforestation when better alternatives are available. In earlier times other fibers were used to make paper. Lori Weston says, "... because of deforestation and high costs of wood pulp, a number of countries are turning back to other sources of fiber," in her article Tree-Free Paper. Although wood can be used to build furniture and
buildings, there is a point where deforestation becomes to much. Rhett Butler's article Tropical Rainforests: Saving What Remains tells of a five step concept to saving rainforests and ecosystems.The first step is to teach. Help others realize the wrongs of deforestation. Next, Restore. Do all
that is possible, maybe plant a tree! Encourage. Help others to live in a way that doesn't harm the environment. Establish parks to help protect the rainforests. Last, give support to the companies that strive to protect what we still have. Weston states,"Tree-free paper is becoming available to the North American Consumer(9)." If buying this paper can save a life, it is one of the easiest things to come to pass.

The concerns of rainforest deforestation don't have to continue. Even one simple action can make a difference in our childrens lives or draw the line between life and death. If we keep on destroying these peaceful, beautiful sanctuaries our prosperity will only be able to imagine these wonders. So, consider the environment, inocent animal lives, and all alternatives before you make the decision that effects everyone and everything in one way or another.

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