Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Topic 1: Deforestation

(This original post was lost due to browser malfunction. Out of frustration, the rewrite will be shorter.)

Put simply, deforestation is the conversion of forested lands to farmland, mines, housing developments, ect. Clearcutting forests can negatively affect both the climate and biodiversity of an area.

About half of the mature tropical forests, between 750 to 800 million hectares of the original 1.5 to 1.6 billion hectares that once covered the planet have fallen. Unless significant measures are taken on a world-wide basis to preserve them, by 2030 there will only be ten percent remaining [3][6] with another ten percent in a degraded condition.[3] 80 percent will have been lost and with them the irreversible loss of hundreds of thousands of species. (Wikipedia)

I have a spiritual connection of sorts with trees and forests. I remember when I visited Northern California to spend four weeks camping in various national forests. My gut twisted every time I saw a logging truck go by. Economies are supported by both logging, and farming, and also by development, but at the same time, the measures which are being taken seem drastic. Wikipedia says:

Short-term economic gains made by conversion of forest to agriculture, or over-exploitation of wood products, typically leads to loss of long-term income and long term biological productivity (hence reduction in nature's services). West Africa, Madagascar, Southeast Asia and many other regions have experienced lower revenue because of declining timber harvests.

Some sites:

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