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Deforestation Of The Rainforests Essay

989 words - 4 pages

Rainforest Deforestation
The intensity of the beauty of the rainforest is indescribable and timeless, and cannot be simply captured by a photograph. It’s one of nature’s most mystical biological treasures, created over millions of years. However, the rainforest is far from just being a beautiful refuge for exotic animals because also rainforests have a profound effect on the lives of humans around the world. Most people are simply not educated about deforestation and the distinct characteristics that rainforests possess which are vital to our existence. This ignorance is leading to the evitable extinction of rainforests around the world, and will profoundly affect every human being on the planet. In the past, rainforests covered near 14% of the world’s surface; only a mere 6% is left today. Scientists also project that within forty years the rainforests will completely disappear (Taylor). This means that our generation will be responsible for the extinction of fifty percent of the world’s animals and plants, which include many species of organisms that have created cures to cancers ("Rainforests Facts | The Nature Conservancy"). To understand the issue of rainforest deforestation further, one must take an adventure directly into these complex ecosystems themselves.
The diversity of wildlife found in the rainforests is incomparable to any other environment on earth, and they are considered the oldest ecosystems on the planet. The rare climate characteristics of rainforests create a perfect habitat capable of sustaining biological life on a grand scale by having a constant temperature of 70 to 80 degrees; along with almost guaranteed daily rainfall ("Rainforest Biomes"). Many species of animals and plants in the rainforests number in the millions, and a multitude of these species are considered endemic, which means they are not found anywhere else on earth. Every acre in the rainforest is suggested to house over 750 different types of trees and 1,500 different species of plants. Devastatingly, this incredibly diverse kingdom is being destroyed everyday at the hands of men. Over 50,000 species of plants and animals have become extinct every year due to deforestation (Taylor).
There is no doubt that you, or someone you know, has been affected by a plant-derived medication found in the rainforests. For example, a plant called the periwinkle contains the basis of a special drug called Vincristine. Vincristine is one of the world’s most powerful anti-cancer drugs and has saved thousands of children with Leukemia since its discovery. However, the periwinkle is just one of the hundreds of plant species used in western medicine, seeing that 25% of all western medicine is derived from specific ingredients found only in rainforests ("Facts on the Rainforest"). Given that scientists have only had the opportunity to study 1% of all plant life in the rainforest, we could literally be killing the cures for many devastating diseases: “The U.S. National...

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