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Rain Forest Depletion Essay

1458 words - 6 pages

Rainforest depletion is a matter concerning not only the furry little creatures and pretty little plants of said forests, but a matter concerning the entire population of our planet earth. Rainforests are believed by most to be valuable to the survival of the human race. These vast forests provide oxygen, medicinal cures, clues to the origins of earth, and countless other secrets not yet known to mankind. Rainforests once sprawled across the globe. At one time, rainforests covered 14% of the earth's land surfaces. They now account for only 6% of the earth's land surface (Taylor). Rainforests are being harvested at a rate of one and one-half acres per second (Taylor). At this rate, scientists believe rainforests could be completely wiped out in a mere 40 years. Experts estimate a loss of 137 plant, animal and insect species everyday, a disturbing 50,000 species a year lost to rainforest depletion (Calbreath). There are 121 prescription drugs made from rainforest-derived plants. Today we have reached a turning point; we can no longer use the excuse of ignorance. People need to try harder to stop rainforest depletion.There are two major areas on earth where rainforests are located. One of these areas is called The Old World Tropics, which includes Africa and Asia. In Africa, the rain forests are primarily located around the Zaire river. The other area in which rainforests are located is called The New World Tropics, which contains Central and South America. The New World tropics are in lower altitudes as opposed to the Old World tropics, which are at higher altitudes. Rainforests are located around the equator. This location of the rainforests makes them warm and humid all year round. There are never cold winters in the rainforests. During winter in the rainforests, people comfortably are able to wear T-shirts and shorts. The rainforest has a rainy season which usually lasts most of the year.There are many causes driving rainforest depletion but the most prevalent is ignorance. Many people are ignorant to the effects of rainforest depletion on our environment, and this ignorance is a major cause in the beginning of the destruction of the rain forests. European settlers exploited the rain forests for timber and cleared them for agricultural purposes. The name scrub, which was originally applied to the rainforest by European settlers, became a term for land seen as useless until subject to ax, fire, and plough ("rainforrestweb.org"). People did not think of the affects on the environment because the little knowledge that was known about the affects was not very widespread. Another cause in the destruction of the rainforest is people's values. Many people value species according to their worth to human beings. People often ignore the problems with the environment simply because they do not want to deal with it. Natural checks against over exploitation have been ignored because those who are now consuming the products of the rainforest are not those who...

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