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“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Have you ever had that sensation where you cannot breathe and that your body is so hot that the air around you is so suffocating? And the branches of your lungs ignite so fast they begin deteriorating in a heartbeat and you become so pale that your body is powerless?
The melancholy of the situation is in the Amazon Rain forest, one of the biggest and most important tropical rainforest in the world, and in fact that it is burning right in front of our eyes. We should feel embarrassed about ourselves for not having a true initiative to make it stop. According to National Geographic, forests around the world cover roughly about 30% of the world’s landmass, and for decades have provided 20% of the oxygen we breathe. However, so much contamination in the air has ruptured the many layers of the atmosphere, and the levels of oxygen have dropped immensely as a result of deforestation.
Deforestation is caused by the disruption of the land, due to the removal of 18.7 million acres of forests annually by cutting down and burning trees to create space for agricultural expansion, cattle breeding, timber extraction, mining, oil extraction, dam construction, and infrastructure development, all which form part of the human activities that provide us with natural resources. This has been going on for decades; historically it has taken us back to ancient times, and approximately half of the world’s tropical forests have been cleared till this very day. How could we let this happen?
We do not have to be Einstein to understand that forests play a crucial role in our lives and that forests could provide our future generations with a healthy, peaceful and safe home – A place where our children and grandchildren can have a happy life not having to sacrifice so much to survive. Furthermore, 80% of the diverse ecosystems are home to both animal species and plant species.
Nowadays, there are fewer places on earth for animal species to find food and plants to feed on. Thus, it is forcing them to migrate and experience a lack of adaptation to new environments. What is it that we are waiting for? Do animals have to go extinct so we can understand the severity of the situation?
It has been predicted by National Geographic, that we only have 100 years before deforestation reaches its highest point and when this becomes the case, soil erosion will be the death of us all. We cannot survive if the land becomes infertile and there is no more vegetation left as a source of food and shelter. Additionally, we only have 100 years until life is nothing but a lonely world of starvation, in the midst of a vast ocean of war.
Moreover, trees portray a fundamental role in controlling climate change and they are the earth’s life giving source. Likewise, trees are a protecting blanket covering us from harmful sun rays and providing us with shelter when it is raining outside. In addition, they absorb 2.5 tons of the world’s carbon dioxide. Whereas, deforestation is responsible for 15% of those carbon emissions and for the release of toxic greenhouse gases such as methane, sulfur, among others into the air, thereby, into the atmosphere when forests are burned to the ground. If we wait for deforestation to eat away the land up to the point of irrevocable destruction, we can expect an apocalypse in no time.
If globalization in countries like Mexico reduced emissions caused by the high demand of production in factories and industries, there would be a lower impact on climate change and less acid rain as a result of air pollution. Sometimes I like to think acid rain is like a snake’s venom, raising body temperature and transforming human blood into a viscous jelly-like-substance. However, in this case acid rain irritates the soil and takes away its resilience.
Furthermore, the Brazilian Amazon Forest enables farmers to get access to clean water, but the loss of biodiversity has led to constant water droughts and even more effects that clearly none of us can image. How clean do you think is the water on your cup of tea or coffee?
The task could be described as difficult, but if by difficult it means that it will require us to collaborate, then we are right. There is no doubt that the solutions to the problem have already been discovered and that we have access to the necessary technology. But all that it takes is for us to learn how to care for the environment. After all, it is not mother nature who needs humans to survive, but humans who need the environment to survive; We are all guests on this planet.
“The trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath and the earth our body.” – Deepak Chopra
I know I have but the mind of an innocent and feeble child; but the mind of a citizen, a citizen who has one earth she can call home.
In conclusion, this essay is written to persuade people to stop looking for answers and instead to take action. There is only one true way to save the world, and that is to plant trees to replace the ones we executed in cold blood.
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