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The act of deforestation is destroying natural land to create more area for other reasons. Deforestation is one of the largest environmental problems. It may include acts such as agricultural expansion for livestock grazing and growing crops, logging, infrastructure expansion. These are three of the major problems that do the most damage to our forests. Animal agriculture and livestock grazing is the main cause of the deforestation. It all starts by making roads through forests, then farmers move in to integrate crops, and after the crops die off the land has grass on it and the cattle moves in, this is somewhat sustainable, yet still bad for the environment.
It is a cycle that will never stop unless we stop it ourselves. We need to show people the true problem with animal agriculture and the terrible effects it has on the environment, which is slowly progressing to affect us.
The strong demand for beef makes the forest space a perfect area to clear land for grazing cattle.
In the Amazon, livestock grazing is taking over and creating a home for over 200 million cows, and makes up 80% of the reason for deforestation. When we cut down forests, we deprive thousands of species of their natural habitats. Trees are very important to the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide through respiration which produces oxygen, and when they are cut down and burned, that carbon is released back into the into the atmosphere. Also, cows release 340 million tons of a greenhouse gas known as methane, into the atmosphere ever year.
This is why livestock grazing is a large contributor to climate change. One thing we could do to try to stop Livestock grazing is to eat less beef, it might not seem like a lot but if we all come together and boycott eating mass produced meat, we could put them out of business. We need to help bring the forest back and plant trees everywhere, it will not be the same as it once was but we have to start somewhere.
Agricultural Expansion is the growth of land area that we use compared to how many people we have. The more people we have, the more food we will need to produce. A lot of the food we eat must be grown from the ground. If we don’t have enough space we will tear down anything in our way including forest. When we tear down forests to create more area to grow crops, the soil will not be the same as it was, which means crops will not yield produce as effectively. Humans produce a lot of palm oil which can create 70% of our food and biofuels. Palm oil is a cooking oil, and the plant can make more oil than any other plant in the world. This crop needs a very humid climate to grow. The replacement of forest with palm oil can be really bad for green house gases. When planting crops farmers use pesticides to help with bugs from eating there plants but this pesticide can spread not only to the crops but to other plants as well which is not good. The pollution from the palm oil may effect anything and everything around.
Soy is another plant we grow a lot, we use soy for protein and oil. We have a soy plantation here in the USA. Soy is one of the plants we use to feed livestock and is a big part of deforestation. When planting soy we use many pesticides containing chemicals that potentially can leak into the water causing contamination. The use of soy is seeming to go up a lot and is showing to increase production into the future. Bio fuels are an energy source from a plant, and they release less carbon then fossil fuels even though this sounds great it is a cause of deforestation. Where we live corn is mostly is a good source of ethanol. Ethanol can replace gas or can be mixed with it to have a better outcome. Biodiesel is like vegetable oil that comes from plants, it’s made from soy and palm oil. These two things are very bad for deforestation so creating them into one isn’t a very smart idea.
Logging is when you cut down trees for wood or fuel, this is another major way of deforestation because all you are doing in cutting down trees and not replacing them. Trees have very sturdy roots that keep the soil in place so when it rains the water stays in place with the tree. Without trees you can have runoffs and soil erosion, also harvesting trees by creeks can lower the water quality. There are different types of logging like selective logging, where you only pick out the good trees and leave the rotten trees stay up. When they do this many smaller trees can be ruined in this process. Selective logging is a fire trap because the dead trees can easily catch on fire because if heat. There is also clear cut logging and that is when you remove all trees and seeds so nothing grows back. Farmers would use this method for expanding the field for crops or agriculture.
Commercial logging is when you cut down trees to sell, they usually do it on public land or private land. A major risk of logging in the types of machines being used to replace people and it is faster. Commercial logging is known as unsustainable but to me all of logging is useless unless you replace what you tear down. Logging important in a couple ways like construction, and paper. We also use wood for fuel for cooking and heating. When we cut down trees we don’t realize what we are actually doing, we are taking away habitats for animals. We lose thousands of species we have never even discovered yet when we cut down trees. We need to start taking care of the forest we have left because it’ll never be the same again. We also need to start caring about the tree we have now because people take away trees all the time even if it is illegal.
Infrastructure expansion are roads, dams, oil rigs and many more different transportation systems. Infrastructure is a need for humans but it is very bad on the environment. Roads can cause trees to disappear, dams can plug up water to the trees that need it, and an oil spill can cause an trees to die. We usually just think about ourself instead of plants when we create things like this. We need to start making things more eco friendly and that would definitely change everything. Roads are a major thing for transportation, they get us from point A to point B without any trouble. When roads are built we had to clear a path of trees or whatever was in the way, sometimes we have to put a culvert in to cross a creek. Building roads can cause flooding and toxics from the tar in the road get in the ground into the water for plants. Any time a road is created trees have to be removed.
Highways are another major part of Infrastructure expansion because it’s a road but four times bigger. Highways are everywhere and are still being built today, if there isn’t a path they will make one. They don’t understand that if they keep taking the trees down to built a road there won’t be any trees left around it. Once you build a road people will start settling there and more trees will be taken down for other stuff to be built. Infrastructure expansion will probably start dying down soon because they are building roads everywhere and you wouldn’t need to build another one for awhile. They will just keep taking care on the one they have now. It still is deforestation because they took down trees to create something else and those trees will never grow there again. Some thing they could do is plant more trees by the sides of the roads to replace the ones they have got rid of.
Overpopulation is the cause of a lot of the problems I have stated before, without people none of the problems above would have been done. People take advantage of everything this Earth offers. They biggest thing about it is we add more and more people to this earth everyday. If anything these problems aren’t gonna get better they are going to get worse. With as many people we have on this earth now all the needs and wants will go up. We will have to grow more food which means we have to clear land to grow crops, same with meat. We will need land for homes, schools, stores, and everything else. The more cars on the road the more roads we will need, the more of resources we need means the more land and trees we will have to take from the forest.
Some places have tree plantation programs and other programs to help with this problem. If we sent a goal and stay with it we could achieve anything we set our minds too. If we keep planting trees and taking car of the things we have now we won’t have to keep building things. It’s hard to do something if not everyone is helping, we just need to get the word out there of how much is actually happening. If people know how bad this problem really is we could change the world. With as many people as we have on this Earth it wouldn’t be that hard to change the direction we are going in. Deforestation is a major problems with little problems that come along with it, if we solve the little problems first the major problem will turn into a minor one.
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