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Deforestation Should be Illegal

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Forests are significant in helping the environment while deforestation is becoming a worldwide problem. It has represented one of the largest issues in global land use in the early 21st century. Deforestation is the clearing or thinning of forests, which is normally caused by human activity. Some of the major contributions of deforestation are due to commercial logging, land clearing for cattle ranches, plantations of rubber trees, oil palms, and other economically valuable trees. Another cause is the use of the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture or swidden agriculture. The farmers that practice this usually clear forest by burning them and then grow their crops in the soils fertilized by the ashes. This process only works to an extent. Fertility declines and weeds increase after several years of cultivation; the area remains fallow and returns to the secondary bush forest. Forests have become an essential part of helping humans survive. Although many people believe that deforestation shouldn’t be illegal, deforestation should be illegal because forests help the environment and people who only see this as a business opportunity can’t destroy it when it’s a necessity.

Forests hold an important role in the purification of the atmospheric air and the protection in wildlife. The largest remaining section of humid tropical forest hold about two-thirds of it remains in Brazil. WIth the largest rainforest located in Brazil, the country also has the greatest tree loss. By 2018 Brazil has lost about 3.2 million acres. The Amazon rainforest is by far the richest biologically region on Earth, “hosting about 25% of global biodiversity, and is a major contributor to the natural cycles required for the functioning of the Earth”(Rice). As deforestation continues, it has the potential to cause the extinction of a number of species. There has been a growing number of extinctions due to habitat loss. Last year, the Earth was losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate. A bird named cryptic treehunter hasn’t been seen in the wild since 2007 and is listed as critically endangered, maybe even extinct. Forest around the world take up to 2-3 billion tons of greenhouse gas. Deforestation affects rainfall patterns in different areas of the world. As these trees are cut down, the water being stored is lost. To keep up with maintaining these healthy moisture cycles “that provide sufficient rain for farmers, hydropower, and weather, we must keep healthy rainforests standing”(Rosolie). Since deforestation creates changes in weather patterns, there are fewer trees filtering carbon dioxide. This will lead to droughts and limit our ability to access water supplies, grow crops and meet the basic needs that we have every day. This drought results in the rainforest setting a dry climate and affecting living conditions. This dry climate results in a higher chance of fires because of this increased temperature. Altogether this is affecting the moisture cycle and the climate in a negative way.

Fires have recently become a big problem for the forest, which is causing deforestation to increase. According to the country’s space research center, forest fires have been the highest since 2013 and is 85% higher than last year. This means there have been more than 80,000 fires detected this year. The fires in the Amazon have caused outrage and concerned to environmental activists. Although the Amazon is wet and humid it is at its dry season. Altogether, about 30 million acres of tropical forest were lost in 2018, “according to an analysis of satellite images released by Global Forest Watch, a program of the environmental research group World Resources Institute. Of the 2018 total, close to nine million acres (an area the size of Belgium), were old-growth, or primary, forest, which stores more carbon than other types of forests and provides habitat that is critical to maintaining biodiversity. The nine-million-acre total is the third-highest since 2001”(Fountain). Once trees are burned, their energy is released as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas that has the ability to alter the global climate. These trees are now no longer present to withdraw more carbon. The years 2016 and 2017 were also the worst for the world’s tropical forest as dry hot weather spread fires. Of course, the Amazon isn’t the only forest losing trees. There have been recent fires in California that have resulted in a estimated 198,392 acres burned. This also led to 6,190 incidents and 3 confirmed fatalities. The warmth and dryness of the environment makes the risk of fires a higher possibility.

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Some people may believe that deforestation would help with overpopulation. Trees have also been cleared for wood products and for croplands and grazing lands. Using forests for land use has had a long history. One of the main reasons “that these forests are being cut down is to make room for expansion. With 10 billion people expected to be on the planet by 2050 and the never-ending growth explosion insight, space has become more of a premium necessity on Earth”(17 Important Pros and). Some people may believe this because the fewer room trees take the more room consumers can take. Some people may believe that deforestation will help a crowding population but it won’t help it in the long run because it isn’t a guarantee that people will have access to these usable land. The issue is that “most tropical soils are old and weathered. Their nutrient profile does not support crop grows without artificial intervention...Once you add in the repair costs to alleviate these issues, the financial benefits of clearing the trees might not outweigh the disadvantages that occur when there is less biological diversity”(ConnectUS). The sudden and unchangeable outcome of global deforestation can unquestionably put the continuation of human beings and the whole world in jeopardy. This pollution creates so much harm that over 200,000 people each year just in the United States die because of its influence. We must understand that the frequency and severity of these climate changes are directly tied to tree removal”(16 Biggest Advantages and).

Some people may say that deforestation is a way to make income however it cost more to get rid of parts of the forest. There are various “materials harvested from forests that earn an income for the workers and countries involved. Clearing forests is a way to create logging jobs. The mining opportunities found in the spaces create high wage positions which would not exist otherwise” (ConnectUS). This can be viewed as just another way to make money. Some people may believe this is just a quick income but the process of cutting down trees is very expensive. “The BBC is reporting on a new study which estimated that current deforestation is costing the world $2-5 trillion per year”(Schmidt). This also leads to ”limited profits for those who are participating in these activities. The removal of trees creates a tangible cost that limits the economic impact our global society needs”(16 Biggest Advantages and).

This all leads to forests being the biggest factor in helping the environment, it helps in giving clear air and provides some basic needs humans need. Even though some critics may say that deforestation should be allowed without a cost, it should be considered illegal because forests hold many things that are beneficial to us. Some people may believe that deforestation would help with overpopulation. Some people may believe that deforestation will help a crowding population but it won’t help it in the long run because it isn’t a guarantee that people will have access to these usable land. This is something people should start discussing more because once forests start disappearing rapidly it will become harder to replace. Although forests may recover after being cleared, this isn’t always the case. The combination of steep slopes, high rainfall, and the lack of tree roots to bind the soil can lead to disastrous landslides that destroy fields, homes, and human lives.

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“Deforestation Should be Illegal.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022,
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