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Devastation Of The Rain Forests

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833 words
Science & Nature

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"We know there will be problems in environmental terms, many serious
problems, but it is a matter of economics. There won't be any complete
disaster, and what we cannot solve, well, that's the price we have to pay."
- Eduardo Albuquerque Barbosa

There is a constant war that is being fought in the rainforests of
South America. The death toll is one that far surpasses any other war in
history. Vietnam and World War II had minimal loss of life compared to
this never-ending battle. It is predicted that by the year 2020, the
casualties will reach 150 per day. This total does not even include the
loss of human life due to the lack of oxygen and the horrible living
conditions. This terrible scenario would be the result of mankind's
failure to cooperate and live in harmony with the environment, especially
the rainforest of South America. In the end, the destruction of the
rainforests will mean the destruction of mankind.
The devastation of the rainforest may be compared to playing a game
of Russian Roulette. One-forth of existing medicines comes from tropical
plants whose homes are in the rainforests of South America. For every acre
that is lost in the burning season, there is one acre less that we have for
possible life saving medicines. About 70 percent of plants used in anti-
cancer drug come are the rain forest. We are slowly destroying the
environment and ourselves. Whether we realize it or not, the world could
quickly come to an ecological stop. Every day 144,000 acres of the
rainforests are cut down, slashed and/or put up in flames. In 1974,
Brazil started a forest fire of 20.6 million square feet (3,900 square
miles). The fire ragged out of control and was later marked the largest
forest fire in Brazilian history. This 1974 fire is now considered small
to others in the past recent years. On average the burning season lasts up
to four months out of the whole year. During this period of time, it is
not unusual for most of South America to be covered in a thick blanket of
smoke. The bulk of these fires, when combined, are equivalent to the great
inferno of 1988 at Yellow Stone National Park. Emitted from these
devastating fires every year are billions of carcinogens and poisonous
gases that stay in our atmosphere. The gases and pollution have been
building for many years, and scientists believe that the atmosphere is due
to reach its saturation point very soon.
The greed for money and lust for land are just two flames at the
heart of the fire. At the expense of innocent lives of rainforest dwelling
animals and local environmentalists, large corporations can some how
justify their murderous ways. Rainforests cover only a mere seven percent
of the Earth's land surface, yet they contain 50 percent of the world's
species. Along with the thousands of animals in these century old forests,
there are many tribes of Indians who are subjected to torment and usually
death by their companies. Heartless Corporations such as Endesa,
Arboriente and PICOP ignore the blockades of the FPA, "Forest Peoples'
Alliance", and the perpetual pleas of the Scientist's who predict,
"tropical species are disappearing at a rate that could conceivably reach
as high as 150 species a day by the year 2020" Landry, (5). Unfortunately
this battle is about to economics versus environment, and so far the
environment is losing the war.
Chico Mendes' death finally brought the much-needed worldwide
attention to the rainforests. Until 1988 the astonishing figures produced
by environmentalists and scientists never had much weight for people of
countries outside of the Amazon Rain Forest. The death of Mendes was the
second death of a NCRT, National Council of Rubber Tappers, member in
recent times. The fight, " at first, was only about ecology, and defending
the fishes, the animals, the forest, and the river. They didn't realize
that Humans were also in the forest" Rodrigues, Revkin (1). Though Chico
was a rubber tapper in the town of Xapuri, he spent most of the year
traveling around the world trying to gain support in his fight against the
destruction of the rainforest. Chico's non-violent approach won him much
favor from the United States and all of the other rubber tappers. Chico
Mendes once said, "If a messenger came down from heaven and guaranteed that
my death would strengthen our struggle; it would even be worth it. But
experience teaches us the opposite. Public rallies and lots of funerals
won't save the Amazon" Revkin (1). Mendes had recently returned home
from a six week long visit and rally in the United States. Three days
before Christmas he ...

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Keywords: devastation of rainforest, destruction of the amazon rainforests, destruction of rainforests, devastation of the rainforests, what are the main causes of rainforest destruction, what is causing the destruction of rainforests, how are rainforests being destroyed

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