Why Save the Rain Forests?
How is the burning of the rain forest really hurting the
environment? What are the reasons for trying to save the rain forests?
You ask how burning rain forests hurt the environment, and why
people would try to save it. Without getting too philosophical, I do not think
the environment can be hurt at all by anything we do we certainly can make big
changes in ecological systems, and we can even destroy them -- but I cannot
call this "harm" because the history of life on earth is all about adaptation
to change. Obviously, burning rain forests causes the destruction of habitat
for wild life, many species of which may go extinct because they cannot
survive without the rain forest to support them.
Similarly, there are people
living in rain forests whose way of life depends on the rain forest for its
support. People living in the United States have a stake in the future of rain
forests not only because of the potential economic value of the timber, the
life forms, and other forest products, but also because the forests play a
major role in the earth's water cycle and carbon cycle. The earth's climate
may be very different if the rain forests are destroyed, and that would impact
food production all over the world.
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Update: June 2012