Effect of cutting the rainforest on Earth
Name: Barry A Bieda
How does the cutting of the rainforest affect Earth?
Well, we have been cutting rainforests for thousands of years with no
permanent damage to the earth at all. Forest people who cut small patches for
growing gardens do not hurt the forest because the small plots recover their
original growth very quickly: think of the pictures of Mayan ruins in Mexico
that are completely covered by forest - these used to be open, active cities!
So on a small scale, slash and burn agriculture has no effect whatever on the
rain-forest- it is a sustainable use of the forest.
However, on a large
commercial scale, where bulldozers and flame-throwers are use to convert huge
tracts of land into pasture for cattle, the ability of the forest to recover
is seriously impaired, destroying the forest for a very long time, if not
forever. This kind of unsustainable destructive use affects the earth by
taking a large portion of the biosphere out of production - which interrupts
the carbon and oxygen cycles, affects local water and soil quality, and causes
a decline in the global gene pool by making many species extinct.
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Update: June 2012