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Name: Barry A Bieda
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Question:
How does the cutting of the rainforest affect Earth?



Replies:
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.

Mortis



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