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Jarhead
December 15th, 2009, 11:37 AM
The Choice: Doomsday or Arbor Day

Jocelyn Stock Andy Rochen

Logging and Deforestation

The small farmer plays a big role, but it is modern industry that too cuts down the trees. The logging industry is fueled by the need for disposable products. 11 million acres a year are cut for commercial and property industries (Entity Mission 1). Peter Heller found that McDonald�s needs 800 square miles of trees to make the amount of paper they need for a year�s supply of packaging, Entity Mission found that British Columbia manufactures 7, 500,000 pairs of chopsticks a day, and the demand for fuel wood is so high that predictions say that there will be a shortage by the year 2000. Logging does too have its repercussions. The logging industry not only tries to accomplish all this but it even indirectly helps the "shifted cultivators" and others to do more damage. The roads that the loggers build to access the forests and generate hydroelectric power create an easy way for many people to try to manipulate the forest resources. The amount of damage that this adds to the forests can not be measured nor can that of the illegal logging. Some importers may even be buying illegally logged wood and not even have known it ("Logging is the Major Cause of Global Deforestation � New WWF Report" 2).

The Effects

Deforestation presents multiple societal and environmental problems. The immediate and long-term consequences of global deforestation are almost certain to jeopardize life on Earth, as we know it. Some of these consequences include: loss of biodiversity; the destruction of forest-based-societies; and climatic disruption.

Erosion

The lushness of the world�s tropical forests is somewhat deceptive. Although these forests assume to be lush and full, the underlying soils are very poor, almost all the nutrients being bound up in the vegetation. The problem is that once forests have been cut down, essential nutrients are washed out of the soil all-together. This leads to soil erosion. As of now, about 80% of the soils in the humid tropics are acidic and infertile (Dudley 21). When there are no trees to keep the soil in place, the soil becomes ripe for erosion. It dries and cracks under the sun�s heat. Once the soil temperature exceeds 25 degrees centigrade, volatile nutrient ingredients like nitrogen can be lost, further reducing the fertility of the remaining soil (Myers 14). Furthermore, rainfall washes remaining nutrients into rivers. This means that replanting trees will not necessarily help to solve the problems of deforestation; by the time the trees have matured, the soil might be completely stripped of essential nutrients. Eventually, cultivation in the forest regions will be impossible, and the land will be useless. The soil erosion will lead to permanent impoverishment of huge land areas.

The social impact of soil erosion can be quite severe. Those who settle into the forest regions are forced to move every year or so due to soil erosion. They find areas where they can cultivate. When those areas are no longer good for growing, they move to another region.

To read more: http://www.umich.edu/~gs265/society/deforestation.htm

nolacho
October 31st, 2010, 04:26 AM
Great article. I'd be way depressed if I had not become aware of an AWESOME organization called Eden Reforestation Projects (http://edenprojects.org) that is planting AT LEAST 10 TREES for every DOLLAR! They are planting OVER 1 MILLION trees per month! (currently in Ethiopia and Madagascar) Amazing! Join in on the effort by forming a group at http://league.edenprojects.org/

Let's put our concerns into a concerted effort and make a change!!!