Deforest-the-Nation Victoria Snyder

There are around 3.04 trillion trees on this planet.

So cutting down a few hundred thousand for paper, books, furniture, wooden kitchen supplies, floors, etc. doesn’t seem like a big issue. But when it comes down to cutting down 3.5 to 6 billion trees every year it is doing more damage than good.

As humans, we think we can cut down trees for everyday necessities without causing any conflicts, but we can’t. Destroying Earth's forests causes a much greater economic trauma far beyond what we can see. Between greenhouse gas levels steadily increasing, animal endangerment, and habitat destruction, deforestation is ruining our world, one tree cut down at a time.

Burning, the fastest and most efficient way to cut down trees has played a major role in destroying 70% of the world’s forests, but it doesn’t just end there. We are projected to cut down 80% to 90% of all the forests on this planet by the year 2020. As of now you may ask? We have already destroyed, bulldozed, and stripped down 75% of the remaining forests left on this planet.

That leaves us having to survive off of around 25% of trees. But what most don't realize, is that it is not just humans that are going to pay the price for deforestation, animals are going to suffer just as much. It needs to be made clear that trees are not just giant bushes in swinging in the air, they also serve as homes for around 70% of the world’s animals. Not only are we humans destroying the planet, we are hurting those who inhabit it. Between nests, underground tunnels, and other forms of habitation, burning down these forests is leading to the extinction of many known species. Some of which include, the Asian Elephant, Chimpanzee, and the leopard.

Putting deforestation in perspective, there are a lot of negatives that clearly out weight the positives. Just to think, all of this trouble within the environment for a brand new wooden house even though you already have one? A new shiny white picket fence even though the old one works just fine? Timber to keep your fireplace burning even though the temperature is adequate? We humans are needy; Putting ourselves first over the environment thinking we can just “ fix it,” but the truth is, we can’t. We can’t fix it. The trees that grow in forests such as the Alaskan Tongass National Forest have been there for well over 150 years, and in size the forest as a whole ranks in at around 16.8 million acres. Yet every second, one and a half acres are cut down, every minute 150 acres are lost, everyday 200,000 are cleared. It is virtually impossible to cover our damage.

Forests are being demolished left and right, leading to carbon dioxide levels beginning to skyrocket. It is a fact that trees circulate and produce fresh air for us to breathe. But as the rate of trees are currently dropping, the carbon dioxide levels are steadily increasing. Overall, producing greenhouse gases so hot that it has the ability to alter the temperature within the atmosphere. Earth is no longer in equilibrium.

It is surprising on how much we overlook the consequences of our actions. We, as humans need wood there is no doubt about it. But the solution is to not stop cutting down trees, mainly because it is impossible for this world today. But, chopping down trees in moderation will help, the world does not need to cut more wood than what is needed. Recycling is a small step that everyone could take part in, and overall makes a big change. It is not ethical to shrug your shoulders when seeing a piece of scrap wood on the street. No wood deserves to be scrap. It is quite possible that the piece found on a city street once was an animals home not long ago.

The truth is, we can’t not have wood. But we can make a change. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet, if the majority of people took a few minutes out of their day to plant a tree, in the long run it would make a huge difference. Looking back in a hundred years from now, we want to say we made a positive impact to this planet. So plant a tree, what is the worst that could happen. Save our planet.


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