By Anthony Clark
The United States alone is losing over 36 million trees annually new studies have found, and the future problems caused by this situation are overlooked by most humans.
A few of the most extensive issues associated with losing this amount of trees are the reduction of noise, as well as the decline of air and water quality and human health. With deforestation occurring at an alarming rate, the soil erosion and coastal flooding risk will continue to grow stronger.
Trees work as an absorbing agent for carbon dioxide, keeping this gas from contributing to a future climate change. Forests cover 31% of the planet’s land while supplying essential services such as; filtering water, regulating climate, restoring and protecting nutrients to the Earth’s soil, and providing habitats to countless animal species.
GRCC student Jake Gauthier, 21, who is majoring in wildlife conservation weighed in on the deforestation issue.
“I think about the habitats and ecosystems dying out that we may never get back,” Gauthier said. “I think the U.S should start enforcing laws to protect certain areas from being cut down to preserve the world’s ecosystem as a whole.” “…Governments need to start realizing that their greed of power and money come at a cost larger than themselves. We (U.S) don’t have to stop cutting down trees, we need to be smarter about the way we do it.”
Christina Nunez of National Geographic stated that “between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 502,000 square miles (321.28 million acres) of the forest.” Nunez also mentioned that since humans started to chop down trees, the Earth has lost roughly 46% of them. With farming and grazing of livestock, mining and drilling, agricultural expansion, and human-caused forest fires contributing to just over half of the deforestation problems, the resources we gain from trees are starting to reach a tipping point for their decline. Yet the awareness of this information seems to be slim for most of the population.
“I think awareness is important,” said Abi Mangus, 20, a student at GRCC. “Without everyone knowing that this is an issue that is potentially life-threatening, nothing is going to be done about it (effects of deforestation).” “…it was never a huge topic in school but I was always into science and nature, so I kind of learned on my own.”
The world’s population was recorded to be 7.53 billion humans in 2018 and it is slowly reaching the ‘carrying-capacity’ Earth can sustain overall. World population history mentions the human race really need one and a half Earths to control our current ratio of consumption of natural resources versus generated waste and the planet’s ability to replenish those resources and absorb waste. With the population projected to hit 9.5-10 billion by 2050, we will need three Earths to avoid such catastrophes.
Ways humans can avoid any negative outcomes are recycling and buying recycled products, planting more trees compared to the amount consumed, converting to going paperless, avoid burning firewood in excessive amounts and obstructing man-made forest fires. If deforestation continues to grow, we will see a fatal loss of plants, animals, famine, and ecosystems collapsing as a whole. For more information relating to the research and discussions of tree deforestation, visit these websites:
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
WWF (World WildLife Foundation)