Deforestation

Critical Analysis Research Paper: Deforestation

To many of us, Forests are essential to our sacred ecosystem. However in the 21st century they are at a huge risk due to the heightened levels of deforestation that is part in many places all over the world. 

Deforestation is a crisis which requires immediate attention so that its consequences cannot reach levels that are unmanageable. They provide shelter to millions of both animals and plants species, and when they are destroyed through deforestation, there is a risk that some of these species may be rendered extinct. In the past, a lot of emphases have been put in the advocacy of protecting forests and vegetation cover, but still, the forest is being destroyed in pursuit of development (Bala, 6553). Crisis discipline as defined by Soule is the ability to responding appropriately to environmental signals relevant to the wellbeing of human civilization and natural biological systems. In simple terms crisis discipline ability to enact the relevant legislation, policies, and regulations which will contain various processes than endanger the environment mostly due to the high pursuit of human civilization. Therefore, crisis discipline is the best way of handling the problem of deforestation. “Crisis discipline” is a key term that illustrates the importance of conservation and protection of natural resources to prevent environmental degradation which in turn leads to climate change; deforestation is a menace that is destroying rainforests, and in this case, palm oil production is discussed in details regarding its promotion of deforestation.

The environmental degradation is getting out of hand, and the major cause of this degradation is deforestation, and it is a major threat that has the potential of eliminating tropical forests and species within a short period. Crisis discipline is a mixture of art and science which are all intended at preserving and protecting the environment, and it requires updated information to maintain relevance. Deforestation is clearing forests at a massive scale, and it is also damaging the quality of land (Alkama, 603). Forest cover approximately 30% of the world land area, and under the current rate of deforestation, the forest cover could completely vanish within a very short period. The main drives of deforestation are socio-economic activities such as agriculture, mining, logging among others ( Malhi, 170). The rate at which we are losing forest is alarming and devastating because these forests regulate the climate and water sources, meaning that we are in for a big crisis in the future. All over the world, there are companies which are formed solely for the utilization of the forest resources, and they have gone to the extent of displacing the indigenous communities that live around the forests. It is a fact that around 1.5 million people in the world rely solely on the forests to earn a living, with a significant number of these people rely on the same forests for survival. Crisis discipline has a huge role to play when it comes to deforestation because regulations, laws, and policies need to be implemented to contain this crisis which is endangering rainforests and many species of animals and plants.

In places such as China, forests are disappearing at a fast rate, and indigenous trees are being replaced by fast-growing eucalyptus plantations. Ancient forests play a vital role and are crucial to biodiversity because they provide habitat to many native species of plants and animals. If preventive measures are not implemented, it can have severe consequences with irreversible effects such as desertification and global warming. Illegal logging is the biggest problem so far and this due to the high demand for pulp, paper, and timber which are necessary to meet many needs of human beings (Gorte, 5). Human civilization has brought a lot of devastation to the environment, and there is a need for regulation of the human activities which pose a danger to our forests. The aspect of crisis discipline is effective in this juncture because it brings sanity between preserving the forest cover and empowering human civilization. In many regions around the world, governments have enacted laws, policies, and regulations to contain this deforestation menace.

According to research deforestation accounts for one-fifth of the entire greenhouse gas emissions. If more logging is done this emission of greenhouse gas will increase and this will escalate the rate of climate change. This means that if the current scenario persists global temperatures will rise and this will, in turn, lead to drought and forest fires. All these consequences are irreversible and pose a big danger to the alienation of many species of plants and animals all over the world. In some countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia deforestation is a major problem since large acres of forest cover are lost annually. This indicates that quick regulations and laws need to be enacted in these areas because rainforests are endangered. For example, palm oil one of the products that is highly demanded as it is used in preparing processed foods (Lawrence, 26). It is a cheap and versatile product, but it has severe environmental consequences. The industry of palm oil is booming, and this has led to cutting down of million acres of rainforest especially in Norway.

Countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia palm oil production are high, and they account for 88% of the global supplies of palm oil. In Norway, palm oil production tripled in the year 2000, and this usage continued to escalate over the years and in the year 2012 a campaign was formed which was addressed as ‘stop eating rainforest’ (Buizer, 8). This campaign was launched to expose the link between palm oil production and deforestation. The nation also set out regulation of production of foodstuffs with palm oil, and now the regulations are that large-scale companies should not use palm oil, and if they have to use it, they must use it in very tiny amounts.

Palm oil production has been on the spotlight for a long period now, and it is also responsible for human rights violations mainly because the companies that produce it have gone to the extent of removing indigenous people and communities from their lands. This presents modern-day slavery especially in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The demand for palm oil is skyrocketing in the whole world and this has led to massive destruction of the rainforests and this crisis has been addressed in many forums and the only solution that has been formulated is to replace the usage of palm oil with the controversial trans fats (Nepstad, 1120). According to research palm oil production is the number one leading cause of forest destruction, and this problem is no longer a local problem it is a global problem which requires joint efforts to control and regulate it. What is happening in many countries is that people are clearing forests to expand plantations and these plantations are pushing deep into the heart of some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems. Also, the clearing of forest to pave the way for plantation is releasing globally significant carbon pollution which has the potential of causing climate change.

To me palm oil production is a disaster in the making, and if it is not prohibited or managed, we will all pay a huge price for it. This is the reason such organizations such as Rainforest Action Network is putting more efforts in ensuring that the major companies responsible for the massive production of palm oil withdraw their products from the shelves. The effects of palm oil productions are severe, and the stakes are high, and thus the crisis requires urgent attention and the government and other agencies responsible for the conservation of rainforests have the mandate to ensure that this crisis of deforestation due to palm oil production is mitigated. The only way of managing this crisis is by adopting stronger responsible palm oil policies which will regulate the biggest snack food producers to use alternative means to produce their products other than palm oil (Nobre, 10760). Many companies so far have adhered to the calls of changing their practices to reach zero deforestation commitment in all industries, and this means the use of alternative methods of production. It is by joint efforts that this problem of excessive deforestation in pursuit of palm oil will be addressed, and the role of everyone to ensure that they play their part in ensuring that biodiversity is maintained and protected.

The conflict of palm oil production has been in the spotlight for a long time, and a lot has been said regarding its destruction of the rainforests and its effects into the environment in the future. Crisis discipline as mentioned in our book, also embraces care discipline (Pezzullo and Cox, 17). This is why I believe the concept of crisis discipline comes in, and entails regulations and policies which stops the exploitation of natural resources such as rainforests for the advancement of the human civilization. Illegal logging and palm oil production go hand in hand as both target rainforests, and they also create massive destruction to the forests. The challenges of implementing these policies and regulations are that companies are not willing to find alternative methods of producing their products.

The fact is that people are using tree products without moderation and this unethical in nature because humans are aware of the consequences of deforestation. People tend to ignore the problem of deforestation because it does not have direct effects on them but the long-term effects are extensive and severe. Crisis discipline has the mandate to ensure that natural resources such as forests are used in moderation in a way that is manageable without degradation of the environment and other future effects such as desertification and climate change. Deforestation is a means by which animals homes are destroyed, but people are busy cheating themselves that they are creating a more diverse world, but this is delusion by itself. For example, people are wasting paper products and what they are failing to understand is that they are wasting forests. In my example, palm oil production may be a booming business, but on the ethical part of it, it can be viewed as destruction of the rainforests which take years to replace. However, reforestation is not the solution to deforestation because before the new forest matures, damage has already taken place, and some of the species has already been lost. Therefore, the only solution to deforestation is by stopping the rampant destruction of the rainforest and put stringent measures that will stop issues such as illegal logging and palm oil production among others.

Deforestation is flourishing due to the economic benefits it brings to the local people, companies and other firms that use rainforest resources to further their businesses. Due to these economic benefits, more people are venturing into illegal logging, palm oil production among others. In fact, a significant number of people depend on rainforest to earn a living. Agriculture and logging are the leading economic activities that promote deforestation, and therefore crisis discipline has the mandate to enact laws, regulations, and policies that govern the manner in which these economic activities. The demand for materials such as timber, palm oil, and pulp is increasing and if these laws and regulations are not implemented the rainforests will get diminished, and this will have severe consequences on the environments.

The demand for wood and palm oil will only escalate in the future because of the growing population in the world. This means more destruction of the rainforest if preventive measures are not put in place in the form of laws, policies, and regulation. Crisis discipline, in this case, is very important as it helps in containing activities which destroy the environment such as deforestation. Food processing companies have been relying on palm oil in their production because of its availability, but on the ethical part, it is not right because of the activity of obtaining palm oil results to the destruction of the environment. I firmly believe the future of our planet is in for a big change because of the process involving deforestation. These changes include; rainforests turning into desert-like regions, and unpredictable and varied temperature and a great amount of greenhouse gases. Also, low biodiversity is likely to occur, and extremely nutrient deficient land is a possible result of deforestation.

To me deforestation is a huge problem that goes under the radar. It causes environmental degradation and climate change, and there is a need to treat it as a crisis and also find several ways of managing it. Crisis discipline is the best way of handling this problem as it involves the ability to respond to environmental signals which are relevant to the civilization of humans and natural biological systems. There are many reasons why people cut down trees and the main reasons for commercial purposes because a significant number of people depend on forests for their livelihood and survival. One of the biggest contributors of deforestation is palm oil production, and this is due to the high demand for palm oil by food processing companies. Palm oil production has led to massive rainforest destruction, and a lot of enactments have been made to control and reduce its production. Also, movements have been formed to counter the same since the effects are catastrophic. In this case, a lot is in stake because the rate at which forests are being destroyed and exploited is high and climate change such as desertification of places to be rainforests. Also millions of species will go to extinction if crisis disciple in not brought into action to curb this menace that is destroying rainforests.

Work Cited

Alkama, Ramdane, and Alessandro Cescatti. 'Biophysical climate impacts of recent changes in global forest cover.' Science 351.6273 (2016): 600-604.

Bala, Govindasamy, et al. 'Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.16 (2007): 6550-6555.

Buizer, Marleen, David Humphreys, and Wil de Jong. 'Climate change and deforestation: The evolution of an intersecting policy domain.' (2014): 1-11.

Gorte, Ross W., and Pervaze A. Sheikh. Deforestation and climate change. Congressional Research Service, 2010.

Lawrence, Deborah, and Karen Vandecar. 'Effects of tropical deforestation on climate and agriculture.' Nature Climate Change 5.1 (2015): 27.

Malhi, Yadvinder, et al. 'Climate change, deforestation, and the fate of the Amazon.' science 319.5860 (2008): 169-172.

Nepstad, Daniel, et al. 'Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains.' science 344.6188 (2014): 1118-1123.

Nobre, Carlos A., et al. 'Land-use and climate change risks in the Amazon and the need for a novel sustainable development paradigm.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113.39 (2016): 10759-10768.

Phaedra C. Pezzullo and Robert Cox, Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere, 5thedition. London: Sage, 2017.  

Deforestation Kills More Than Trees

Deforestation, clearance, or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land which is then converted to non-forest use. 

In the late 1960’s Brazil began chopping down the Amazon at an alarming rate, to this day Brazil has cut down 18% percent of the original Amazon, this is about the same area as France. Brazil tried to bounce back from their losses, We depend on forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use. Besides providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans, forests also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change. Yet, despite our dependence on forests, we are still allowing them to disappear”(We Need to Safeguard Our Forests). Essentially this is showing how humans depend on forests for their survival. Forests are homes to the majority of animals in the world and homes to many indigenous tribes of people. “Looking at it beyond our narrow, human – not to mention urban – perspective, forests provide habitats to diverse animal species. They are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, and they also form the source of livelihood for many different human settlements, including 60 million indigenous people”(We Need to Safeguard Our Forests). This is explaining how vital forests are to humans and the biological species all over the world. These humans and biological species wouldn’t even be able to survive without the mass amount of oxygen that these forests produce.

Forests are an immense piece of the percentage of oxygen produced each year, and if they were to dissipate this would cause most of our civilization to die off until there would be the least amount of people to survive without trees producing oxygen. Rainforests alone are a gigantic part of the oxygen production not even counting all of those other forests across the other world. “The world's rainforests are responsible for producing between 20 and 30 percent of total the oxygen produced in the world each year” (How Much Oxygen Does the Rainforest Produce). This is displaying that rainforests are almost 1/3 of the world’s oxygen production and without them, humans would only have 2/3 of their oxygen remaining. If people were to continue destroying forests it will become much harder for people to breath. The amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year” (Tree and Rain Forest Facts). This shows how the number of oxygen in the air available for everybody is decreasing drastically. On top of losing most of the oxygen humans will lose most of their pharmaceuticals derived from plants.

There are more than one hundred pharmaceuticals across the globe that are gleaned from plants if forests were to get completely deforested all of these medicines would evanesce. There is still a great majority of rainforests that have not been tested to be a medicine and there is a huge chance that some of these plants that haven’t been tested could provide a resolution to some of the most recent diseases. “Currently, 121 prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. And while 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists” (Tree and Rain Forest Facts). This is basically saying that there is a huge amount of helpful drugs that are created from plants and there are still many to come. Not only that these drugs derived from plants will save many lives and produce, relief for many people, but these pharmaceuticals will create an immense amount of jobs. “Nearly 90% of human diseases known to medical science can be treated with prescription drugs derived from nature. The benefits to humanity of nature-derived medicines are incalculable in terms of longevity, relief of suffering, and an increase in the quality of life. And think of the hundreds of thousands of jobs provided to those that discover, grow, harvest, process, and market these medicinals” (Torrence). Essentially, this is saying that on top of helping many people recover from their diseases it will provide many jobs for people. On top of providing care for an enormous amount of people, forests provide 20% of humans for their livelihoods.

20% percent of people on Earth rely on forests for forest goods that nature supplies people with, and supplies most animals with homes. If these forests were to be destroyed it would cause more than harm to the environment it would cause billions of people to move away from their livelihoods. “Forests are essential for life on earth. Three hundred million people worldwide live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods” (Forest Habitat). Essentially, this is saying that more than 1 billion people depend on forests so that they can make a living and continue having a stable income. Without these forests, most of the animals on earth wouldn’t have a place to live and would most likely become extinct. “Forests also provide habitat for a vast array of plants and animals, many of which are still undiscovered…” (Forest Habitat). Basically, this is saying that there are many animals and plants that haven’t been discovered and never will be if humans continue on with deforestation. Even though deforestation comes with many faults there are still a few pros to deforestation.

It may be true that deforestation produces many jobs, however, there are more jobs created in sustaining the forests that are being destroyed. The number of forestry workers in 2011 was almost 50% more than the forestry workers in 2015, compared to more than 2 million people working to preserve these forests. “The National Park Service (NPS) is a massive federal agency that includes no less than 400 national parks and a workforce of more than 28,000 employees (and that’s not counting the more than 2 million volunteers)” (Career Paths With the National Park Service). This shows that there is more than 40 times the amount of jobs in national park service over deforestation. Forests produce more than 10 million volunteers with all of the different jobs combined. The formal timber sector employs more than 13.2 million people” (Forests Generate Jobs and Incomes). This is showing that all the forestry jobs create more than 260 times more jobs than deforestation jobs. These two pieces of evidence show that forestry jobs produce way more jobs than deforestation jobs.

Conclusion

Even though there is a lot of money and a few jobs created by deforestation, is it really worth it if it results in humans losing the majority of their oxygen, more than 1 billion people will need another way of having a comfortable life. People will no longer have all of those medicines that comfort them when they are sick, last off people will no longer be able to survive. Forests aid humans in breathing every day, and they help people with the majority of the pharmaceuticals that they use. Without forests, one-fifth of the society would have to find another way to create their livelihoods. Humanity needs the society to come up and go against these corporations that are destroying the forests that are sustaining the planet, and help them support and help these forests.