Save the rain forest, cool the planet

Rain forests cool the planet. 40 to 75 percent of all species on earth live in tropical rain forests — species that most of us have never seen. It has been estimated that millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms are still undiscovered within the world of the rain forest. We need rain forests.

Rain forests are known as the “world’s largest pharmacy” because of the large number of natural medicines that are discovered there. And they are also responsible for 28 percent of the world’s oxygen “turnover” – oxygenation through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and storing it as carbon through a process that is called biosequestration.

But rain forests are also a primary source of revenue for many nations.

Over 1 billion people depend on the rain forest for their livelihood by logging. From this logging, they are able to sell the forest assets cheaply. Multinational companies buy the goods of the rain forests for a small fraction of their real value, which causes the need to log more acres at a faster rate of speed. And as with most deforestation, the effort cannot sustain itself. Once the timber is gone, there is nothing more.

We need rain forests.

Besides the obvious consequences of deforestation, it contributes to global warming. Our best scientific data shows that around 20 percent of all the world’s carbon emissions come from this practice — that is equal to the carbon emissions that come from all of the factories and cars in the United States plus the world’s entire transportation sectors.

We cannot ignore the tremendous loss of the world’s rain forests and the devastating effects of deforestation.
This coming Monday, John Carter — founder of Aliança da Terra in Brazil — will be leading a discussion of how we can save the rain forest’s biodiversity and help stop global warming at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Carter learned firsthand of the rapid deforestation of the Amazon. From his 20,000-acre ranch near the Xingo River basin in the Brazilian state of Mato Grasso, he witnessed the challenges that Brazilian farmers face in their attempt to protect their land from illegal logging.

He is an engaging and passionate speaker who will be sure to lead a stimulating and informative discussion. Please join him and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) at 4 p.m. Mon., Nov. 9 at the USF Selby Auditorium, 8350 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Contact Trey Lord at EDF for more information: [email protected].

1 comment on “Save the rain forest, cool the planet

  1. Michael Ashcroft

    Not to mention the disruption to precipitation which would result from the loss of the evapotranspiration performed by rain forests. They're vital and must be protected.

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