Human Beings exhale Carbon Dioxide and inhale Oxygen with each breath necessary for life.
Many years ago – too many to quote here – at Primary School I remember being taught that we humans breath out Carbon Dioxide, trees and plants take it back in, using it during photosynthesis and release back into the atmosphere the oxygen we require for life. What a wonderful symbiotic relationship!
So as not to confound or confuse the issue – because there are some plants that are now classified as not using Carbon Dioxide in this way – here is what I mean:
Because plants that have chlorophyll and do photosynthesis are also plants that use carbon dioxide. Using solar energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen is what happens during photosynthesis.
Another lesson I learned in my school years. More a phrase I suppose, was that Tropical rain forests are the lungs of the planet – and that saying has remained with me into my more mature years.
A Google search using the term ’deforestation’ will reveal there are numerous causes of why this is happening. Remember that deforestation means our LUNGS are being removed.
Commercial logging companies cut down mature trees that have been selected for their timber.
Agriculture – Shifted Cultivators
‘Shifted cultivators’ is the term used for people who have moved into rain forest areas and established small-scale farming operations.
Agriculture – Cash Crops and Cattle Ranching
Undisturbed and logged rain forest areas are being totally cleared to provide land for food crops, tree plantations or for grazing cattle (Colchester & Lohmann). Much of this produce is exported to rich industrialised countries and in many cases, crops are grown for export while the local populace goes hungry.
The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that ‘1.5 billion of the 2 billion people worldwide who rely on fuel wood for cooking and heating are over cutting forests’.
In India and South America, hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests have been destroyed by the building of hydro-electric dams. It was the dominant view that new dams had to be built or otherwise these countries would suffer an energy crisis
Mining and Industry
Mining and industrial development lead to direct forest loss due to the clearing of land to establish projects. Indigenous people are displaced. Roads are constructed through previously inaccessible land, opening up the rain forest. Severe water, air and land pollution occurs from mining and industry.
Governments and international aid agencies for a time believed that by encouraging colonisation and trans-migration schemes into rain forest areas, they could alleviate some of the poverty felt by the people of the financially poorer countries. It has since become increasingly obvious that such schemes have failed, hurting the indigenous people and the environment (Colchester & Lohmann).
The creation of national parks has undoubtedly helped to protect rain forests. Yet, as national parks are open to the public, tourism is damaging some of these areas.
Often, national parks are advertised to tourists before adequate management plans have been developed and implemented. Inadequate funding is allocated for preservation of forests by government departments. Governments see tourism as an easy way to make money, and therefore tourism is encouraged whilst strict management strategies are given far less government support.
When was the last time you heard about deforestation (per se) – unless you live in Tasmania?
When was the last time someone posited the thought that because we have raped, pillaged and plundered – murdered the Lungs of Our Planet, mostly for commercial greed, we are responsible for what the Governments are now claiming is ‘raising the Earths temperature because of an over production of carbon dioxide’.
We have, through the centuries, cut down the very mechanism whereby our EXHALING of carbon Dioxide was transformed back into healthy oxygen for us to INHALE and LIVE.
To date I have not heard this spoken about at Copenhagen, have you?
I hear about carbon emissions from coal, as in producing electricity. I hear about too many cars on the road. I hear about proposed Carbon Emissions Taxation, which quite frankly portrays itself as yet another “tax the poor people” to raise money for the Government – type scheme. The big polluters will be able to buy ‘carbon credits’ and still pollute the atmosphere as much as they want.
I have heard mention of Clean Coal – which sounds ridiculous to my ears. Are they going to give it a bath? Some mention of storing carbon emissions underground within the earth itself. That sound potentially dangerous to my way of thinking, and yet another way of damaging our planet.
Yet there is no talk about stopping coal mining, gosh that’s unthinkable, it brings in so much money to the country.
Seems ‘they’ think wind power is too expansive. Solar is expensive too. So whats left?
Geothermal energy is a significant option for Australia to generate large amounts of base-load power at competitive prices and with zero emissions.
I am just beginning to learn about this clean energy source. It may interest you as well.
Just bear in mind though that we have done serious damage to our planet in the past, and if we hope for a brighter cleaner future for ourselves and our children, one that is not levied and mandated by our Governments and the UN, then we have to take responsibility now.
Learn as much as you can about proposed taxation schemes, and proposed carbon credit schemes. Learn about alternative energy sources that will not be another cause of high taxation for your wallets.
Till next time………. plant a tree and breath deeply.
Just ME in T