We need to stop destroying forests

Trees. Trees are our friends.

They take in the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen, thus enabling us to breathe, while at the same time helping to mitigate global warming.

They shade our homes, so we don’t need to run our air conditioners as much.

Dead leaves in the fall decay, enriching the soil, which is then kept in place by the tree’s roots. This soil absorbs water, preventing flooding, and releasing it slowly later on.

Birds find shelter for nests in tree branches, and forests — particularly rainforests — are home to millions of different species, all dependent upon the forest for homes, food, and protection. There are even some people who still live in the rainforest.

Unfortunately, we are cutting and burning our forests at a great rate. In 2003, estimates were that 214,000 acres per day were being cut, with an area larger than Poland being deforested each year.

In the US, which was once covered in forests, only 5% of our original forests were left by 2003, and worldwide, only 20% of forestland was left, and the lumber industry is still busy cutting away, clear cutting in many instances, even in our National Parks, while the government turns a blind eye. The rainforests are being cut to graze cattle.

What does this mean for us? These trees are a line of defense against global warming. And, you do like to breathe, don’t you? Cut them all down and our oxygen supply is depleted. Many areas that have been cut are now on their way to being deserts, while floods plague other places.

In 2003, an average of 130 species were estimated to be going extinct daily. Combine these extinctions with our loss of trees, and with acidification and warming of the oceans, causing the deaths of coral reefs, plus overfishing, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Get it?

Our own extinction is not far behind, because we depend upon all these things.

Please, conserve fossil fuels, give up eating beef, and bring your concerns to your Congressmen, Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Paul Tonko, Elise Stefanik, and John Faso.

JAHNN

SWANKER-GIBSON

Johnstown