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Tag Archive slash and burn techniques

It is a vicious circle and we have to stop it

This summer’s high temperatures and the major weather events should have persuaded everyone but the most hard-headed that global warming is happening. If that wasn’t bad enough, at the same time as we are pushing out gasses which heat our atmosphere, we’re working hard to diminish the natural resource that helps with the issue. I mean, how dumb can you be?

Here’s how it works

Plant and especially big ones called trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. It is a convenient arrangement, because we, along with all of the other animals, breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

This is known as a symbiotic relationship, where both sides get benefits from the other. We help them, they help us. It appeals at the level of logic, doesn’t it?

Cutting trees down doesn’t make sense

This mutually dependent relationship needs a critical mass to maintain it. There has to be plenty of trees to breathe out the oxygen we need. Reducing the number of trees on earth – each year we reduce the forests by an area about half the size of England – is going to have two long-term effects.

In the first place, it means less carbon dioxide will be taken out of the atmosphere which will increase global warming. Secondly, it means there’ll ultimately be less oxygen to breathe. This is not a good recipe.


Sometimes fire sweeps through forests like it is currently doing in California. In the past this was a natural process – some trees were lost to fire – but it was part of the life and death cycle. The trees which were burnt provided minerals and richness back into the earth from which new trees grew.

Fires the size of the ones currently raging in California are well beyond that stage. The earth there is dry and the wood is parched. Fires spread rapidly and can’t be controlled. But the reason they are spreading so fast and furiously is there has been no rain, which is a symptom of global warming.

Slash and Burn

Although the amount of forest we lose to fire is scary, the amount we lose to agriculture is many times more frightening. Slash and burn is the name we give to the way in which some farmers are destroying the forest. Their need is for more arable land and so trees are chopped and then the wood is burned to ash and ploughed back into the earth.

The effects

There are too many effects of deforestation, and it doesn’t just affect humans. Most of the world’s wild animals are forest-dwellers. As we remove their habit, there’s less and less space for them to live. We put creatures together in a way they shouldn’t be. We also force them to the edge of extinction when they cannot adjust to an alternative habitat.

The only solution is to plant

The amount of planting is growing, but not by nearly enough.

The effects of deforestation

The planet doesn’t have as many trees as it used too, with heavy deforestation outpacing the rate at which new trees are grown. As the population and needs for wood objects and paper grow, the rate is only going to get higher as things keep growing.

Deforestation is going to happen in our world, it has too because otherwise, the trees would overgrow everything, and we do need clear land and all the resources that trees provide. However, the rate at which we are going through our natural resources is astounding.

So here are the causes, effects, and very real problems that the world is facing because of deforestation and the destruction of our natural resources.

What people cut down trees for?

It’s not all just for wood, but also for agriculture as farmers use slash and burn techniques to cut down trees and then burn them. When animals move into the area, they can overgraze on the grasses and any young trees that also can start to grow.

In addition, logging companies cut down trees for shipment to mills, and while they are environmentally regulated some of them are illegal. These illegal companies also go into unregulated forests and cut down trees, damaging the local ecosystem. In addition, they also cut down more trees to make roads and bridges to make it easier to get to those forests.

Effects of deforestation

The effects on the environment are large and negative, including a loss of habitat for the animals and plants that live there. Many of these species haven’t even been discovered yet, and some of them even have medicinal or other properties that could prove beneficial to the world at large. Before they can be found, however, they are either driven away from their homes or wiped out by deforestation.

Climate change is also an effect, with the wet forest soil and environment drying out once the sun hits them full force, unable to retain the water. With the forest canopy being destroyed, the temperature can also be a major problem and the temperature changes can cause further harm to the local ecosystem.

Without trees to absorb greenhouse gasses, global warming also goes up, causing more suffering to all ecosystems, not just the forests. In addition, less oxygen is produced and the air counties to get thinner and more polluted.

Replanting a greener world

The only solution to deforestation is to plant more trees, but with the amount of time it takes one sapling to grow into a fully mature tree, other solutions are in order. They include limiting clear cutting to keep the local ecosystem intact, as well as cracking down on illegal operations that disregard the environmental rules.

Deforestation is a massive problem for the world, and the only solution is to plant more trees and wait while also working on ways to reduce tree and wood consumption. Without large tracts of forests to keep our planet safe, our Earth could look a lot different in the future.