The Associated Press reports that deforestation in Brazil has risen sharply over the past 5 months and photos from google earth affirm their story.

Most of last year’s destruction happened in November and December and was concentrated in the three Amazon region states of Mato Grosso, Para and Rondonia.

Reportedly, Natives have been working in conjunction with google earth in order to spread word on the atrocities and stop the encroachment on the land they need to survive.

Concerned about Global Warming? Deforestation is one of the biggest causes of climate change. Without massive forests, soaking up all the toxins we pump into the atmosphere they simply collect like a blanket.

What is Clear Cutting?
According to wisegeek.com, clear cutting is described as “a logging practice which involves completely clearing an area of trees, regardless as to their size and usability.”

What’s so bad about it?

In the United States we have seen first hand the side effects of clear cutting.
*Floods- the root base of trees and undergrowth soak up huge amounts of water. Without them the water runs into rivers or whatever happens to be lowest elevation
*Mudslides- the root base also holds soil in place, preventing soil from becoming mud
*Stream Temperature- with all the cool rain rushing straight to rivers, the base temperature of the waters drop, making some species of fish and wildlife unable to survive or breed
*Wildlife-forests provide home to millions of species in every area of the world. Without their habitat, they die. Period. In the example of Brazil, not only the animals, but native people starve when animals are driven out or killed and there are no resources to eat, build with or live in.
*New growth- once clear cutting has occurred, the soil dries out, making microbiological life necessary for new plant and animal life almost impossible

Solution?
Controlled cutting, selective cutting or sustainable timber.
No one is suggesting that we stop using wood. Trees are one of our only sustainable resources. What is necessary is that we be more mindful of how and why we use timber.
Many logging companies have already taken steps to alleviate and protect their livelihood. By planting trees where trees are cut, we give the soil time to rejuvenate and offer some plant life to hold the soil in place. This is a sustainable practice and just makes plain sense.
Just as people grow vegetables and fruits, we should be using farm land to grow trees as opposed to disrupting what few natural forests we have left. In some places this practice is already being done, but with education and support this can become the norm instead of the exception.

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