The Destruction of the Earths Rain Forests
In the time you can read this sentence, eight acres of tropical rain forest will have been bulldozed and burned out of existence (Bloyd 49). However, this destruction has been neglected and overlooked for years. Many people do not understand the long-term consequences of losing the earths rain forests. The rain forests have provided people with many natural resources and medicines. The benefits that rain forests provide to people will be destroyed if the depletion continues to be disregarded.
No matter where a person lives, even if it is not near a rain forest, the complete destruction of rain forests will affect living conditions. For years rain forests have provided countries around the word with valuable resources, minerals, lumber, and energy. In Brazil alone the rain forests contains 45% of Brazils hydroelectric power. The minerals found in the rain forests of Brazil are estimated to value 1.6 trillion dollars, while the lumber that the rain forests can provide total 1.7 trillion dollars (In the Forest 1). Nutrients from decomposing organisms can be found throughout rain forests, including in soil and in trees. To continue destroying forests also destroys the important materials that they are providing to humans.
The rain forests also provide important exports such as oil, nuts, and rubber. Brazilian nuts have become an important export and coffee has been South Americas main source of money. After Charles Goodyear learned how to use rubber to benefit humans the demand for it increased. The Amazon began to provide rubber for tires made around the world. Today the Amazon still provides the world with a large supply of rubber. Deforestation of rain forests decreases the amount of rubber South America supplies, and businesses will soon have to find a new supply of this resource.
The plants found in the rain forests can be useful to everyone around the world. The Kayapo, a people of the Amazon, are dependent upon plants in the Amazon. A research team came into the area that the Kayapo people inhabit. A team of scientists researched 1,200 plants in the area. Their results have shown that 98% of these plants are used in the Kayapo society. Of all the plants 45% of them were never known to science until the research team came (McCuen 58). The benefits of many more unknown plants could never be discovered if rain forests are continually destroyed. It is estimated that 95% of the plant and animal life in the rain forests of the Amazon will be destroyed before anyone has had a chance to test them for beneficial properties.
Despite proof from scientific research that many plants found in the rain forests help to cure viruses and diseases, the destruction of forests still continues. In the Unites States one fourth of all drugs that are prescribed have their roots in rain forests (McCuen 14). Rain forests contain a numerous amount of plant species that have not been discovered yet. One of these very plants could help to cure or treat medical patients, including those patients with AIDS or even cancer. Some plants found in the rain forests have been tested and are currently being used.
SP-303 is a compound extracted from a plant found in South America. Two products have been derived from this compound: Provir and Virend. Provir helps treat respiratory infections in children, while Virend is a topical ointment used to treat the herpes simplex virus (Carr 5). Other products from medicinal plants include products that treat thrush and also non-addictive painkillers. The National Cancer Institute also determined that 70% of the plants that may help treat cancer grow in the rain forest (Jackson). Today many modern scientists work with shaman to determine the importance and value of plants in the rain forests. Destruction of the rain forests destroys these valuable plants, which may cause the loss of a cure for AIDS or other major diseases or cancers of all kinds(Medine 1).
The presence of rain forests on earth affects the climate around the world. If forests are destroyed no one can predict what will happen to the climate around the world. Rain forests provide fresh air. The trees found in the