If one were to be preoccupied with all the things mankind has done to planet Earth to its detriment during the past century, the sale of anti-depressants would skyrocket. To look at just one is enough to sicken anyone who cares about the Earth and its animals. Deforestation is probably the most serious threat to animal life on Earth, including humans. Up through the last century the planet had lost 50 percent of its forests. According to National Geographic, at the current rate of deforestation (forested areas the size of Paraguay are cut down every year) the world's forests will be gone in another century. The cause? Greed. Individual greed for land and corporate greed for lumber.
There are dual devastating affects: drastic reduction in animal species even to the point of extinction of animals that depend on forest habitat for survival, and escalating global climate change. The ecological balance of carbon dioxide produced by animals and human activity, with oxygen and water given off by plants as they utilize carbon dioxide in metabolism is destroyed. Instead of carbon dioxide being used up by plants it blankets the earth, holding in excess heat. At the same time, loss of the heavy shade tree canopy of tropical forests that keeps the forest floor damp, causes the soil to dry out, turning once-forested land to desert. Much of the Sahara Desert was once tropical rain forest whose rivers supported hippopotami and crocodiles and billions of forest birds and animals. Human greed killed them all. When are we going to raise our voices with enough clamor to force governments to issue moratoriums on slash and burn practices, legal logging in old-growth forest and stop illegal logging world-wide? Why are we not demanding that governments enforce a policy of cut-a-tree/plant-a-tree? How many animal species are we losing every year with the Paraguay-sized portion of forest that we lose, and why do we allow it?