With all the technological advancements, the rain forest has been greatly affected. Not only have the trees been cut down but also there positive aspects to the technology concerning this precious resource. Peter White is a head writer for National Geographic magazine and he said, ” The tropical rain forest may well be nature’s chief liberty of experience from which all of humanity can learn, not only how to do things but also what a vast variety of things may be possible”. We can all learn from this statement. The rain forest is a key to our environment and with all the technology destroying it and not replacing it we all should think about what is happening and what can be done to save it.
With technology greatly progressing through this century the rain forest has been destroyed at a fast rate. The rain forest is the home of about 50% of all species, the rain forest is a resource that should be saved and must be saved. It is once thought that the tropical rain forest was at one time a great space of 1.5 billion hectares but as the time goes on slowly that number shortens. In the year 2000 it was thought that there will only be 900 hectares left on the Earth. Even though there is not any rain forest in the United States, the rain forest greatly affects us in ways not known to all. Many medicines are found in the rain forest and many of them treat common diseases. Malaria is an example of a disease that has it’s treatments coming from quinine, taken form the cinchona tree in Peru. Also in surgery, d-tarbocuranine is greatly relied on as a muscle relaxer. It is made form curare, derived from an Amazonian liana. This research shows that the medicinal aspect of the rain forest is definitely needed for the advancement of technology itself.
Most of the new technology being made now, relies on the rain forest. The packaging which all the new stereos and CD players are shipped in, come from the trees. These trees are cut down into small pieces to make cardboard for the selfish needs of society. A massive amount of women have been on birth control and one of the major components of the pill is diosgenin. This is made from wild yams that come from Mexico. This draws the conclusion that the technology today might not be as advanced without the rain forest. But in saying that much then the at the same time the technology that we are developing today are having the opposite effect on the source of the advancement.
The destruction of the rain forest is a real problem in the world today because of technological advancements. Since the technology movement has come upon us, more and more wood and resources have been taken from the land. The loss of the forest was not a great concern to the world 100, 50 or 30 years ago. This is because there was not the technology to get into and use the resources from. Each time a tree is cut down, an animal’s home is gone. In each hectare of the rain forest there may be homes to possibly two hundred animals. The sudden change in the rain forest can directly be related to the technology being invented presently. So many people are interested in saving the world with medicines, that they have forgotten that their cures cause problems of their own.
When looking and searching for cures to the killer diseases of this time many scientists look to the rain forest for help. What is not realized is that each time a tree is cut down, the medicinal plants, the cures to these diseases are coming down with it. Much technology had been developed to try to find a cure for AIDS but what if that cure has already been slashed and burned? No one knows, and if the rain forest is not protected properly no one will ever know. The “greenhouse effect” affects us as a problem that must be saved in order to save the globe. The rain forest also affects all the people of the world by holding the carbon dioxide. The trees in the rain forest produce oxygen but the lack of this is not really the big problem. What is a major issue is when the rain forest is cut down, the carbon dioxide is no longer being held and is now sent into the atmosphere adding to the “greenhouse effect.” Having started this effect by the huge factories and such in our nation, the destruction of the rain forest is just adding to the problem.
In 1995 when 2 million square miles of rainforest were cut down, the covered enough distance to travel from the rocky mountains to Rhode Island. This research seems to indicate that if more and more rainforest s cut down the atmosphere will be more and more polluted adding to the environmental problems already faced by the earth. Randy Hayes once said, ” We’ll boycott a corporation until the sends of the Earth if we have to, because the end of the Earth is really what is at stake.” This quote is really notable because it is correct. If companies are not boycotted the end of the earth may rapidly approaching. A large company based in Japan cuts trees into tiny pieces to create disposable chopsticks and this organization is one of the ones he is most likely talking about. What a waste of the rain forest, disposable chopsticks. These chopsticks are not made directly form the first growth trees of the rain forest but from cleared spaces in the land. Fast growing hoop pines are planted in these spots. They are then harvested and monthly, 45 billion chopsticks are shipped out. With all this technology the rainforest is rapidly decreasing. And as Anderson Mutang Urud says, “The forest is our home, our house. If a thief comes in, we must take action. To us the loggers are thieves in our homeland”
The forest really does shelter us. It provides the ways and means to further the medicines of our times and for many other technological advancements. It would seem that the technology that is destroying the rainforest could also be used to help it. One way the world is trying to save the rain forest is by creating biosphere reserves. This idea was first promoted by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. What is designed is to have an inner core of rain forest that is saved and never touched. Around this core is a concentric ring, which is used by the human inhabitants of the area. They can use this land to gather plants and food. Around this zone is the one used my more people for farming or development. A plus for this type of reserve is that there will always be that inner core tat is composed of never touched rain forest. Its drawbacks include the fact that if the two outer zones get too full people may start chipping away at the core reducing it little by little. The people that will live on these reserves usually are very environmentally conscious so this problem may actually disappear.
Peter White writes about how in Central America and Amazonian, spans of undisturbed forests have been cleared for cattle ranches and farms due to the need for a greater advancement of technology. Too often, the pastures and fields lose their productivity after a few years and then more forest must be destroyed. An alternative to this destruction is being developed at North Carolina State University. The scientists there believe that year round crops can be grown for many years at a time, if scientifically managed. By using soil analysis, modern fertilizers and crop rotation this has been successful. In Peru, a field has raised a variety of plants and found this to be a success.
Many companies have been trying to help the forests by making rules. Emil Salim, Indonesia’s minister for control of development and the environment said, “We have good rules. Select cutting only, and mandatory replanting. The problem is enforcement.” Another group that is helping the rain forest without even knowing it is the Kuna Indians. They are a group of Indians that live in the forest. They inhabit a expanse of 1240 sq. miles and they protect it. They way they do this is my religion. They believe evil spirits live inside the forest, so to not upset th4em they don’t upset the rain forest. The forest ca even be saved without the use of technology. Clearly the rain forest is a precious natural resource and the technological destruction of the this natural resource effects the entire world. All the destruction taking place today can be fixed, but as Randy Hayes says, “You have to think of it as a long-term process.” It is possible that we can heal the wounds created today but it will take a lot of mending. The advancement of technology is hurting the nature once known to this world. With all this technology, the world is moving so fast that the simple things in life that we all take for granted may not be there for us to take for granted soon. This technological revolution that is occurring at the right time, for we can use these advancements for out profit. If more people look at that is going on in the world, maybe the rain forest which is so important to all of humanity and not be extinct for future generations.