Deforestation

Editor:

I would like to address my concern about deforestation, and I would like to explain to our community why this problem affects them.

To start off the definition of deforestation as stated in Webster’s Dictionary is as follows: the action of clearing a wide area of trees.

Well, this may not sound like a horrible action in and of itself, but workers cut down areas of trees the size of football fields every two seconds!

Although this statistic may not directly affect our community here in Ashland, Nebraska, it still affects us. Two mature trees provide enough oxygen to supply a family of four, and every minute 55,600 trees are cut down, thus creating more greenhouse gases.

This happens because when we cut down trees we decrease the number of trees there are to convert greenhouse gases, such as CO2, back into healthier gases like oxygen. So, the more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere the greater the chances of drastic climate change.

Scientists have concluded that drastic climate change would raise temperatures causing more droughts. This means we would not be able to produce nearly as many products to be sold in the agricultural market.

It could also mean that we may have to find a new way to get water to crops. If found, the new way of distributing water may be expensive and drive some people out of business. This can affect our way of life.

A number of residents of Ashland are involved with agriculture or supply products to the agricultural industry. We don’t want future generations of Ashland residents plagued with a problem that could be solved.

One way we could help with this problem is if we expanded the already existing process of reforestation. Currently we plant 4.3 mil-

lion hectares (10,000 square meters) of forest per year while losing 7.6 million hectares of forest per year. That accounts for a net decrease of 0.08 percent of forest area each year.

Although we are trying very hard to keep up with how many trees we cut down, we still have room to improve our efforts. This solution would help to mitigate our problem of drastic climate change in the future.

In conclusion, we need to keep an eye on this problem and do our part to solve the problem of deforestation.

Ian Mayer,

Ashland-Greenwood

High School

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