July 24th, 2009

I recently watched the Michael Jackson movie This Is It, which was based on the rehearsal of a concert that never came. In one of the themes for a song, a little native girl is shown trying to escape a bulldozer that’s destroying the land she lives in. This scene in particular reminded Me of Cameron’s movie, which presents a similar vignette.
It occurred to me that these movies are really onto something. Certainly, we’ve heard about a myriad environmental issues, from green house gases to the proposed grove of windmills on Nantucket Sound. And we’ve also heard about the rain forest, but more specifically, it’s really—truly—about time deforestation is put back into the spot light. If things don’t change soon, we will be finishing up some very dark work humanity has started. With no forests like the Amazon, our ecosytem will suffer irreversible damage, and we, as living creatures on this planet, will certainly feel the impact.
Thanks to the increasing demands for resources and capitalist interests, world deforestation is increasing at a staggering pace. What was once two basic needs for land clearing: crops and livestock, has now extended to the demands of a highly industrialized and global humanity. Economic globalization is hammering down on our forests from population growth, poverty, greed, rise in agricultural and lumber needs, infrastructure expansion, and so on. The consequences of this destruction is both environmental and social.
Deforestation is responsible for soil erosion, water scarcity, flooding and drought, in addition to climate change where upward of 20 percent of global carbon emissions are emitted into the air from deforestation alone, some studies say. Though the effect of rotting vegetation can produce coal in years ahead, this serves as little condolence to the indigenous tribes and settlers who have come to respect the land they depend upon. How stressful it must feel to have no control against their own government and the more influential countries who, having used up their own resources, now turn to your back yard to cut, burn and drill.
You can help stop this by supporting organizations who follow environmental friendly policies or by lending your support to advocates of land conservation. You can further help by being energy efficient. Don’t use electrical appliances for things you can easily do by hand, like opening cans. Save wire coat hangers and return them to the dry cleaners. Store food in re-usable containers, instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set your water heater at 130 degrees, and have your water heater insulated free of charge by your utility company. Turn your heat down and wear a sweater, or lower your thermostat by one degree per hour for every hour you’ll be away or asleep. Turn off the lights, TV, or other electrical appliances when you’re out of a room. You can find more ideas here at savetherainforest.org.
You can also help by sending your monetary donations here.