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species extinction Destruction Of The Rain Forest

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 ... more

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Bears Beware

In our world today many animals and plants are loosing their fight
against human intervention in their once well-balanced ecosystem.  We are all
aware of the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dodo birds, however most people
do not realize that annually thousands of species of our flora and fauna are
now becoming extinct.  This on going trend is increasingly threatening our
bio diversity and global ecology.  To give a specific example of animal depletion
I will focus on Canadian bears.  The following factors are responsible for
their decline. Hunting, loss of habitat, and just plain apathy on part of the
public to preserve the bio diversity of our land.
During 1994/95, a total
of 19,430 bear hunting licenses were issued to both residential and non-residential
people.  There were 3,790 so-called legal bear kills in BC alone.  It is estimated
that out of every one legally killed bear be it grizzly or black two are killed
illegally by poachers primarily just for their paws, head, gall bladder, and
reproductive organs.  These body parts are considered by Orientals to increase
strength and rejuvenate male potency. Given these facts 11,190 bears were killed
last year.  Biologist estimate that to keep the bear population at a balanced
figure only 4% should be allowed to be harvested annually. The current annual
harvest rate it is more like 8-12%.  In my opinion this is really outrageous.
We are watching it in front of our eyes and little is being done to prevent
it. We have already witnessed the rhinos, African elephants and the Siberian
tiger go through the same process and now they are on the brink of extinction.
Legal
hunting and poaching are similar in the sense that they both result in the
slaughter of animals be it bears or any creature.  Having depleted the animals
in their own countries, the rich flock here in the hundreds to go on big game
hunting expeditions and kill; anywhere from one to who knows how many bears.
I really don't understand what is going on with our government to allow this
to happen.  Soon grizzlies will be deemed endangered and when this happens
the price for their head will skyrocket and encourage further poaching.  
The
typical responses heard from hunters are:
"We are the top of the food chain";
"That's why they are here, to satisfy man",  "it don't hurt their numbers",
"Its just a bear".  Their ignorant attitude is very short sighted and self-indulgent.
In my opinion if we want these magnificent creatures to be here for us, our
children and their children we should not allow foreign game hunters to come
here and slaughter any animals. There should be imposed a greater  penalty
for poachers.  Fewer and much more expensive hunting licenses would help to
reduce the killing of the big game. There should be an increase in wildlife
officials.  
While hunting is a major factor in the decrease of bears, loss
of habitat is even a greater issue.  This is due primarily to the escalating
population and civilization's increasing encroachment.  An example of this
is clear cut logging and the building of roads through these animals' habitats.
A parallel to this encroachment into wilderness is if someone were to go through
your house everyday.  I personally couldn't cope with this.  
Biologists keep
trying to figure the dynamics of depleting animal population only to discover
that the major factor is man.  My reaction to this is that the more concerned
individuals must lobby the government to take a stand and say "enough" to logging
companies and land developers.
Why are people like this today?  They see something
wrong happening and they don't react to it unless it directly involves them.
Well here is reality. The bears and other wildlife are following the footsteps
of the once countless bison that roamed the prairies. While the majority of
society are either unaware or don't care. At present, the fate of our wild
creatures lies in the hand of small organizations like 'Bear Watch' and 'Western
Wildlife Committee' who are trying to stop the destruction.  They are putting
little dents into the hunting businesses and logging companies.  But this is
not enough.  Society waits until the last minute to react but its usually too
late.  It is just plain apathy on the part of man today to preserve the bio
diversity of our land.

It is not bears per say that I particularly have
a passion to save.  For the First Nations people the bear is a totem of strength,
endurance ... more

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