Value of Environmental Agencies


In current times man has become so consumed with weapons and money that the
planet has been neglected. With something so typical and now common as chopping
down the rainforest to produce trees for mass abundance of political paper and
land to graze more cattle this thoughtless destruction, disturbs all aspects of
the environment. This is business as usual. The lands being destroyed are the
most unique and diverse lands in the world. Chris Park Senior lecturer in the
Department of Geographer at Lancaster University states, “The available
statistics are impressive and... the rainforest\'s claim to fame as the richest
ecological zone on earth”(26). In order to efficiently restore and protect the
damaged land, animals, and people environmental agencies\' must be valued.
By destroying the forest, we are creating an open-door policy for
disease. For example, the S.Amerindians have long adopted to endemic disease
and have prevented them, in large part, by their adaptation to conditions of
life over the 20,000 years they have inhabited the tropical forest. With the
lumber companies invading these towns and villages, their western germs are
exposing isolated, once-contained people. Kathlyn Gay, author of Rainforests of
the World, mentions, “Indigenous people in many countries have died because of
contact with outsiders-usually whites of northern European extraction-who have
brought contagious diseases, ranging from measles to influenza, and sexually
transmitted disease”(20). With the importance of the land resources comes the
ever significance of the atmosphere. The atmosphere\'s most predictive component
is the ozone layer. The distribution of the forests and multiplying of grazing
cattle are causes immense damage to the ozone. John Nichol, head of Worldfest
90\' production and marketing, alludes, “In Brazil and other countries in South
and Central America the smoke from fires burning the jungle is sometimes so
thick that great palls of it drift for miles(140). These smoke clouds are
affecting the weather patterns. “Weather patterns are changing too, and the
consensus of informed opinion is that this too is a direct result of destruction
of the forest”(Nichol 136). The slashing and burning of the Amazon forest is
causing carbon monoxide build-up, promising severe damage to our security
blanket of the ozone. This damage and the critically harsh and uncharacteristic
weather pattern is slowly erasing some of our animals.
The animals are the most diverse and ecologically sound species on this
planet. They are not only being destroyed but exterminated. Many ecologist,
say that such a species\' loss has not occurred since the dinosaurs became
extinct 65 million years ago. Why is this so? The last drastic species loss
occurred when glaciers melted. Although converted waves of extinction have
certainly occurred in paleolithic past, current and future losses will be so
exponential that the implications are chilling. Average extinction “background
rate” has a range of 2.0 and 4.6 families/species per million years and may rise
to 19.3 during periods of mass extinction. The most complex and immense species
that will not be present for much longer are insects. “The recent
overburgeoning numbers of crop-destructive insects have been shown to be caused
at least in part by a decrease in the country\'s population of insect eating
birds,” advises, Arnold Newman the author of Tropical Rainforest (135). A
terrific example is the leaf cutter or parasol ants that are seen in the
neotropical forests. These ants climb trees that are only indigenous to
rainforest and cut out dime-sized pieces of leaves and flowers with their sharp
mandibles. The leaves and flowers of these trees are the main and only food for
these species of ants. And with the elimination of the forest will come the
elimination of the leaf cutter ants. “All forms of life within the rainforest
are highly interdependent, so that even small changes in habitat or species can
have serious knock on effects throughout the ecosystem”(Newman 19). This
disturbance of the food cycle is wickedly important. In general, the food cycle
literally goes from the ground up, plants being the primary producers. The
plants are eaten by herbivores and grazers and the carnivores eat both
herbivores and themselves(carnivores) when the forests are destroyed along with
the animals of all sizes huge gaps in the food cycle are vacant. This is a “
serious concern in recent years over stability and very survival of some
rainforests which are threatened with irreversible change if not wholesale
clearance”(Park 19). There mast be a way in which we can preserve nature. “A
common and effective approach to protecting nature in many countries has been to
designate particular areas as national parks or nature reserves, and restrict
land use changes or damaging activities within the designated areas”(Park 132).
Many people