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America Has Higher Percentage of Deforestation Than Brazil

America Has Higher Percentage of Deforestation Than Brazil

With all the recent talk about Earth Day and global warming, one thing is clear: the world could sure use some more oxygen and less CO2. In other words, we could use more trees.

Unfortunately, we’re losing trees. From 2000 to 2005 the earth lost more than a million square kilometers of forest land. And surprisingly, the country with the top percentage of forest lost was none other than the U.S.

In fact, North America lost the most forest out of the world’s six forest-containing continents — about 30 percent of the world’s total forest loss.

Why did the United States lose six percent of its forest cover in just five years? Even Brazil, the country we normally associate with deforestation, lost just 3.6 percent of its forest cover (although they did lose more area of forest than the U.S. — 165,000 kilometers versus 120,000 kilometers).

This shockingly high percentage in the U.S. can be attributed to fires, logging and beetle infestation. The mountain pine beetle is a little pest causing big problems in the nation’s forests because they eat their way deep into a tree’s bark to lay eggs. This essentially kills the tree, which you can identify by its bright red needles. The pine beetle population, which is usually kept in check by cool temperatures and winter mortality, is thriving to the point of environmental imbalance because of global warming.

Forest loss is also caused by agriculture, especially in countries like Argentina and Paraguay, where trees are cut down to make room for crops — including genetically modified soy, which is used as a food additive and in livestock feed. Just one more way factory farming contributes to global warming!

Malaysia has lost significant forest area because of palm oil plantations.

You can help lessen future deforestation in the U.S. from the out-of-control pine beetle infestation by signing this petition and telling the Senate to push for a robust climate bill.

 

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124 comments

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9:08AM PST on Dec 20, 2010

Not for long. Brazil has plans to wipe out the majority of the amazon by building a series of dams to supply energy for mining and industrialization.
Nobody wants to hear the truth about what we are, and what suffering and destruction happens to the world around us. Even though it is far away, we are all participants in the glutinous rape of the earth.

6:59AM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

Deforestation in the U.S. has been with us for a significantly long time, fueled by greed and a lack of understanding concerning the environmental value or airsheds and watersheds. We still treat our forests as if they are infinitely replaceable resources rather than precious and diminishing protectors of the global environment. And, not incidentally, the pine-beetle infestation is a direct consequence of climate change which itself has resulted in part from our greed for fossil fuels. In short, our problems result from the interconnectedness of a variety of different consumption patterns. We must change our consumption habits post haste, or our future problems will be even more severe.

9:11AM PDT on May 30, 2010

Tree farms are not natural forest and do NOT support the same wildlife that natural forest do! And most tree farms use harmful chemicals. We need to protect our natural forest lands!

1:09AM PDT on May 8, 2010

frightening numbers, indeed!

7:28AM PDT on May 6, 2010

U.S. forest land area has actually increased between 1997 and 2002 from 747 to 749 million acres. (Source: U.S., Department of Agriculture, Forest Resources of the United States, 2002: A Technical Document Supporting the USDA Forest Service 2005 Update of the RPA Assessment by W. Brad Smith, Patrick D. Miles, John S. Vissage, And Scott A. Pugh.)

As we know, deforestation is the *conversion* of the purpose of the land. Timber harvesting is not deforestation unless the area has not been replanted afterward.

11:26AM PDT on May 4, 2010

It has never been about the environment or animal! It is all about the money they make off of it.People like that should not be allowed to reproduce.Their not just destroying our future but the future generations.Their goal it to make as much money as they can and turn Anerica into a place like China.Too bad me not voting for these kind of people gets canceled out by the stupid people who do.Maybe if it keeps going like this we should inforce population control.I will not have kids cause I would want them to have a healthy future.One of the many reasons that you should adopt children and animals!GRRR

3:09AM PDT on May 4, 2010

Judging from the number of "No" polls, it is clear that many people in the US are aware of the deforestation.
What are you doing about this people?
Where are the petitions?
It is going the same way as the disastrous oil spill.
We rather have motorvehicles run than care about our oceans
and surely something can be done about the beetles.
If through earth warming the beetle stays alive, we have to look for something else to use.
Can you imagine the day we die because we do not get enough oxygen as there are too many people fighting for the same breath?

4:18PM PDT on May 3, 2010

Sumatra Indonesia also has extreme amounts of forest loss caused by Palm oil plantations and logging.
However it has one of the most diverse Eco-systems in the world it has even more species than the Amazon holds .

1:59PM PDT on May 3, 2010

Horrible... petition signed.

11:03AM PDT on May 3, 2010

Madness your name is human.

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