In Case You Forgot, Forests Are Awesome…

President Obama made history when he endorsed a†new EPA rule that would (finally) crack down on some of the worst polluters in America: dirty power plants. While the proposed rules are far from perfect, they’re a step in the right direction. They’re also going to be fiercely disputed by those who will have to adapt or become obsolete (I’m looking at you King Coal).

As the environmental community braces for a fight, I can’t help think about other, easier options that we’ve ignored for decades. Options like protecting the natural resources that clean our air automatically and act as sanctuaries for the plant and animal life that’s fading fast.

I’m talking about forests.

Forests are the largest terrestrial carbon sink known to man, and America has nearly 751 million acres of forest land. Sadly, instead of protecting this massive asset in the fight against climate changing air pollution, we’ve exploited it.

According to the United Nationís†Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the 33 million acres of forestland that are lost annually around the globe are responsible for 20 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.†Deforestation is one of the planetís most dire environmental issues, and yet few people realize that by eliminating our forests, we’re actually fast-tracking our own extinction.

“Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization,” explains NASA’s Earth Observatory. “Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation. Most often, multiple processes work simultaneously or sequentially to cause deforestation.”

Each of us is responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the systematic elimination of the planet’s precious forest systems. The products we buy, brands we support, political candidates we vote for, and even the drugs we consume all help decide the fate of these vital ecosystems.

Read “5 Ways to Show Trees the Love” for some simple changes that can help our forests and scroll through the infographic below to learn more about why they’re so important.

Infographic via American Forest Foundation

Image via Thinkstock

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 months ago

Trees and forests are more than awesome. Did you see that about eleven years ago a forest in Ireland was saved because 50 thousand signed a petition!
Among the many pressing questions now facing humanity as it moves towards maturity are such practical issues as: how to appropriately use the world’s natural resources; how to make best use of the land and develop technology that serves the community in an appropriate way; and how to produce and distribute goods and services equitably.
‘’Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. ‘’

Sherry Siegel
Sherry Siegel4 months ago

I hope everyone wakes up to realize that each and everyone of us needs to make serious life changes in our daily lives.

Lawrence Dsouza
Lawrence D.4 months ago


Beryl Ludwig
Beryl Ludwig4 months ago

Great article. I love our forests and always enjoy them and am so careful to not destroy anything growing from the forest floor to the largest trees. ir is such a fine and beautiful ecosystem. Thank you for this article

Caroline d.
Caroline d.5 months ago

I can't forget thé beautiful place where I spent a part of my childhood !!!
Thank you for sharing this article, dear Beth.
Be all blessed as your loved ones and have a great weekend ! :)

Brenda R.
Brenda R.5 months ago

We have a beautiful forest in the back yard. I spent 9 hours one day cleaning up the trash, trash is like a neon light to me in natural wild places, like forests, beaches and oceans, I have to pick litter up. I love the saying "Leave a place better than you found it." It looks so much better after and I feel good doing it. It is a reminder to others as well when they see me doing it.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.6 months ago

Thank you for sharing, great infographic, if only we weren't destroying all those beautiful forests... The human race is a plague.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis Whitney6 months ago

The forest around Canberra are beautiful, some are too close to the homes as they found out, when the terrible fires went through there several years ago, they are now resisting building close to built up areas now, It is beautiful driving through the forest in Tasmania , especially going from Cradle Mountain to Stanley,

Dt Nc
Dt Nc6 months ago

Thanks. Got to protect forest. As Smokey the Bear said, "Only you can prevent forest fire."

Rose R.
Rose R.6 months ago

Trees are one of the strongest examples of plants SPEAKING to us. Thanks for an important article.