Deadly Effects of Deforestation

 

People cut down trees and never replace them.

People cut down trees and never replace them. Deforestation is directly related to climate change.

Deadly Effect of Deforestation

By D. S. Mitchell and Michael Leonard Douglas

“Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make land available for other uses”-Wikipedia-“Deforestation causes extinction, changes climate, creates deserts, and displaces indigenous populations”-Wikipedia.

From Then Until Now

32% of the planet is covered by forests

32% of the planet is covered by forests

Of the over 6 million original square miles of rain forest earth has lost over 4.5 million square miles. This incredible loss is due to human activity and naturally occurring deforestation events. In addition to human activity millions of trees are lost to wildfires and those losses are not effectively replaced. The pressures of constant logging make it impossible to preserve forests within a reasonable time frame. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s leading producers of palm oil. This fact makes them two of the world’s greatest deforestation culprits.

Deforestation

For a well-balanced relationship of organisms in the ecosystem, there must not be any interference with the natural processes. However, man has entered the picture and his activities are negatively influencing the natural balance. Over the last two decades the rate of deforestation has increased exponentially. The increased demand for timber products and the clearing of rain forests for developing palm oil plantations are two leading drivers of deforestation. Human beings are creating a dramatic imbalance in the eco-system that may be irreversible.

Getting Worse

It is estimated that we lose 18.7 million acres of trees annually.

It is estimated that we lose 18.7 million acres of trees annually.

Current efforts to stop deforestation are failing. It is estimated that up to 18.7 million acres of trees are lost from deforestation annually (IUCN, 2019).  Since the 1960’s, we have lost more than 50 % of the forest reserve. With continued destruction there are not enough trees being planted at a fast enough pace to restore the ecological balance. Deforestation is a global phenomenon, but some regions are more effected than others, especially the tropical rain forests. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that we may lose the tropical rain forests within the next 100 years.  They are not protected and replenished.

Effects 

With close to 32% of the planet covered by forests, increased deforestation is likely to effect every living thing on the planet. Can you imagine a world without trees. It would be a pretty horrific place. Where would we get food, fresh water? What kind of planet would it be without the wildlife we love? The threat is real. This is why efforts to curb deforestation make headlines and it has become a hot topic at conferences and forums held around the world. Citizens are demanding action from world leaders. Presidential candidates are making it the cornerstone of their election campaigns.

How It Happens

Once land is converted to agriculture return to forest is nearly impossible.

Once land is converted to agriculture return to forest is nearly impossible.

The primary cause of deforestation is agriculture. Subsistence farming accounts for 48% of deforestation. Commercial agriculture is responsible for 32%. Logging another 14%. Fuel wood removal 5%. The important issue is that forests are converted from their prior state of natural existence to a ‘economic producing’ status whether it be to farming, mining, ranching or industry. The removal of trees without re-planting is resulting in irreversible habitat damage, biodiversity loss, aridity and disturbance in the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

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Save The Orangutan Project

Orangutans will most likely only be found in zoos within the next decade.

Orangutans will most likely only be found in zoos within the next decade

THE ORANGUTAN PROJECT: DEFORESTATION HURTS

We @calamitypolitics are deeply concerned about deforestation and the deadly effects it is having on the planet. Rain forests are important because they are home to thousands of unique animal species, some not even identified yet. Calamity Politics contributor, Michael Leonard Douglas, has written a compelling article explaining the hazards of deforestation. Please watch for it.

One of the worst offending industries in the deforestation calamity is the palm oil industry  “Deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, and indigenous rights abuses in countries where it is produced, because land must be cleared for development and planting of the palm oil plantations,” The Orangutan Project.

Please take the 3-4 minutes to watch this video from the Orangutan Project. The loss of habitat is leaving many of our close cousins homeless and afraid. Deforestation hurts. Join the effort to stop palm oil atrocities and other devastators of our precious and rapidly disappearing rain forests-Darlene

More Of Trump’s Plan To Eviscerate The EPA

Trump promised during the campaign there would only be “little tidbits” left of the EPA when he was done with the agency. He has, now as president used every device available to make that campaign promise a reality.  Among some of his actions has been to take steps to revoke the Clean Power Plan and delay implementation of mercury and air toxics standards.  Additionally, there is the 2018 budget.  Trump’s proposed budget slashes EPA funding by 31%, effectively crippling the department.

1.) CLIMATE RESEARCH: EPA’s Science Advisory Board budget would be slashed by 84%, due to sweeping cuts to scientific programs.  People will be more vulnerable to, and less ready for extreme weather events. Lack of data will hinder the ability of other agencies to monitor Green House Gas emissions and forecast floods and hurricanes.

2.) STATE AIR QUALITY PROGRAMS: Significant funding for local monitoring comes from the EPA.  It allows health officials to warn of “Code Red” days when the air is dangerous for people with asthma. Trump budget would cut funding by one-third. An estimated 125 million Americans live in communities with unhealthy levels of air pollution. Local governments will be charged with maintaining air quality but may lack the money to do it.

Trump Promising To Gut The EPA

3.) CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ENFORCEMENT: Trump argues that states should oversee their own state’s environmental laws.  The president wants to cut EPA’s enforcement office by 40%. Trump’s budget would cut the grants that allow states to conduct that enforcement by 45%. Fees, fines and penalties will no longer be assessed or collected.

4.) SUPERFUND CLEANUP: There are more than 1300 toxic Superfund waste sites and 450,000 brownfield hazardous sites across the United States.  President Trump’s budget cuts would reduce the Superfund cleanup program by nearly $200,000,000.  Towns like Amesbury, MA that depend on federal funding to keep their citizens safe from groundwater contamination that will suffer from projected cutbacks.  De-funding the EPA also threatens redevelopment and restoration in many communities across the country.

5.) REGIONAL WATER QUALITY: Trump’s projected cuts would eliminate $400,000,000 for programs to clean up America’s greatest yet most threatened bodies of water–the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound.  It is expected that critical estuaries and the fishing industry that depends on them–like Chesapeake Bay crabs and oysters will be seriously harmed.

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Fossil Fuel Cronies Relentless War On The Environment

I belong to the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization founded in 1892 in San Francisco, California by Scottish-American preservationist John Muir.  Mr. Muir became the organization’s first president.  Today, I am one of 2.4 million members.  The Sierra Club motto is: “Explore, enjoy and protect our planet.”

Protect The Planet From Trump

That motto is quickly morphing into, “Protect our planet from Trump.” In a recent mailing the club sent out a dire warning of the intent and activities of the Trump Administration, Ryan Zinke and Scott Pruitt as they effect the environment. This will be a rather lengthy undertaking but I believe the information is important and should be shared. I, like many others, are deeply concerned.

It seems that the daily barrage of Washington scandal and outrage are on steroids since Trump’s inauguration.  One bullshit scandal, after bullshit scandal oozes out of the Trump White House. It seems that every hour we have our heads snapped back by a fresh Tweet from The Donald; or some new Russian revelation.

This information overload is distracting the public from all the damage being done behind the scenes by people like Zinke and Pruitt. Guys who lobbied or sued the very agencies that they now head.  They are now perfectly positioned to dismantle those agencies from within. An unimaginable opportunity for the extraction industries. Dis-mantling and neutering all government agencies is a priority of the Trump & Co. agenda. They call it “dis-mantling the administrative state.”

Mission: Dismantle From Within

Make no mistake about it, the Trump Administration is working every minute of every day, to turn our water, air, and public lands over to their supporters in gas, oil, coal and other extraction industries. They have made no secret of their intent, but damn it is hard to watch every action taken in some obscure office, especially with all the noise out front from the president. In fact, that could be the intention. Get us all watching the three-ring circus in Congress and the White House while their gang of thieves rob the nation of its wilderness heritage.

“The Trump Anti-Environment Action Plan:

  1. Abandon the Paris Climate Accord: In June Trump announced he was no longer bound by the Climate Agreement.  Sierra Club believes in the importance of the intent of the Paris Agreement and has vowed to aggressively work to make sure that Trump’s hand-picked fossil fuel, anti-environment henchmen will not be able to unravel the advances of the last 50 plus years.
  2. Emasculate Fuel Economy Standards: The Obama Administration raised the fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks or CAFE for short (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). These regulations are in the crosshairs, as I type.
  3. Kill The Environmental Protection Agency: The most hated government agency by far is the EPA.  Pro-industry, anti-environment extremists are on a mission to destroy the agency.  With a “compliant climate denier” as President Trump targeting the EPA, many of us doubt that the intent of the agency will survive.  The EPA will be starved by a “compliant” congress and it will slowly starve it of funding, leaving it “a hollow shell staffed by those who will pervert its mission.” The EPA is being decimated, one regulation at a time and there seems to be no one to stop it.
  4. Fill The Supreme Court With Anti-Environmentalists: Blame Mich McConnell for this one. McConnell’s actions are directly responsible for the first step in the plan to fill the Court. When Anthonin Scalia died suddenly, McConnell majority leader in the Senate denied President Obama the opportunity to fill that spot. Old Mitch and the boys will be celebrating that victory for probably 40 years. President Trump was able to confirm a “pro-industry, climate antagonist eager to overturn environmentally friendly cases and rule on the side of the fossil fuel and extraction industries.”

    Climate Science Denier To Head EPA For Trump

  5. Bring Back That Dirty Of Dirtiest Industries, King Coal: Trump told enthusiastic crowds during the rigged 2016 election that he could bring back the near dead coal industry.  He alone could do CPR and bring back that nearly dead monster back to life. Sadly, he may be able to reshape market forces that have caused coal to become a more expensive alternative to cleaner energy sources by ending the moratorium on new coal leases on public land. In essence a huge giveaway to this dirty industry.  Trump began to immediately  gut regulations that force coal companies to be responsible for the pollution they create.  He did this sleight of hand when he repealed the Stream Protection Bill as one of his first acts as president.

    Ready And Willing To Sell Off Public Lands

  6. Open Federal Lands To Fossil Fuel Exploration: The recently retired Representative Jason Chaffetz (R. UT) introduced H.R. 621 authorizing “the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain federal lands in 10 Western states, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. After it became public that Chaffetz was planning to transfer 3.3 million acres of public land to private interests, the public pressure forced him to withdraw the bill. But, there are many more men like Chaffetz paid by lobbyist to do the work of their donors, not the work of the public, and I am sure another Senator or Representative will re-package the legislation and re-introduce this government giveaway to fossil fuel their cronies.
  7. Dismantle The Clean Power Plan: The Republican end goal is to re-define greenhouse gases as not “dangerous to human health” putting them beyond the reach of the EPA’s jurisdiction, or deny EPA funding to the Act, dismantling the Clean Power Plan and its goal to curtail  carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants. Such actions are “likely to accelerate climate disruption precipitously.”

    Green Economy Is The World’s Best Bet For The Future

  8. Stop The Growth Of A Green Economy: Trump campaigned on a promise to “zero out federal research and development” for green energy. The reason for this is that fossil fuel companies like the behemoth, Exxon Mobil have few means to monetize wind and solar energy. I and many others are hoping that private industry has seen that “a green economy is the best bet for the future–both for consumers who will benefit from lower energy prices, and for an economy that offers good paying jobs here in the United States.
  9. Fill Environmental Agencies With Anti-Environmentalists: As noted in my introduction, the new hiring model for federal agencies which are designed to protect the environment are being subverted by anti-environmentalist being appointed to positions within the agencies. The notorious anti-EPA critic, Scott Pruitt being appointed to head the EPA has spelled disaster for the department. The Republican Senate literally raced to beat the release of thousands of emails detailing his “cozy relationship with energy companies”.  Evidence shows that when Pruitt was Oklahoma Attorney General, had energy company staffers and lobbyists ghost write his correspondence to federal officials.

BPA Is The Largest Fish Conservation Program On Earth And One Of It’s Largest Electrical Power Providers

Trump Wants To Steal NW Energy Resources: As a resident of the Northwest United States I know that the Columbia River is our regions greatest natural resource and the river’s dams and their electrical power are its most valuable man-made resources. The Bonneville Power Administration is the authority that sets the operation of the dams and transmits the electricity. The BPA generates 4 Billion dollars in revenue annually through the sales of the system’s electricity. In 1980’s Reagan proposed selling the entire BPA system, which raised a hue and cry. Trump and his allies are a little smarter, they are proposing “to sell off the ‘transmission’ of power from the dams.  Such a proposal would dramatically affect how the river is managed. “BPA’s management of the dams recognizes that there is an inherent trade-off for how much water is saved for fish, how cold and how deep that water is.  Few people realize that the BPA runs the largest fish conservation program in the world.  In other words, when you sell the transmission side of the dams, more than power is at stake.” This is at its core, “an attempt to steal an asset whose value Northwest ratepayers have paid for, at market rates.” (Information on the BPA item was provided by office of Senator Ron Wyden (D. OR) and The Daily Astorian newspaper 8-11-2017).

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog that attempts to write and publish opinions and comments based on real news and how those events will affect our lives.

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Darlene

EPA Cuts Cause Potential For Real Harm

Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog that’s main intention is to improve people’s lives. I’m here again, uncensored and irreverent, raising hell and screaming for attention. I know I’m about 3200 miles from Washington, D.C. but I pray people are aware of the perilous and irresponsible attack on the EPA that is taking place at the hands of the Trump Administration.  The Environmental Defense Fund states flatly, “No federal agency has been singled out for such a large and pernicious budget cut as the EPA”.

Approximately 90% of the American people support strong environmental protections.  It is an all hands on deck emergency if we will be able to stop President Trump’s efforts to gut the EPA budget, thus eliminating many core environmental safeguards. The government has been transferred into the hands of anti-environment extremists whose goal is profit through fossil fuel extraction over the lives of wildlife and our historic national park system.

Trump and the Congress seem to be on a mission to kill our national parks and destroy our environmental protections.  Many lobbyists are sent to Washington paid to convince legislators that relaxing restrictions on the millions of acres of National Parks land would be an economic boom for the country.  The goal seems to be directed toward shifting control from the federal government to the individual states, where those treasured resources can be sold, or licensed to the highest bidder for the systematic extraction of gold, silver, oil, gas, coal, and timber.

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Really, Scary

It is important when you are writing a political blog that you look at the overall impact the policies of an administration. The Trump Administration has gotten an F from Calamity Politics on its view of the environment, climate change and clean energy. U.S. political direction be toward what’s good for Mother Earth is good for her children.

Melting Glaciers Endanger Wildlife Survival

If you aren’t worried about climate change, you might want to re-think the importance of this dynamic world changing event on your life.  Most experts  predict huge population shifts, secondary to forced migration.  Shrinking resources, famine, war and rising sea levels, will push people from their native homelands into adjoining countries.  The receiving countries are expected to resist the pressure from these displaced populations elevating tensions and potentially the increased rise of Nationalism and World War III.

On March 1, 2017 the temperature in Cairo, Egypt and Antarctica both reached 63.5 F.

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Dar