Home > Uncategorized > A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Hi Everyone!

Starting out this semester, it was time to finally get my science requirement out of the way. Thus I have signed up for a course in Environmental Geology. In all honesty, the class was chosen mainly by my adviser who knew of my failed expertise in science. I know what you’re thinking, “rocks for jocks!” But no, thankfully, Geology has been pretty insightful so far. We have just touched on basics, but what has really caught my attention (and I am hoping will interest you all as well) is the risk we, humans, pose to Biodiversity. Some of you may not know what that even is..no worries, I had hardly any idea as well. Biodiversity can be defined plainly as the “variation of species within a given ecosystem, biome or the entire Earth”.

Following this information, I learned about the high risk we are posing for biomes and species developing across the globe. New species are coming to life and others are becoming extinct as time drags on. In present day however, humans have spread far beyond Earth’s capacity. In fact, 50% of all the land mass has been turned over for human use. Looking a bit less generally, and lot more specifically,  I’d like to point out the great extinction. No, not of animals (although it definitely concerns them) but of rain forests! Did you know rain forests, unlike regular forests, cannot regenerate? That means all the wood we have chopped down has a large chance of never being replenished. The answer lies in the rain forests’ biomass. Unlike forests, whose main nutrients reside in the soil, the biomass can not be assuaged. After rain forests are cleared, rain washes away any nutrients left in the soil- leaving it extremely acidic and even worse: useless.

Coming from an urban setting, where trees are a minority and skyscrapers are far too many, it really makes me think. Does life truly have a clear ending? What happens when we cut down all of those rain forests with no hope of return? I’m sure that will hardly stop anyone. People are selfish. They will always take what they can get.

My goal is to someday own my own patch of land and maybe even adopt an acre of a tropic rain forest. It’s a great cause that benefits us, our biosphere, and many species that rely on it. I have done just a bit of research and have come across a great site that offers just that. Please check it out and join in my efforts to make a difference! Hopefully a tree will grow in other places, but for now I’ll focus on Brooklyn.

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/adoptImage

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. lexicory
    February 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I agree with this post. I grew up in a very rural area- the woods of south Alabama. DC is my first urban experience, and it is a hugely vast difference from the woods and rivers I lived in. I love DC, but it is also easy to see the incredible human impact on Earth’s biodiversity, as I can easily compare the different environments, where one has had more human development than the other.
    There is definitely a line between what we need from the rainforest for life, and what begins to be arbitrary. I agree that more people and groups need to bee more aware of our impact on the environment, especially non-renewable resources.

  2. HK
    February 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    The disappearing of rain forests is incredibly sad. The benefits of maintaining them far outweigh their destruction. They’re a source of pharmacological advancements and vital to the air we breathe. People need to be informed of the proliferation of deforestation and the threat it poses to the biosphere. I think if more people knew these issues, they would care enough to intervene.

  3. February 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I agree with the author and the reality of deforestation damaging our planet and the ecosystem. However, it is difficult issue because simply trees are too valuable to our society. trees are not only a resource for us, but it is an economical gain for certain countries such as Brazil and south east Asia. I think that in the end it will be science that will help us stop cutting down rain forests, such as recycling technology and ipad where you don’t need to use tree.

    It is a fact that deforestation is one of the serious issues when it comes to global warming, food, and other global problem that we face today.
    From what I heard, everyday at least one specific creature is facing extinction, and even now we still find new species every year. Now that really makes me because simply we are killing species that none of us has ever seen.

  4. February 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Like lexicory, I grew up in a rural area- Central Pennsylvania, the heart of Appalachia- perpetually surrounded by trees. Everyone in my town was connected to the woods and river and lived in harmony with the nature that surrounded us for years. The recent gas drillings are leaving the previously pure forest scarred with machinery and tainting the waters that offer life to the local wildlife. If the gas drillers are not careful, their practices could severely affect the natural habitats of so many animals. There have already been pollution problems in the waters, affecting both humans and animals alike. Being a largely rural area, many people live on well water and are seeing the effects of unsafe drilling and disposal habits. The local governments are blinded by the monetary gain that comes with the gas companies, however, and are overlooking the lasting effects of the drilling on the ecosystem. The depletion of the forest and natural habitat is not worth a couple bucks, and until the government realizes that, the destruction will continue. In forums with the people in charge of the gas drilling, they glossed over the facts and harsh truths and straight out lied about the damages done to the ecosystem. It’s sickening how people overlook the harm done to the environment in lieu of money.

  5. February 6, 2012 at 5:52 am

    One of the comments mcowher made that i found interesting is that ecosystem destruction will be abated with government regulation, as regulation can provide incentives for companies to be more environmentally aware or impose restrictions that can limit or prohibit environment destruction.

    However, there are two issues that make government regulation of environmental problems difficult. One issue is that weak governments that cannot provide basic government services to their public would not be able to provide effective environmental laws or regulation. Many of these countries then experience more resource exploitation as mentioned in the post above, and cannot provide incentives to prevent ecosystem destruction. A second issue is that there is no international environmental law. This means that some countries follow certain laws concerning the environment but others do not and are not forced to. If countries that do not follow the laws are the largest polluters, there is still a large environmental problem that is not fixed.

    Overall, although government regulation is needed to diminish ecosystem destruction and preserve important resources on the earth, it is a complicated process that takes time to put in place and enforce. Hopefully we can work on putting the kind of regulation we need in place before it’s too late for the rain forests!

  6. Leila Mafoud
    February 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Topics like these always make me wonder how far humans will go before they realize it is too late? Or, even more interestingly, if technological advancements can be take this place of Earth’s necessities, such as the rain forest, and allow us to use our planet in ways never imagined and somewhat independent of nature. I know this concept is futuristic and may seem somewhat farfetched but two hundred years ago so were cars, one hundred and fifty years ago so were airplanes, a hundred years ago so was the internet. Thus, if the human race is not showing any large scale intention on slowing down then maybe scientists should start looking for alternatives.

  7. February 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I totally agree with your concern. I am not the most active science student but when it comes to environmental sciences I am always intrigued. To be honest, I always get a little pang of anxiety when the fate of our planet and our existence is discussed. It always makes me wonder if people in the world are actually doing something to save the planet, like recycling, when they say they do. For example, GW claims that it is a green campus but do we actually recycle all the recyclables on campus? I really hope so. I personally think the entire world has to take more action in correcting our planet’s environment but it’s definitely reassuring that there are people out there concerned about it too and even blogging about it.

  8. leimaf
    April 23, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Topics like these always make me wonder how far humans will go before they realize it is too late? Or, even more interestingly, if technological advancements can be take this place of Earth’s necessities, such as the rain forest, and allow us to use our planet in ways never imagined and somewhat independent of nature. I know this concept is futuristic and may seem somewhat farfetched but two hundred years ago so were cars, one hundred and fifty years ago so were airplanes, a hundred years ago so was the internet. Thus, if the human race is not showing any large scale intention on slowing down then maybe scientists should start looking for alternatives.

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