A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
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.