The tropical rainforests are falling at human hands. The world’s oldest living ecosystem is under threat in our conquest for farmland, timber, minerals, and other resources (Grainger 17). These forests cover 2% of the Earth’s surface, or 6% of its landmass, yet they house over half the plant and animal species on Earth (“Rainforests”). Rainforests originally covered twice that area. Deforestation is occurring on such a scale that if it were to continue “at present rates the forests could disappear within the next one to two hundred years” (Grainger 17).
Why should we be concerned? Deforestation poses a threat to the rich biological diversity of tropical rainforests, hinders the advancement of medicinal discoveries, and contributes largely to the greenhouse effect. Because if the forests go, then so will many of the species that they support….