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Habitat loss and climate

  1. Oct 3, 2005 #1
    MK asked on another thread how a particular frog ties into climate change. I responded and provided a general connection between types of plant communities and the carbon they can "sink" from the atmosphere, and allusions to how loss of habitat in general is contributing to despeciation (in this case, loss of a frog that may be a valuable tool in the fight against AIDS.)

    I thought I'd look for an article or two, on this or a closely related topic. The one below seemed interesting to me. It looks like half of the net primary production on land (conversion of atmospheric CO2 to sugars - which is carried out by algae and plants) is carried out by tropical evergreen forests. This is one more reason that we should not be cutting down acres and acres of rainforest to convert to farmland.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2005 #2
    I hear ya on the chopping down the rainforests issue, but I would like to know what really can be done? The Brazilian government cont do much, because the poverty striken farmers there must rely on the slash and burn farming mathod to make their crops. It isnt what many movies make it out to be, it isnt some evil logging company chopping them all down, most of it is due to simple farmers trying to grow crops. Another problem that this presents is that farmers cannot continue to grow crops in one spot in the rainforest for very long. The soil is very infertile, so they have t oleave that lot, and move to another section of rainforest that hasnt been purchased by someone else. They have to move in toward the rainforest because that land is unowned by anyone, so they can actually afford it.
  4. Oct 4, 2005 #3


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    Any ideas on what "we" can do, Patty?
  5. Oct 4, 2005 #4
    I´m afraid that the story of the rain forests is a bit more complicated. I couldn´t agree more on preservation of the rain forest and I think this is problem priority nr 1

    The solution? Controlled production forests and farming? This acts as a carbon sink, which is not important for climate but it is important for increasing biomass to balance (feed) the world population. After all biomass is merely the sum of all carbon (dioxide) available for the biologic carbon cycle.

    Furthermore, have the population focus on other ways of living. Those solutions needs a lot of investments. Investement that are now idle spilled on a non problem.
  6. Oct 4, 2005 #5
    Sure. Sign petitions, support locally grown produce,

    Oh hell, you could try a search engine: Here's five things the Nature Conservancy recommends.
    You can go further, and adopt an acre or two, yourself. But simple steps are good as well. Go for it!
  7. Oct 6, 2005 #6
    yes, but sooner or later I think the Brazilian government may end up intervening on envirnmentalists efforts. Petitions I dont think will do much, and you cant blame the poverty stricken farmers that dont have much of any other choice. I dont mean to point fingers, but this is the Brazilian government's problem, if they choose to ignore it, then they have a jurisdiction to do so. I dont think that the common American has much power in influencing what that nation decides to do. If anything, we can put more pressure on our own government, which in turn can put political pressure on the Brazilian government, which may produce some positive envirnmental results. Unfortunately, I dont quite think that our own government has been too concerned about environmental/ecological problems in the past, so....

    Im not sure what will happen.
  8. Oct 6, 2005 #7


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    How about this, there is nothing YOU can do about THEIR rainforests. WhiteWolf is right, it's not our problem to correct.

    So, since hungry farmers in foreign countries are clearing land in order to feed their families, I'm going to:

    -Go to Ace hardware and ask them where the legally harvested 2x4s aisle is.
    -Quit using toilet paper.
    -Freeze my household.
    -Burn extra fuel spending more money and time looking for looking for "locally" grown food products.


    -Adopt acres of foreign land??? Yeah, I'll get right on that.

    BTW, how many acres have you adopted?

    You know, I respect it if people want to do these things but, these are ideals that shouldn't be shoved down anyones throat (refering to environmentalists in general) any more than Christianity or any other moral philosophies.
  9. Oct 6, 2005 #8
    There is something like world heritage. If we -the-world- would really get our act together spending assets the right way, we could figure out a way that would secure the rain forests and give the people alternatives for destroying them.

    If you could earn your living by organizing photo safari's, you would be mad to hunt all the animals and put yourself out of business.
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