Reading - 2 Rain ForestsIn the scheme of creation, animals and plants have complementary roles. Plants are able to draw nourishment from earth and its minerals. Animals, in turn draw nourishment from plants and from each other. In return, the animals enrich the environment with what the plants need, in the form of carbon dioxide and wastes. Occasionally one of the animals, man, found it necessary to destroy plants; but this was mostly for farming. What happened was that one type of plant was replaced with another. So the harm done was little. On the whole the arrangement was neat. Then came industries.
Industries need large areas of land just like farming. Unlike in farms where one type of plant is replaced with another, industries destroy plants and replaced them with buildings. Moreover, industries pollute the environment. Waste chemicals from the factories destroy the plants and the carbon dioxide emitted is too much for the trees to cope with. The harm continues as more and plants are destroyed to make way for buildings. As a result the plants are fighting a losing battle.
Of special concern are the rainforests. The area of thousands of acres along the equator, throughout the world is the home of the rainforest. It is tightly packed jungle throughout and has been the fortress, since the beginning of time, where a countless of plants and animals have thrived undisturbed. The rainforests are a sort of lung for the world. There are so many plants in the belt that they actually have a great role in the control of world weather. Needless to say, any destruction of the rainforest will play damage with the world weather.
In earlier times, the rainforests used to be cleared for farming and a little for timber. But now with the rest of the world’s forest almost used up, the rainforest is being systematically destroyed. What is being used is heavy machinery to destroy vast stretches of the forest at an unbelievable speed.
The destruction is so fast that the jungle cannot recover all. The world is shocked as everyone sees that the harm is to everyone.
The countries which contain the rainforests, there seem to be little alternative. They need the land for farming to support ever increasing populations and the timber from the forest fetches prices in the world market. The other countries that are crying out to save the forests are, ironically enough, those who have already destroyed theirs. The reply of the rainforest countries is a simple one: We are only doing what you have done and for the same reasons as you, to feed ourselves. No one can argue with this.
Can anything be done? One possible answer seems to be that, the whole world can be considered as a single community. If this becomes a reality, then the problem will be resolved immediately. Everyone will be fed from the farms and the industries in places where there is an abundance of land for such purposes. At the same time, the rainforests will belong to everyone and no one will be able to destroy them. Is this a farfetched idea?
I. How do animals and plants support each other?
II. Why occasional destruction of plants did not cause much damage?
III. Write two ways how industries cause extensive damage.
IV. Where are the rain forests located?
V. What is the ill-effect destroyed the forests at an unbelievable rate with heavy machinery?
VI. Why do the countries continue to destroy forests despite the alarm raised by
environmentalists? Give two reasons
VII. Suggest a way by which the destruction to the forests can be minimized
VIII. . Based on what you have read, list four points which prove the importance of the forests.