Ms. Meredith Haby
English I Pre-AP
29 April 2014
Should We Put the Economy Before the Environment? The Amazon Rainforest accounts for more than half the worlds’ plant, animal, and insect species, 20 percent of our oxygen supply, and 80 percent of our fruits and vegetables (Witherbee, Issitt, Warhol). We have been cutting too many trees down and deforesting it. I believe that we should put the environment before the economy, because the economy will not matter if we are all gone. The future of the environment rests in our hands, but I am not so sure that is where it should be.
In South America, the Amazon Rainforest is their biggest economic revenue, used for almost everything. “The Economy of Brazil and nine other South American nations depend on the harvested products of the Amazon Rainforest and the cleared land for agriculture and industry (Warhol, Issitt).” Even though the Amazon Rainforest has a huge impact on the economy that doesn’t mean we have to destroy it in the process. Greedy companies may not care what happens to the environment, but the indigenous people who live there, environmentally friendly people, and the companies that depend on the survival of the rainforest do care. “Further deforestation is necessary to prevent economic collapse in the regions rural communities (Warhol, Issitt).”However, I believe the economy depends on the products the rainforest produces, not on the cleared land. The agriculture industry does not cut it in today’s world. Part of the economy might depend on the rainforest but they still need the rainforest to be alive too.
The Amazon itself is crucial to the world, not just the economies. The animal and the plant species contribute to the world too. “The Amazon contains approximately two-thirds of the worlds fresh, unfrozen water, an estimated 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of species of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, trees, and other plants, and an unknown number of undiscovered species (Driscoll, Flynn).” These unknown species could be a new vaccine to a medicine or a cure to cancer, the potential the Amazon has is undefined. “While burning is the quickest way to clear land, it is the most environmentally destructive, because the burning plants release carbon into the air that mixes with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Scientists believe that burning forests create about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming (Driscoll, Flynn).” The clearing of the land for agricultural purposes affects more than just the area around there; it affects the Earth as a whole too. If we keep on destroying and deforesting the rainforest, serious consequences can occur.
Most people try to do their best at helping the environment and “going green”, but what are we really doing to help out? Big organizations do most of the work and even their work doesn’t improve the situation that much. “If we underestimate the possibilities opened up by sustainability and environmental protection programs, we are likely to give into a…