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Mother Earth Needs Healing - Effects of Rainforests and Deforestation on Earth
Help Mother Earth Heal
Mother Earth needs healing from current and past desecration.The effects of rain forests and deforestation on Earth are huge factors in how we can help our planet heal. All over the world sacred places have been destroyed, many parts of forests like this have been cut down, illegal felling of trees for lumber has taken a toll on forests, mountain tops have been cleared and leveled, lakes, streams and even the oceans have been polluted.
The harmony and balance of the planet is in danger.
The biggest pharmacy and incubator of life in the world is a rain forest. According to National Geographic, the National Cancer Institute estimated that 70 percent of plants that produce anti-cancer properties come from rain forests.
Rain forests are so dense that some areas have not been explored. There could be millions of species of plants not yet found that carry medicinal properties which could be a boon to mankind. About 40% to 70% of all living organisms can be found in these type forests and are indigenous to that environment.
Rain forests are home to more than half of the plants and animals of the world. Mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates live in these forests which have not changed much for millions of years (from the Paleozoic era). Deforestation, which causes loss of habitat, and atmospheric pollution is causing many of these species of animals and plants to disappear at an alarming rate.
Rain forests provide the world with an oxygen turnover of 28%. This is accomplished through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide, which is the process that plants use to convert light energy into chemical energy. This energy, when released, is fuel for the growth and activity of organisms. In this process, a waste product is oxygen, which is released into the air.
There are two types of rain forests, tropical and temperate.
Daintree Rain Forest, Tropical
Tropical Rain Forest
A tropical forest sustains high temperatures and heavy rainfall -- that means a constant hot and wet atmosphere which enhances growth of organisms beneficial to forests and to mankind. These type forests are found in Africa, Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Mexico, and the islands of the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Oceans.
As much as half of all living plant and animal species, plus two-thirds of all flowering plants on Earth thrive in a tropical rain forest. The warm, wet climate is above 64 degrees fahrenheit year round, with an annual rainfall from 66 inches to 390 inches.
Some indigenous people have inhabited tropical rain forests for tens of thousands of years. They have always been hunters-gatherers. Some have been so elusive that only recently have they been discovered. They have existed in the forests without destroying it.
Since food resources are very limited in the rain forest, these people rely on trade with outside agricultural people for most of their food. These indigenous tribes are in danger of losing the only home they have ever known. Illegal logging, and even legal logging or deforestation is threatening a way of life for people who have always survived in harmony with the forests.
Redwood National Park, Temperate
Temperate Rain Forest
Temperate rain forests exist in just a few regions in the world. They get a lot of rain, over 55 inches annually. The majority of these forests thrive in climates that receive moisture from oceans (Oceanic-Moist Climates), such as the Pacific temperate forests in Western North America and southwestern South America.
Other temperate zone rain forests are found in Subtropical-Moist Climates, which include the eastern Black Sea region, the Caspian rain forests of Iran and Azerbaijan, and Australia's coastal New South Wales.
Temperate Rain Forest
The largest temperate zone rain forests on Earth are the Pacific ecoregion on coastal mountains that face west. These forests exist from Kodiak Island, Alaska to northern California. Most of these rain forests are in the Rocky Mountain Floristic Region.
Often a fallen tree will be seen rotting on the ground. Some may wonder why it is not cleared. These fallen trees, referred to as "Nurse logs", are essential for providing a place for new seedlings to sprout and grow. If the rotting tree is taken away, the nursery for future trees is gone.
Trees in these regions are predominantly coniferous with the undergrowth of shrubs containing broad leaves. They receive most of their precipitation in the winter. In the summer, fogs form allowing the trees to extract and produce fog drip, which keeps the forest moist at all times.
Deforestation in Bolivia
Deforestation in Rio de Janeiro
It is important to know that there is a difference in deforestation and a regeneration harvest of a forest. A regeneration harvest is the term used in conformance with sustainable forestry practices which takes into account very broad social, economic and environmental goals.
Deforestation is clearing away a forest to use the land for other purposes which becomes permanent non-forest land.
Whether legal or illegal, once deforestation is done, the forest and all the benefits to the flora, fauna and humans are gone. Damage to habitat, biodiversity loss, moisture and water sources cause a hindrance or prevention of growth and development of plant and animal life. With deforestation, a lush rain forest will become desert like in many cases.
Clearing out rain forests disrupts the natural process of biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Deforestation of rainforests causes soil erosion and degrades the area into a wasteland. It causes climate changes and displacement or extinction of wildlife and plants. It destroys homes of tribes and their lifestyle. It is an ongoing situation that changes the climate and geography of regions around the world.
This is a controversial subject among experts and laymen alike. Overpopulation calls for the need of more agriculture, more residential properties, more companies and factories for employment, more of everything -- which means more land is needed. Where does most of this land come from? Rainforests are at the mercy of these needs. So, how do we solve this crisis?
It is up to all of us, if possible, to get involved by supporting efforts like sustainable forestry practices that can come to an agreeable solution. The least we can do is to not destroy any forest lands and to be responsible for our own personal environment by being ecologically minded and caring about our future and the future of our children.
Causes of deforestation:
Fuel wood removals
Restore Harmony and Balance
Harmony and Balance
What do you do, or can do, to restore harmony and balance to Mother Earth?
Harmony and Balance
Long, long ago, when the two-leggeds listened to the four-leggeds, the winged, and the ones with roots, there was Harmony and Balance on Mother Earth. There was Peace with all Creation. The rivers and lakes were full of clean waters, the air was pure. The Circle of Life was present in everything. Mother Earth was content and well. Then the voices were silenced and began speaking in languages we do not understand. Mother Earth became troubled - Mother Earth is not well.
In their time the Ancestors listened. They communed with Mother Earth, the animals, the birds, the plants. They prayed daily to Creator and offered thanks for all they had received. They prayed to the six directions, East, where the light and new life began; South, where the warmth and growth began; West, from where maturity and knowledge came; North, where old age and wisdom gave them peace and the knowledge that they lived their life well; Mother Earth, who gave us life and returned to us that which we planted in Her; Sky, where Creator lived and looked down on us with blessings and gave us knowledge, gave us our spirituality and took us back in to where our Ancestors walked when our physical life ended.
The Ones who walked before us were in almost constant prayer of thanks. They walked upon Mother Earth gently, as if each step was a prayer. They left no harsh footprints, only footprints of their spirituality and their way of life. They took from Nature and Mother Earth only what they needed and no more. And they gave thanks each time they took and asked the spirits of that which they took to give their gifts with blessings. They gave back with blessings of gratitude and the gift of caring, nurturing.
As more and more people came the animals retreated -- the lands where they once roamed became smaller and smaller. Even the birds who had the whole sky to soar in had less places on Mother Earth to rest. Plants and trees were uprooted without thought to their ability to give new life to the forests and wooded areas -- taken carelessly with no thought to their medicinal or nutritional values.
There are still many people on Mother Earth who listen to her and do what they can to protect and heal her, but are there enough people who care, who will make a difference? Are there enough to listen to the voices of the ancestors, the voices of the animals, birds, and plants? Is it too late to return to the simple life -- to live as much as possible off the land and to give back to it? If we continue to constantly take and not give back, there will one day be nothing to take, nothing to help us survive. There will be nothing left to give back to help Mother Earth survive.
We can listen still and do what is possible to heal Mother Earth, the giver and sustainer of life. We can dream of what it used to be like. We can also dream of what it could be like for our children and grandchildren. No achievement is ever realized without first having a dream, no journey is ever completed without taking that first step.
Help us Great Spirit
Open our Hearts
Mother Earth needs healing. It is past time to open our hearts, to wake up and step up to our task of doing what we can to save our planet. This article and others like it will hopefully encourage others to join with us and offer individual or global ways of making sure the beauty and resources of Earth will be available for future generations. In our prayers, in our poetry and articles, with our voices and, above all, in our actions, we can heal Mother Earth and save our planet.
Heart of Healing is Harmony and Balance
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© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns