The very mention of the word deforestation is worth frowning upon. Such has been the demonization of deforestation. From the perspective of environmentalists and even if you were to consider the blatant extreme of deforestation, you would consider it as nothing but evil. However, there is another perspective. Deforestation does have certain advantages. Anything in its extreme form is not desirable. It is no different in the case of deforestation.
List of Pros of Deforestation
1. Makes More Space
Deforestation makes more space available for more productive purposes. Deforestation is at the crux of developing infrastructure, building cities, to boost industrial expansions and for economic growth. Deforestation is not just rampant cutting down of trees or wiping entire forests off the earth’s crust. It is also planned clearing of land and getting rid of forests that don’t always serve a larger purpose. With the global population expanding rapidly, there is a need for more land. It is expected that the world may be home to more than ten billion people by 2050. People will need homes, offices, industrial growth will have to be accounted for and there will be need for more materials as well as natural resources which can only be obtained through deforestation.
2. Supplies Materials
Deforestation, as a process, is one of the largest suppliers of natural materials. From hardwood to paper, availability of agricultural land to minerals, deforestation serves myriad needs of humans and the world. With more agricultural land, we can produce more food and feed more people. With more hardwood and minerals, we can support more industries and ensure prosperity for the growing populace.
3. Fuels Industrialization
It is quintessential for setting up of communities and hence furthering civilization. It is also at the crux of economic growth. As more deforestation projects are undertaken, there will be more jobs. The jobs will not only pertain to the deforestation projects but also the industries that would be processing or using the materials obtained through deforestation. Many other associated industries will also get a boost which will further increase employment.
4. Contributes to Food Supply
Deforestation allows humans to grow more food. That is not only necessary but it also implies the increasing need of grazing land. Deforestation allows livestock to graze freely. Domestic animals or animals that are part of the livestock grown for human consumption and other purposes cannot live in the wild. Deforestation provides them the safety and the natural habitat that is necessary.
5. Necessary for Access
Deforestation is necessary in developing and underdeveloped parts of the world. There are many tribes that live in forests or jungles and don’t have access to roads, rail or even telecommunication. They don’t have access to adequate food, healthcare and other provisions that we have taken for granted in our privileged cities and well provisioned towns or villages.
List of Cons of Deforestation
1. Increases Carbon Dioxide Levels
Deforestation has many adverse impacts, the first of which is the increase in carbon dioxide in the air. The atmosphere maintains and tries to maintain a balance. All of nature put together makes for the ideal living conditions for all plant and animal species. With increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, humans will find it increasingly difficult to breathe in fresh oxygen laden air. As more trees get felled, there will be fewer or no leaves or plants and hence less oxygen would be produced, which is a byproduct of photosynthesis. Deforestation is directly responsible for global warming and further deforestation will worsen the condition.
2. Eliminates Coverage
Deforestation leads to destroying the green cover in a place. Plants play a pivotal role in the climate of an area. With more trees gone and arid or semi arid lands, there will be less moisture in the air, the soil will get less water and the climate will be affected. Groundwater reserves may dry up and an ecological imbalance would ensue. One of the first adverse developments would be drought. There can be severe climate changes in an area and that can make the place less than suitable to live in or to do anything in.
It focuses on short term results. Long term damages are ignored. Deforestation only gets you a finite amount of natural resources, including timber and minerals. It doesn’t provide an endless supply of anything. However, if deforestation continues, then there will be a shortfall of available forests and land. For those are finite. Not replenishing forest cover will be disastrous for the world. Not only would climate be adversely affected but livestock will not have enough food, they would consume more greenery and result in water crisis, eventually it would be the humans who wouldn’t have enough food or water. This may sound alarmist but it is a very real possibility.
4. Impacts the Wildlife Around
Deforestation has a temporary impact on economy but the long term impact on wildlife and environment is irrevocable. Various species of plants and animals go extinct in the process. There is an imminent danger of flooding. With the forests gone, the organic sources of various contemporary medicines and the possibility of inventing more medicines will be drastically curtailed.