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Causes of Deforestation Essay

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Humans have always cleared the forest for our own interests, but in the past, the process was slow and only limited regions were deforested, generally for subsistence agriculture. However, today, humanity is far more efficient at clearing the forest with our advanced technology and machinery and our almost maniacal drive to earn profits in the near term.

Ranching

Cattle ranches are created in the rainforest for many fast food companies. Large areas of rainforests are burned away to create grasslands where cattle are brought in to graze. They are then killed and used for beef in Western fast food companies like McDonalds and Burger King. Also, local farmers who have recently migrated to the
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As the countries that own the wood do not have the technology available to manufacture such products, the wood is sold at a cheap price, as it is a primary resource. Loggers cut down 10's of trees to get to the valuable hardwood trees they want, which themselves often bring down many trees around them. Logging in the Amazon is closely linked with road building. Studies by the Environmental Defence Fund show that areas that have been selectively logged are eight times more likely to be settled and cleared by shifting cultivators than untouched rainforests because of access granted by logging roads. Logging is the second largest cause of deforestation.

Mining

Many of the planet's rainforests lie over rich mineral deposits. The mining process releases harmful toxins, like mercury and cyanide which are often used in the gold extraction process, into local streams and river, polluting both the waters and the surrounding lands. There is, however, good money in the mining industry and many residents are encouraged to work in the mines. They create good money for a country while destroying the resource.

Dams/Energy

Large hydroelectric projects, funded by international aid and development organizations like the World Bank, have lead
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