The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Devastation of Deforestation
We all know that deforestation is going on and that it is a bad thing. But do you know the actual, terrifying scale of it?
The word terrifying is not used lightly here either, as the truth about the destruction of the world’s forests is almost hard to believe.
The scale of deforestation and the rate of it are visualised in this infographic, to illustrate just how serious this problem is.
The first fact to note is that the planet is currently losing 15 billion trees every year. 15 billion! But even when reading that massive figure it’s difficult to picture just how much that is.
So let’s look at it this way: in just every two days the earth loses an area of forest the size of New York City. That’s one of the world’s biggest cities gone in a weekend.
And over time this equates to some scary comparisons…
Every nine days we lose enough forest to fill Yosemite National Park in the USA, an area of more than 1,000 square miles.
Every three and a quarter years we lose forest equivalent to the size of the state of California. That’s almost 164,000 square miles.
This rate of deforestation means that we lose an area the size of Mexico every 15 years. And deforestation has been going on much longer than 15 years.
Is it time to do something yet?
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THE SCALE OF DEFORESTATION
OUR PLANET IS CURRENTLY LOSING OVER 15 BILLION TREES EVERY YEAR.
THAT’S THE EQUIVALENT TO A FOOTBALL FIELD EVERY 1.4 SECONDS WHICH IS….
AN AREA THE SIDE OF NEW YORK CITY EVERY 2 DAYS
AN AREA THE SIZE OF YOSEMITE EVERY 9 DAYS
AN AREA OF CALIFORNIA EVERY 3¼ YEARS
AN AREA THE SIZE OF MEXICO EVERY 15 YEARS
AROUND 5 BILLION NEW TREES ARE PLANTED OR SPROUT EVERY YEAR – ANNUAL GLOBAL FORESTATION = 5 BILLION TREES
BUT COMPARE THAT WITH THE LOSS OF TREES AND YOU CAN SEE THAT REFORESTATION AND DEFORESTATION ARE NOWHERE NEAR IN BALANCE – ANNUAL GLOBAL DEFORESTATION = 15 BILLION TREES
WHILE THE U.S. ONLY CONTAINS ABOUT 5% OF THE TOTAL WORLD POPULATION
IT CONSUMES A THIRD OF THE PAPER ON THE PLANET
DEFORESTATION ADDS MORE CO2 THAN THE SUM TOTAL OF CARS AND TRUCKS ON THE WORLD’S ROADS.
OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, EARTH DAY NETWORK IS CALLING ON US TO REDRESS THE BALANCE BY HELPING PLANT 7.8 MILLION TREES – AND IT STARTS NOW.
“LET’S MAKE BIG STUFF HAPPEN. LET’S PLANT 7.8 BILLION TREES FOR THE EARTH. LET’S DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS AND MAKE CITIES 100% RENEWABLE. LET’S START NOW. AND LET’S NOT STOP.” – EARTH DAY NETWORK