If you want to be depressed about the deforestation that is going on around the world, then Google's got the ticket for you.
If you happen to have Google Earth, you can take a look at the new layer, by David Tryse, showing the current status of forests around the world. Color coding shows how bad the state of these forests are in any given country. If you click on a country, a score card will pop up, giving you stats about the country, a counter of how many hectares have been lost so far this year (Brazil, arguably the worst country, has lost 1488590 hectares, and counting). It works similar to the pollution feature.
The charts also show if the country, even though cutting down trees, is replacing forest cover, whether through replanting initiatives or from growing natural forests. Unfortunately there's not a lot of great news, as most of the countries are losing forest much faster than they are being replenished, and even those new forest are weaker in biodiversity and can suffer from poorer soils resulting from erosion prior to replanting.
If being depressed about deforestation doesn't sound intriguing or you want to do something to counter it, Google Earth has other solutions, like buying a tree and watching it grow, sort of, on the website. And their reforestation feature is a little more optimistic.
written by Ali S., June 25, 2008
written by Angela, June 25, 2008
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