Rainforests this time

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 22:50:04 -0500 (EST)

Dear All,

There is another Web site (http://rainforest.care2.com/) that I would like to let you know about, one in the Hunger Site-Cause an Affect-Relieve Hunger line of free donations. This one is to help the Nature Consevatory protect rainforests (at present, the organization is focusing on the Pantanal, a 68,000 square mile wetland that mixes forest and savanna, 80% of which is in Brazil and the rest of which is in bordering Paraguay and Bolovia).
Perhaps the most immediate effect of rainforest destruction is that species become extinct. The renowned biologist E.O. Wilson has estimated that 3 species become extinct every hour -- that's over 27,000 a year. Other estimates exceed 50,000 per year. The loss of species narrows the variety of life, a great loss when one considers how precious and incredible life is, a great loss when one considers that events spanning billions of years brought a certain form of life into being. And we, people, are ending these lines of evolution at a rate of several per hour.
Extinction reduces genetic diversity, making it more difficult for the natural world, the Earth's life system of which we are a part, to adapt to change. With the plethora of medicines that are a product of this biodiversity -- 70% of the 3000 plants that the U.S. National Cancer Institute identified as having potential anti-cancer properties have their homes in rainforests -- the loss can be very personal and very painful. Only 1% of known plants and animals have been throughly studied for their medical properties. (See http://www.ran.org/info_center/factsheets/05f.html)
The destruction of rainforests is major cause of climate change (aka global warming, of which more in a future e-mail), probably the most serious environental threat of the new century, one which will cause and is already causing rising sea levels (with the potential for sudden and catestrophic rises), a warmer planet, more extreme weather -- droughts, storms, floods (might the terrible rains and floods in Mozambique and southern Africa be at all related to climate change?) -- extinction, changes in disease patterns, and more. Not only does burning trees release the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the air -- deforestation contributes about 1/4 of the carbon released into the air each year -- but deforestation eliminates a critically important carbon dioxide sink. (That is, plants, which use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.) (See http://www.ran.org/info_center/factsheets/04a.html)
And the rainforests are being destroyed very quickly, over 2 acres a second. That's an area of Poland destroyed every year. (See http://www.ran.org/info_center/factsheets/04b.html)
Importantly, the Nature Conservatory's rainforest protection is not restricted to conservation, for conservation alone does not address the millions of people who very directly depend on the rainforests. The Nature Conservatory's program (Adopt an Acre) allocates funds to train local residents as park rangers, develop sustainable methods of resource use, and more.
The Rainforest ("Race for the Rain Forest") website is at http://rainforest.care2.com/. Click on the "Save the Rain Forest" button, and corporate sponsors will make a donation to the Nature Conservatory (getting, in exchange, publicity and a good name). Each click protects about 0.0003 acres of rainforest (it varies by the number of sponsors).
This site is slightly different from the Hunger Site etc. in that you can log-on, and the site will keep track of how many acres you and your friends have helped to protect. Those of you who enjoy statistics as I do will like this feature. Along those lines, the way you are recorded as a person's friend (thereby being included in that person's statistics) is by signing in the first time using a particular Web address, in my case, http://rainforest.care2.com/front.html/player75233.
Obviously, there is no need for you to use this address when first you log on; of course, feel free to use the http://rainforest.care2.com/ address. If you want to use the ...player75233 address, that would be good too. I am very curious about the distances we can travel together, and this is one narrow measure. Whatever you like.
Finally, it would be great if you can let other people know about this site, because as for so many of the challenges that face us, each of us alone can only do so much, but "United there is little we cannot do" (JFK). United, we can change the world, transform our world into a better world, plant the seeds that will enable a world that today exists only in our dreams to blossom into reality.
Thank you as always for your time,



"I have only dreams: to build a better world, a world of harmony and understanding, a world in which it is a joy to live. This is not asking for too much." -- Yitzhak Rabin

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