Deforestation Threatens Green Energy

A recent report published by the National Academy of Sciences shows that that impact of deforestation is far-reaching and so profound that it has the ability to impact other efforts to "go green."

According to the report, the deforestation of portions of the Amazon rain forest will make it more difficult for a local hydroelectric power plant to operate. Called the Belo Monte hydropower complex, this hydroelectric plant in Brazil is slated to become the third largest in the world when construction is completed.

As a part of the construction process, developers have decimated local areas of the Amazon rain forest, believing that removing trees from the immediate vicinity of dams would allow water to flow more freely to the rivers after periods of rainfall.

While this theory seems to be logical, the National Academy of Sciences found that deforesting the area around the plant could lead to an unexpected side effect--decreased rainfall. Just from the recent deforestation, rainfall is down 6 to 7 percent in the area. Less rainfall means less water available to power the hydroelectric plant and could undermine the success of the entire project. 

This report is a powerful reminder that the trees we protect when we go paperless are integral to the health and future of the planet. What did you do to use less paper today? Tell us in the "Comments" section.


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