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8 Things That Could Happen if the Amazon Rainforest Disappeared

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The Amazon Rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, is shrinking at a shockingly fast rate. If it were to disappear completely, we would be in big trouble.

The Amazon covers parts of Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela and Brazil. Before the 1970s, just Brazil had 1.54 million square miles and as of 2018, there is only 1.274 million square feet and rapidly declining. The Amazon stores 100 billion metric tons of barn and according to the WWF, it filters carbon dioxide out of the air we breathe and controls our climate through evapotranspiration. 

So what would happen if we lost it all? 

Faltering rainfall

A study published in 2012 in Nature showed that the Amazon was responsible for bringing rain to the surrounding region and that “Deforestation can reduce rainfall over a wide region, even as it spurs increased rainfall in the immediate area where that deforestation took place,” Scientific American reports. “Deforestation in the Amazon could sharply reduce rainfall in non forested parts of southern Brazil, a rich agricultural area, as well as Paraguay and Uruguay…” and beyond. 

Increased drought

With less rain comes less drinking water and less water for agriculture. Without rain, water and food supplies will be much more scarce.

More greenhouse gases

Continuing to cut down trees in the Amazon will lead to “tremendous quantities of planet-warming greenhouse gases” says National Geographic. As tropical forest researcher Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert told the magazine, “If we mess up with the Amazon, carbon dioxide emissions will increase so massively that everyone will suffer.” Namely, with poorer air quality and hotter global temperatures.

More flooding

With longer dry spells, come massive amounts of flooding afterwards. This wouldn’t be an issue for just Brazil either, this will be worldwide. 

Loss of biodiversity

The Amazon has a staggering number of species of pants, animals, insects and fungi, all key elements to a strong ecosystem. By wiping out trees, ecosystems will be lost and much more endangered species will face a slow death with the loss of their homes. 

Loss of medical possibilities

Without ecosystems in places like the Amazon, we lose medical possibilities. About 90 percent of human diseases are treatable with prescription drugs that were derived from things in nature many of which have their origins in the Amazon. 

Bigger, longer fires

Due to the loss of rain that would happen, there would be bigger fires that will burn longer than we have ever seen. The fires will release more carbon into the atmosphere continuing to make our climate hotter.

Poorer people

Not only is the Amazon home to many plant and animal species but to many humans as well whom rely on the rainforest to live. “All of t]the world's rainforests…provide food, energy security, incomes, and medicinal plants for 300 million people,” points out The Guardian. “And as the forests come down, the people who live in or around them and depend on them become impoverished. Without the forests, people migrate to cities, or move to richer countries in search of work.”

We as humans and global citizens have a responsibility to protect the Amazon rainforest not only for the people of South America, but for people everywhere. The Amazon rainforest is the lungs of our planet and without it, we could lose so much. 

Instead of contributing to the problem, we can take some of the responsibility off the Amazon by switching to solar energy. Solar energy greatly reduces our carbon footprint giving us, and people all over the world the opportunity to breathe cleaner air. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can FPL or my HOA prevent me from switching to solar?

The Florida Solar Rights Act is a law that forbids any entity—including homeowner associations—from prohibiting the installation of solar or other renewable energy devices on Florida buildings.

An association may require approval of a system installation and may establish restrictions for installations. However, any such restrictions must be reasonable, not arbitrary, and applied in a uniform manner for all association members. Also, any restrictions must not have the effect of impairing the performance, or increasing the cost, of a solar system.

In particular, a homeowner association may not prevent the installation of solar collectors on the roof of a home. The association may determine where on the roof the collectors may be installed, so long as the collectors face within 45 degrees of due south.

Finally, any requirement(s) that a system be screened from view by trees, fences, ground mounting racks, or a remote roof location that is hidden from the street, will generally violate the statute.

Click here to verify information is provided by the Florida Solar Energy Industry Association

Is solar free for Florida homeowners?
  • The sun is free to everyone.
  • Solar panels and specific back-up battery systems qualify for a number of rebates, tax credits and incentives.
  • There is a cost associated with solar energy because you are paying for your system. 
  • Financing enables homeowners to make the transition with $0 upfront costs
  • Systems often cost the same amount monthly as your current FPL bill
  • Solar puts equity in your home because you own the system and increases the value a minimum of 4.1% - click here for the Zillow case study

Does solar increase my home value?

Not only can adding solar panels to a home save energy costs and help the environment, it also can potentially increase a home’s value. In 2019 Zillow found that homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.

The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, Calif., for example, homes with solar-energy systems sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar power—a markup of $9,926 for the median-valued home in the metro. In the greater New York City metro, solar-powered homes have a premium that is double that of Riverside. At 5.4%, that’s an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. In three other coastal metro areas—Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, Fla.—homes with solar power can fetch a premium of around 4%.

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