One of the major reasons that deforestation happens is because it is very easy for companies to do it. As there is little financial cost involved in chopping down trees compared to other ways of sourcing raw materials, it continues to happen. But what is rarely confronted is the fact that if the rainforests were left standing, they would be of more financial value to the world – if they are left as they are, it is possible to harvest what they provide. If they are cut down, we have that much wood and then nothing.
It is hard to get a multinational company to think this way. The short-termist way of looking at things is one that appeals to these companies because it allows them to meet their targets, pay their bills and take the biggest share of the market. When they have exhausted this natural resource, they will all be looking for another way of doing things – but they assume that something will turn up, and don’t particularly worry about what it will be.
This kind of short-termist thinking is damaging for the planet and for those companies, because assuming that something will turn up is no way to run a business for the future. Once the natural resources are gone, this planet will be struggling for a way to keep on an even keel, and the consequences for all of us could be dire. Many companies are now looking further forward, but the battle is far from won so we must keep a focus on the survival of the planet.