Where The Air Is Green
If you find yourself short of breath someday, you can thank big businesses that are damaging the environment, along with the over-harvesting of the Amazon rainforest where 20% of the Earth's oxygen is manufactured by the trees.
Imagine how our atmosphere has changed in the last hundred years. At one time rainforests covered up to 14% of the Earth's surface, a figure that is now down to 6%. Estimates suggest that 1.5 acres are lost every second. That's a lot of oxygen making greenery that has gone bye-bye.
A hectare or 2.47 acres of rainforest can contain more than 750 kinds of trees, and 1500 species of plants. From the rainforest environment, came four-fifths of the world's diet, including tomatoes, squash, nuts, avocados, lemons, potatoes, spices and an endless list of other vegetables and fruits.
Another benefit of the vegetation that grows there, is their secondary metabolite content, primarily the alkaloids. These have been credited with natural insect repellant properties, and the alkaloids of some plants are used in medicines. A full 25% of drugs and medicines in the Western world originate in the rainforest, and given that only 1% of the trees have been studied, it means there is as much treasure under the green leaves of places like Brazil, as there ever were in the ancient temples of peoples that have long disappeared from the region.