The most common attempt to dispel this, and many other important facts, is to claim that tree farms (monocultures that are semi-regularly “weeded”) are the same as real forests. The fact is: they are not. Our forests, along with the phytoplankton and algae, create basically all the oxygen we breathe.
Unfortunately, we seem to be compulsively destroying our ecosystems at an ever-increasing rate. A recent study found that we are losing the equivalent of up to $20 trillion ($20,000,000,000,000) a year in ecosystem services, which are a measure of the “free” benefits we get from our environment (Costanza et al, 2014).
This infographic should help you better understand what is going on with our forests, and a few small ways you can contribute to fixing the problem. Still, the only real way to fix the problem is to demand personal and corporate responsibility for environmental damage that goes beyond miniscule fines.