Andy B ( an El Reg Reader) writes in to ask well, what about these Indonesian forest fires then? And the truth is I know very little about it.
I’m simply never going to take the word of someone like this:
Lindsey Allen is the Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network. A veteran environmental and social justice activist, Lindsey has spent her career preventing commodity expansion into globally critical forest areas.
Yet it’s also possible that this is a real and serious environmental problem:
The conflagrations raging out of control across Sumatra and Borneo are a global scale environmental and human rights emergency, but the players involved, from the Indonesian government, commodity producers and traders, to Western snack food companies, have so far largely failed to connect the dots to strike at the core of the problem.
So, the background, much forest land is cleared to use as palm oil plantations. Much of this land is also deep peat soil, the clearance leads to this drying out (ie, going from swamp to peat really) which then makes it possible that the stuff burns. Obviously, vast areas of metres of peat burning is going to produce significant pollution, both particularate and CO2.
That the fires are happening seems to be without doubt.
At which point I don’t actually know.
As above I’m not going to take the word of some hippie that capitalism’s all at fault. But who the heck knows, it’s not a perfect system and maybe this time they’re right?
I have my suspicion that it ‘s this:
Companies like APP are quick to accuse small farmers and villagers of lighting many of the fires. Even if that is true,
As with the Amazon rainforest it’s not in fact large companies clearing the ground, it’s landless peasants burning off a few acres (possibly getting out of control) to grow runty corn for a living. In the Amazon the large companies most definitely ploughed the cerrado for soybeans, but that’s a very different thing.
But other than my suspicion of hippies and their wailings I don’t actually know.
Does anyone around here?