Die Welt als Wald
April 30, 2018 10:14 AM   Subscribe

The phenomenon described the video in the first link is a perfect example of how the global economy and political structures have completely failed to price-in or explicitly regulate pollution. The environmental and health costs of palm oil plantations exceeds the economic value of those plantations, but those costs are externalities to the plantation owners, and so slash and burn continues at breakneck pace.

The video estimates that the next couple of years of peat burning will produce as much carbon as an entire year's worth of global fossil fuel consumption. That is an incredibly huge spike in emissions. And the peat isn't even being harvested for biomass energy production, just burned in open fields.

We are not merely speeding but actively accelerating past our last best chance to avoid the collapse of technologically advanced civilization.
posted by jedicus at 10:37 AM on April 30, 2018 [8 favorites]

Just going to comment on the swipe at Nutella; I think they cleaned up their act years ago.

No, you don’t have to boycott Nutella for the environment, says Greenpeace

The sustainable palm oil in Nutella®
posted by achrise at 12:11 PM on April 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

[S]hould civilized man ever reach these distant lands, and bring moral, intellectual, and physical light into the recesses of these virgin forests, we may be sure that he will so disturb the nicely-balanced relations of organic and inorganic nature as to cause the disappearance, and finally the extinction, of these very beings whose wonderful structure and beauty he alone is fitted to appreciate and enjoy. --Wallace
posted by No Robots at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

This puts me in mind of the can, fish and a childhood epiphany. When you have a global demand for a local plant, animal, mineral you pretty much have a limitless demand, and what once seemed like an abundant resource is quickly exhausted, or in this case the world destroyed.
posted by Pembquist at 8:43 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

No, you don’t have to boycott Nutella for the environment, says Greenpeace

I was going to ask about sustainable palm oil as well.

Is it legit or an industry con game? I can't tell.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:13 PM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

It is a move in the right direction, but ... still problematic.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:40 PM on May 1, 2018

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