Gransnet forums


Indonesia Burning

(15 Posts)
NfkDumpling Wed 11-Nov-15 08:04:06

I've just been reading an article in our local rag. I knew forests were being illegally burned in Indonesia for palm oil production, but I had no idea of the scale. Apparently it's producing more CO2 than the whole of the USA and in the past three weeks it's added more to greenhouse gases than the whole of Germany does in a year! And it's out of control and has been burning for years. And we're told to turn off lights to stop global warming?

I'm feeling really depressed and impotent at the stupidity of greedy men in big corporations! Grrrr!

whitewave Wed 11-Nov-15 08:22:39

This has been going on for years. When we went to the Maldives - and think how far away that is from Indonesia - the sun was fuzzy with the smoke from the burnings - That was 20 years ago.

Daisyanswerdo Wed 11-Nov-15 10:23:24

I'm with you NfkDumpling, feeling depressed and impotent. It's beyond terrible to think of all those orang-utans, to name only one of the species whose habitats are being destroyed. Yes, stupidity and greed. I've signed petitions, but what else can we do?

And the media on the whole ignore it, and print headlines about what celebs are wearing.

TriciaF Wed 11-Nov-15 11:23:05

Our daughter was in Indonesia in July, just before the fires started. As part of a wildlife survey.
She said the farmers are extremely poor, so I suppose will do anything for more income. I read somewhere else that the farmers start the fire deliberately.

NfkDumpling Wed 11-Nov-15 19:06:37

I read that the fires were started deliberately and then got into the peat so kept burning. How can we not use palm oil? And how else can the Indonesians earn money? There's a limit to tourism and they must have managed before travel was so easy.

Daisyanswerdo Wed 11-Nov-15 19:11:34

I can see a solution in encouraging tourists to see wildlife. I think it's the only way it's going to survive - to make it pay. Yes, there is a limit to tourism but in the right hands surely it can succeed. I hope.

rosequartz Wed 11-Nov-15 19:16:22

I don't know what the answer is, but it seems that we in this country are trying hard to reduce greenhouse gases but it all seems rather pointless when we are up against this - and big business.

I have signed petitions but who listens?

loopylou Wed 11-Nov-15 19:22:12

Even if there is the will to change at government level it'll be generations before the cultural change takes effect.
Palm oil production is the only industry vaguely capable of giving a 'living' wage so unless something else replaces it (and tourism isn't the answer) then it'll remain a very depressing situation.
I'll happily sign petitions but I doubt how effective they are, it's been going on for so many years - I remember signing one set up by Gerald Durrell in the early 60's.

granjura Wed 11-Nov-15 19:23:34

And yet, if any of us say we believe that all products with palm oil (if it says 'vegetable oil' IT IS PALM OIL HIDING UNDER VEGETABLE!) should be boycotted- we will be told that we are judgemental or moral posturing, or whatever the experession is. Palm oil is evil- and as customers, if we agree to use it, we might as well go and light the torches and burn the orang-outangs ourselves- same thing.

granjura Wed 11-Nov-15 19:26:44

Proud to say that where I live, from 1st of Januara, palm oil will have to be listed among the ingredients, by law, and no longer hide under the generic 'vegetable oil'.

Perhaps an experiment for the next couple of days look at your chocolate bars, biscuits, pizzas, ready to stir fry veggies, and all you eat and look for 'vegetable oil' - you might be surprised, shocked even. We, the customers, can influence what happens next. Boycott by a few greenies won't work- but a massive, and it has to be MASSIVE - BOYCOTT would send a very strong message.

NfkDumpling Thu 12-Nov-15 22:46:14

I didn't realise palm oil is vegetable oil - or vegetable oil is palm oil. That's scary. No wonder they're burning the forests, the bloomin' stuff is in so many things! It certainly encourages home cooking from scratch!

Now off to check the shampoo bottles.

Kitspurr Sat 28-Nov-15 22:07:46

We all have to try really hard to avoid products containing palm oil. I buy Linda McCartney products, and have been surprised that they use palm oil. I emailed them to tell them of my surprise, and they told me that they are aware of customer concerns, and that they will pass my email on to their sourcing department. Let's hope they stop using palm oil. The ppor animals and planet!

Elegran Sat 28-Nov-15 23:00:44

More than 50% of products on supermarket shelves contain palm oil in some form or other. It is too late to stuff the genie back in the bottle and ban it - too many smallholders depend on growing it for their livelihood, producing 40% of world production.

There are certification schemes for producers growing palm oil ethically, notably the Roundtable On Sustainable Palmoil initiative. Look for products with one of these symbols, showing that they contain oil produced in sustainable ways. If there is a swing by buyers to choosing certificated products, the uncertificated ones will have to change their ways.

Elegran Sat 28-Nov-15 23:04:59

Palm oil Q and A from the Food and Drink Federation (UK, not the US FAD)

Elegran Sat 28-Nov-15 23:10:37

As from 12 December 2014 New Look Food & Drink Labels have been introduced across Europe.

Among other changes, the specific types of vegetable oils that are contained within a food or drink should now appear in the ingredients list, so it should be obvious what kind of oil you are buying.