Skip to main content

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.

Bad for the planet

So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran and Bornean orangutan are being driven to the brink of extinction.

Oil palm plantations currently cover more than 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface. Forests and human settlements have been destroyed to produce “green deserts”. With the loss of forests, the habitats for many species are destroyed.

Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network runs a palm oil campaign, raising awareness of the issues with the goal to "fundamentally change the global marketplace". As a result, RAN has placed mounting pressure on companies, and has coined the now widely used term "Conflict Palm Oil."

Carbon emissions

The clearing of rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands for new plantations is significantly increasing carbon pollution.  Palm Oil is a major driver of human induced climate change.

As RAN says

The crisis caused by Conflict Palm Oil is urgent and the stakes are high.

With their CO2 and methane emissions, palm oil-based biofuels  have three times the climate impact of traditional fossil fuels.  Almost half of the palm oil imported into the EU is used as biofuel.

So what to do? It isn't the palm oil itself that is the problem.  It is the irresponsible, unregulated pillaging of precious ecosystems that is at the heart of the problem.  It risks killing our planet to feed the global market. And with cheaper and cheaper products on the back of miserable conditions for those working the land.  It destroys communities as it pushes them aside to take more land for exploitation.

Support petitions

We could support petitions calling for regulation such as this one:

Keep loggers and the palm oil industry out of the Peruvian Amazon!



Subscribe to The Thin End




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nicotine exposure in pregnancy linked to cot death

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy, whether from smoking cigarettes, or nicotine patches and e-cigarettes, increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome – sometimes known as “cot death” – according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under 12 months of age occuring typically while sleeping. Failure of auto resuscitation, the ability to recover normal heart rate and breathing following gasping caused by lack of oxygen in the brain, has been recorded in human SIDS cases.



Smoking increases risk for SIDS Over the last decade, use of cigarettes has declined significantly, however, over 10% of pregnant women still smoke during pregnancy. Over recent years nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches or e-cigarettes, have been prescribed to women who wish to quit smoking during their pregnancy. However, nicotine replacement therapies may not protect infants from SIDS. 
With inc…

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…