Palm Oil, Greenpeace, FOE and the one that Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Some enterprising environmental entrepreneur has come up with a novel idea to tap the wild and icy seas between Australia and Antarctica to become
a money spinner by engineering nature to soak up carbon dioxide and then selling carbon credits worth millions of dollars.
To some scientists and many nations, though, the concept of using nature to mop up mankind's excess CO2 to fight global warming is fraught with risk
An analysis by a leading Australian research body has urged caution and says more research is crucial before commercial ventures are allowed to
fertilize oceans on a large scale and over many years to capture CO2.
It must be the environmental movement's global warming hype that has corrupted the business and scientific community and clouded the issue.
In the view of Deforestation Watch, we can see this manifested in the increasingly irrational and arcane attacks against palm oil by the likes of the
oddly named Greenpeace and the Friends of the Earth (FOE).
Accusing palm oil with overwhelmingly banal charges, Greenpeace and FOE have exposed themselves to the legitimate concern that it is not pure
love for the environment that has driven their campaigns against palm oil but for some sinister, underhanded and unmentionable reason - so
underhanded that their diatribes against palm oil comes in various guises.
So disingenuous have the allegations against palm oil been that it is now obvious to the casual observer that both Greenpeace and FOE may well be
hired guns by competing oilseed lobbies to ensure that palm oil, which is making serious inroads into the markets of its competitors does not continue
its astounding growth as a oilseed export!
There are several reasons for palm oil's popularity with multinational food manufacturers and processors.
First, palm oil is the most productive of all the oilseeds, so productive that oil palm has an enviable yield of 4.5 metric tons per hectare, close to 10
times the yield of its nearest competitor. This incredible yield means that palm oil is extremely price competitive, and no self respecting food
manufacturer can ignore that.
Secondly, palm oil is blessed with innate healthful qualities. Rich in heart friendly nutrients such as Co-Enzyme Q10, beta-carotenes and toco-trienols,
which are a superior form of Vitamin E, palm oil happens to tolerate extremely high cooking and baking temperatures and is neutral in taste, which
makes it ideal for food manufacturing and cooking. Not surprisingly, such ultra-competitiveness does attract the attention of competing lobbies, and
the past 2 decades has seen palm oil run a gauntlet of fraudulent claims.
The now discredited Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) launched the first broadside in the late eighties, accusing palm oil first as being
harmful to heart health. When overwhelming scientific evidence emerged that palm oil was in fact, heart friendly, CSPI slunk back to their lair in
Washington DC to scheme afresh.
Emerging some years later, CSPI had what they thought was the perfect scheme to discredit and rein in palm oil. CSPI came out with a "report" called
"Cruel Oil: How Palm Oil Harms Health, Rainforest and Wildlife", this time throwing in everything but the kitchen sink!
FOE and Greenpeace were not going to be left behind. Seizing on the moment, both FOE and Greenpeace quickly went into the "Report Publishing"
business and launched coordinated campaigns alleging that palm oil is causing massive deforestation and threatening the extinction of exotic wildlife,
such as the orang utan.
The trouble with all these amateur "report publishers" is that they failed to take into account palm oil's incredible productivity. What will be immediately
apparent to even a casual observer is that any oilseed crop that has 10 times the yield of its nearest competitor, will require 10 times LESS land to
produce the same unit of edible oil as its competitors! That explains why the credibility of these "environmental" organizations such as CSPI,
Greenpeace and FOE have fallen to an unprecedented low level in recent years!
The orang utan issue is even less credible. Some environmental NGO's even contend that the orang utan will become extinct as early as 2011, which
is a mere 2 years away. However, with orangutan in the wild population in Borneo alone currently estimated at between 45,000 and 69,000, it
behooves one to ask just is it even remotely possible for the orang utan, by any leap of logic or stretch of imagination, to go extinct within 2 years!
This does not even take into account the many conservation programs and orang utan enclaves established by Malaysia and Indonesia. Orang utan
conservation centres had been established in Indonesia including those at Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan, Kutai in East
Kalimantan, Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, and Bukit Lawang in the Gunung Leuser National Park on the border of Aceh and
North Sumatra. In Malaysia, conservation areas have been set up and they include the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in Sarawak and Matang Wildlife
Centre also in Sarawak, and the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary near Sandakan in Sabah.
Finally, in the view of Deforestation Watch, such blatant disregard for the facts and the truth by Greenpeace and FOE says it all. These
"environmental" organizations' moral pretenses either smack of lunacy or disguise some truly immoral agenda! THE END.
About the Author
Deforestation Watch was established to drive sustainability mainstream. Striving to be a center of green news, solutions and all things green, we also
help corporations looking for green guidance. In a nutshell, we live green through education and pro-active action!