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Elvis Cruz

Palm Oil was supposed to save the planet. Instead, it unleashed a catastrophe.

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Elvis Cruz

This is a most interesting New York Times article about the African oil palm, Elaeis guineensis, with overlapping layers of politics, economics and environmentalism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/magazine/palm-oil-borneo-climate-catastrophe.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

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LJG

Not a fan of the Times, but great article. 

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redant

Pretty horrifying what is happening to the tropical forests around the world. 

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NC_Palms

I wish we had a sustainable solution to this

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sonoranfans

Between the coal power plants, ethanol in gas mandates and oil palms, our government has been foolishly led by financial interests, yes it happens to environmentalist politicians too.  Remember jimmy Carters coal fired power plants?  How about damming every river out west with hydroelectric dams, destroying life in those rivers.  He meant well, but the result was catastrophic acid rain from high sulfur coal from the power plants and destroyed aquatic habitat in many rivers out west.  the damage to forests and watersheds in the northeast was catastrophic to life there and it still hasn't recovered after 40 years.

I heard this oil palm situation from an indonesian engineer I worked with 4 years ago.  He thinks american environmentalists destroyed his country.  At that time there were 108 buring(set) fires in the indonesian island chain and air quality was horrific, second to china.  The NY times is years late to this story.  Not only does the burning release C02 but the destruction of the forest reduces the C02 consumption by vegetation.  the palms cycle fast in grows and because of this they do not consume the levels of C02 that a stable mature jungle does.  Second largest rain forest in the world is literally burning.  Not only did they not address carbon in the atmosphere, they made it worse for the short and the long run.  

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Yort

Yet, the oil palm still is (by far) the highest producing oil crop with great quality oil, like Bill Baker said; palm oil is here to stay. The solution is to breed them so that they have better tolerance to droughts and lower temperatures. So that it doesn't need to grow in tropical rainforest like climates. Even though it would lose half it's yield it would still be by far the best oilcrop. However, don't expect seed companies to start breeding them, they can only sell seeds to growers every 30 years or so because of the long lifespan. 

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richnorm

Good to see that great journalism isn't extinct.  Something similar on the realities around recycling next please. 

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Walt

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

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kinzyjr
40 minutes ago, Walt said:

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

I've done my part.  I have no offspring (by some miracle).

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joe_OC

Walt, very valid point.  I remember back in the 80s when global population was a little over 3 billlion and we were discussing in class about managing it better.  Guess the global governments failed...

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sonoranfans

https://www.ran.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/agrofuels_white_paper.pdf

" Danielsen et al, in a forthcoming article in Conservation Biology, calculate that palm oil based agrofuels produced on cleared rainforest land – which has accounted for the vast bulk of the recent expansion in palm oil-based agrofuels production – would result in a negative carbon balance for the first 75-93 years of production compared with petroleum, and that palm oil-based agrofuels produced on cleared peatlands would take around 600 years to result in a positive carbon balance."

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sonoranfans

If palm oil takes 70-90 years to run carbon neutral with petroleum we should just give it up.  Focus on nearer solutions to our energy problems.

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richnorm
2 hours ago, Walt said:

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/each-countrys-share-of-co2.html#.XA1hdWgzbcs

 

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Walt
3 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

I've done my part.  I have no offspring (by some miracle).

This isn't a knock on those with offspring, but I have no offspring (by choice). As each day goes by I'm glad I made that choice, as the future of this planet, IMO, looks very dim (for myriad reasons, not just climate change). I'm glad I don't have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that will have to face the dim future of this planet.

Right now I'm just enjoying my palm hobby while it still lasts.

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joe_OC

The ideal should be Net Zero.  

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joe_OC
2 hours ago, richnorm said:

CO2 consumption is just one part of the equation.  If you are only concerned about CO2 consumption, just wait until China and India have a substantial middle class. Once countries become “developed”, their carbon footprint per capita will only increase (as it stands with the technology today).

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richnorm
46 minutes ago, joe_OC said:

CO2 consumption is just one part of the equation.  If you are only concerned about CO2 consumption, just wait until China and India have a substantial middle class. Once countries become “developed”, their carbon footprint per capita will only increase (as it stands with the technology today).

Never said otherwise. But Walt's point about relative population growth is kinda numerically immaterial given the massive imbalance in per capita Co2.  That said I suspect we have a lot of views in common so let's keep it friendly!

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Walt
On 12/9/2018, 12:00:45, joe_OC said:

Walt, very valid point.  I remember back in the 80s when global population was a little over 3 billlion and we were discussing in class about managing it better.  Guess the global governments failed...

I don't foresee global population being capped, let alone reduced; I've seen no sentiment for it thus far.

Poor undeveloped countries want the economic success the rich countries have-- and that takes more and more energy to increase their economic production. Each country's carbon footprint will grow as their economy grows.  And the rich countries will continue to battle for economic hegemony over the others -- and this will require more and more energy to keep their GDP growing. At present the US is at the top of the heap, with a GDP of almost 25% of the global GDP -- a big reason for the US's carbon foot print, coupled with lots of self-indulgence. If the US started reducing its population (as would also be the case with many other rich countries) their GDP would almost surely fall -- and they can't have that!  It's a conundrum.

But a wrench may be thrown into all of this. Technological advances (robots, machines, drones, A.I., etc.) are displacing human workers more and more each passing day. Where will all the jobs come from, jobs that can pay a livable wage, in the future. As I see it, all the more reason to start reducing global population to a more sustainable level. But from what I've observed, it appears it's not PC to include global population control/reduction as part of the solution to curbing greenhouse gases.

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PALM MOD
23 hours ago, richnorm said:

Never said otherwise. But Walt's point about relative population growth is kinda numerically immaterial given the massive imbalance in per capita Co2.  That said I suspect we have a lot of views in common so let's keep it friendly!

Reminder - like the Global Warming topics, this topic is very close to becoming too political and/or controversial - both "no-nos." I am again trying to be lenient, but am watching closely.

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IHB1979
On 12/9/2018, 3:35:51, Walt said:

This isn't a knock on those with offspring, but I have no offspring (by choice). As each day goes by I'm glad I made that choice, as the future of this planet, IMO, looks very dim (for myriad reasons, not just climate change). I'm glad I don't have children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that will have to face the dim future of this planet.

Right now I'm just enjoying my palm hobby while it still lasts.

As a father of two children, I understand what you mean and occasionally have those thoughts. More so lately as the time horizon seems to have become smaller. 

My perspective is that I can raise my children to become educated, responsible and honest adults that will address these very issues you and I are concerned about. That being said, it will take millions of people doing the same to create real change. 

 

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DCA_Palm_Fan
9 hours ago, PALM MOD said:

Reminder - like the Global Warming topics, this topic is very close to becoming too political and/or controversial - both "no-nos." I am again trying to be lenient, but am watching closely.

Weeeee seeeeeee yoooooooou  LOL! ;)

I have loads to say on this whole general topic, but I wont, largely because it goes far beyond the scope of this forum, and  they are "no-nos".   What I will say is that industry is despicable to me, but then again there are many that are.   As for population control, I have thought about this numerous times over the last couple of decades.  There are two ways of doing it:  Controlling birthrates, and basically killing off some large numbers of people.  If it were to be the latter then we get int o who has to go.  Messy proposition all around.  So we're down to one method (provided of course mother nature / mother earth doesn't take matters into her own hands and kills most of us anyway) and that method is controlling birthrates.   Doesn't china do this already?   I find it very hard to imagine where  some countries would be even willing to think about doing something similar.  At the end of the day I think there are certain, reasonably large, portions of the population that just don't care at all.  They hold the view that the earth belongs to us (it doesn't) and we should use up all we can while were here.  I highly doubt that birthrate control would be anymore palpable to them, than curbing/ curtailing / heavily regulating some industries.  For me, I too have done my part as I have no kids.  I left that to my brother who had 4.  I do are, immensely, but for me I can only care so much as there is only so much that I can do personally.  This problem will long outlive me, and probably most of us.  If im lucky I still have a good 30-40  years left on this planet, and I just don't see any of this getting much better as time goes on.   At this point I just try to enjoy my life as much as possible, while trying to live my live in a way that is least impactful as possible to the planet.    

Ive heard some say that we are now living in the great golden age of the human species, and that we are near the end of that age.  It sounds funny and bleak to me, but when you think deeply about things for  a long time, I can see where statements like that probably are at least somewhat accurate.  Maybe not for the next few generations or maybe not even 10, but its hard for me to imagine life on this planet 4,5,600 years from now or more. Its hard to imagine there will be much left of it by then that is functional / workable, given the rate at which we are destroying it.   

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richnorm
14 hours ago, Walt said:

I don't foresee global population being capped, let alone reduced; I've seen no sentiment for it thus far.

Poor undeveloped countries want the economic success the rich countries have-- and that takes more and more energy to increase their economic production. Each country's carbon footprint will grow as their economy grows.  And the rich countries will continue to battle for economic hegemony over the others -- and this will require more and more energy to keep their GDP growing. At present the US is at the top of the heap, with a GDP of almost 25% of the global GDP -- a big reason for the US's carbon foot print, coupled with lots of self-indulgence. If the US started reducing its population (as would also be the case with many other rich countries) their GDP would almost surely fall -- and they can't have that!  It's a conundrum.

But a wrench may be thrown into all of this. Technological advances (robots, machines, drones, A.I., etc.) are displacing human workers more and more each passing day. Where will all the jobs come from, jobs that can pay a livable wage, in the future. As I see it, all the more reason to start reducing global population to a more sustainable level. But from what I've observed, it appears it's not PC to include global population control/reduction as part of the solution to curbing greenhouse gases.

The trouble with reducing population is that first you have to deal with an aging population. Once you start up the growth machine it's pretty hard to turn off.

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Walt
19 hours ago, IHB1979 said:

As a father of two children, I understand what you mean and occasionally have those thoughts. More so lately as the time horizon seems to have become smaller. 

My perspective is that I can raise my children to become educated, responsible and honest adults that will address these very issues you and I are concerned about. That being said, it will take millions of people doing the same to create real change. 

 

Had I got married younger (I was one month shy of 37 years old when I first married), I probably would (my wife) had children. But I reasoned I didn't care to be in my 50s with a teenage son(s) or daughter(s). There was also other considerations, like I was driving 86 miles a day round trip to work in heavy traffic, spending lots of time on the road, and my wife was running a small business 7 days a week. I had to consider raising a child and trying to be their full time for them.  Further, the writing was on the wall that society (and world at large) was degenerating (my opinion at the time, an without a doubt today). I didn't see a bright picture, at least not the economic opportunities I grew up enjoying as a pre 1950 baby boomer.

Capping and reducing global population doesn't mean nobody can have children, only less children per family. I just don't see logically how it is desirable for the earth to now have 7.7. billion humans (and growing). I think the quality of life for humans and all of the rest of nature would be better served with billions of less humans, as a result of less births as people die naturally.

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Walt
9 hours ago, richnorm said:

The trouble with reducing population is that first you have to deal with an aging population. Once you start up the growth machine it's pretty hard to turn off.

As I see it, global population reduction will never happen, because population (ever increasing) is what's driving GNP for all countries. If all countries could contract their GNP but still have proportional wealth and parity with other countries, we may be able to reduce global population. But too many heretofore poor countries (and I don't blame them) want to grow their economy to catch up and have more (like the rich countries). That takes more people for production of goods and services for domestic consumption and for foreign sale. I see no viable solution to the problem of global population control. Only time, depletion of natural resources, continued falling per capita income, and harmful climate change will eventually effect like it or not global population reduction (in not a full scale world war, etc.)

 

 

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Jerry@TreeZoo

Reduce population levels to 1980 levels?  Who wants to go first?  Any volunteers?

 

The population in first world countries is already at below replacement levels.  Places like China and India, with huge populations, will soon follow suit.  Populations in third world countries that are growing like mad right now will be reduced to just replacement levels and below as they are brought up to the prosperity of the first world.

 

Prognosticators predict that the total population should top out at about 9-10 billion when prosperity is spread world wide.  After that, who knows?  There is just as much argument that the population will naturally reduce by itself as there is for over-population to occur.

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quaman58

As I read the article what stood out was the law of unintended consequences. Steering clear of politics in general, I just want to beat my head against the wall sometimes as I hear about this or that plan by politicians to “fix” this or that problem. Which is then duly reported by an incurious press. I remember Richard Branson of Virgin Air touting the fact that one of his commercial jets had flown one way across the Atlantic on a blend of biofuels, seeming to say that we just make enough biofuels, the airline industry can go on as normal in the future without relying on traditional fuels. I remember wondering (assuming he was serious) exactly how we would produce the quantity of biofuels needed to do that. Unfortunately, there really are people out there in power (from both sides of the aisle) who not only believe it’s possible, but a grand idea. Sigh. 

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DennisK

This a really complex topic that can’t be assessed on a global scale. Areas such as PNG and Borneo, where old growth forest is being slashed and burned at an alarming rate can’t be compared to plantations that formerly were fruit plantations e.g., in SW Costa Rica. 

I lived in SW Costa Rica for several years, right at the edge of PN Piedras Blancas. Move away from the park and you are surrounded by oil palm plantations. Most of these are located in fincas that were used by the United Fruit Company until 1984. The Zona Sur suffers from a severe lack of job opportunities. If one doesn’t live in one of the small towns, all that’s left is either subsistance agriculture, work in oil palm plantations or joining the Narcos. You can guess what path is the most profitable.

Globalization continues to change the world and many people want to live with the amenities that are second nature to us in the ‘first’ world (I dislike this term greatly). The small village I lived in (pop. 450) only had one car in the mid-nineties, now they are a common sight. Most people don’t ride their horses to the mini super anymore. 

In SW Costa Rica, from a conservation view, oil palm plantations are preferable to any other crop that is being grown in the area. I assisted in a study that researched amphibian and reptile species diversity in oil palm plantations. It echoed the experiences I had made in this region. They provide a refuge for many species (Araceae are common there too) that are usually encountered in secondary forest. Rice or pineapple plantations (expanding) on the other hand, are wastelands with great quantities of pesticides being used, producing a considerable amount of runoff. Very few of the species found in pastures (most of which do not occur in forested areas) or oil palm plantations can be found in rice or pineapple plantations. 

Here’s the study I mentioned: 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235198941500061X

The desire for low consumer prices in the ‘first’ world is a major factor that drives exploitation of ‘under developed’ (not in my opinion) areas. The Isthmus in general suffers from an exodus of large corporations that move to regions with cheaper labour, such as Asia. The dependency on foreign investment has a long history and is unlikely to change anytime soon. 

The situation in SW Costa Rica can’t be compared to Amazonia, Asia etc where deforestation occurs at a devastating rate. High land prices and certain laws prevent that. 

The solution can only come by strengthening foreign economies and helping countries reach the second or third economic tier, where national dependency on raw goods production is considerably lower. That’s contrary to a maximum profit mindset though. This where the snake bites it’s own tail. The ridiculously low prices that underdeveloped regions are sold for boosts and creates giant stakeholders, the United Fruit Company is one famous historic example. It came into existence after a reduction of interest on a loan (for the construction of a railroad) was afforded to CR in the 19th century. All lands abutting the railroad where given in exchange. 

In short, I view economic problems as the main driver for the destruction of old growth forest globally.

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sonoranfans

In the case of the oil palm, it does nothing for :lower consumer prices" here in the US or anywhere, it is more expensive than diesel from crude.  This tragedy is more the expense of international environmentalism without good business sense.  Its like putting corn ethanol in gasoline where they made food more expensive to supply fuel mandates and the fuel also became more expensive.  But the oil palm is worse in collateral damages to carbon dioxide accumulation.  Turning a blind eye to government mismanagement will not lead to a solution.  What is needed is more responsible and effective government in these decisions effecting billions off people.

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sonoranfans

that is just branson probably pimping his latest investments so he can make a ton of money.  

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DoomsDave

Good intentions gone awry, part of the human condition.

Even if we cap the population at whatever it is right now, we will need to find a way to make use of the earth's energy, without having to burn so much, whether it's palm oil, petroleum, or anything else like that.

It won't be easy. It might require adjustments for many, including many not accustomed to being asked to make them.

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DennisK

What I meant by lower consumer prices, is that large buyers (e.g., Nestle) will always seek a certain grade of palm oil at the best possible price. Palm Oil is in a plethora of e.g., beauty and food products and thus factors in the pricing of products for the consumer.

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Palm Tree Jim
On 12/9/2018, 8:16:50, Walt said:

Here's another article on the increased destruction of rain forest (and burning) for more the growing of more oil palms. The article says:  The US not taking climate seriously gives a big excuse for the Indonesian government to not take it seriously either.

Well, as a taxpayer, and realizing the US is now $22 trillion in debt, I don't feel I need to pay Indonesia my tax money as an inducement for them not to build coal fired plants and stop clear cutting, burning, and destroying rain forest.

As I see it, global population now stands at around 7.7 billion. Global population is increasing by about 83 million humans a year (birth rate exceeding the death rate). If we want to really get serious about curbing man made climate change -- the first thing that should be done is to at least cap global population, and better yet, reduce it. Otherwise, we are just pissing against the wind. Look at the needs (food, water, housing, energy, raw materials, etc.) 83 million people need a year. That need will have to be offset to our global efforts to cut back on efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2. I say, why not cut back global population to at least that of 1980, which was 4.4 billion. If we started reducing global population to 1980 levels, that would be a drop of 3.3 billion humans. Think how such a drop would reduce CO2 generation caused by man. And theoretically there would be no cost for such a reduction.

The above leads me to the point I want to make about Indonesia. The US fertility rate has been falling for years.  I read that the US population growth rate stands at 0.72%/year, and 70% of that comprised births by immigration (legal and illegal). Yet, Indonesia's population is growing at 1.25%/year. So, by virtue of Indonesia increasing its population by more than 72% a year more than the US, I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say the US isn't taking climate change seriously -- at least in terms of family planning/population control.

Whether one believes climate change is man made, natural, or a percentage of both -- there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that man is negatively affecting the earth's environments and ecology via overpopulation and extravagant living by many (one time use, then throw away). 

The bottom line for me is, I'm willing to make some sacrifices in my living (recycle more, generate less plastic waste, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, go to more battery operated equipment, etc.). But I'm not willing to give my money to 3rd world countries that are allowed to build more and more coal fired electricity generating plants, add disproportionately to the global population, etc., and not be held to the same requirements.  

I hear constantly the refrain to cut back on this, not use that, etc., for the sake of our environment and ecology and climate change, but never any calls to cap and reduce global population. I think global population control (capping at least) should be the first course of action. It's analogous to leaving window open your house, and flying bugs are infiltrating your house. The first logical course of action to take would be to close the windows to stop any further bugs from entering your house -- then you take action to capture/kill the bugs. 

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/5/18126145/indonesia-climate-change-deforestation

 

Well thought out and some very valid points.

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sonoranfans

If you follow the money the big profits in oil palm production is biodiesel, not foodstuffs.  When the government regulates or funds a huge project, it is often manipulated by those financial interests.  And some of those financial interests including politicians that they support have a lot of $$ to gain.

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Elvis Cruz

I just now visited PalmTalk after having posted the original writing on this thread.  I'm surprised to see it set off so much discussion!

I came back to add this other article I found, about Norway banning palm oil from deforestation:  https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/norway-is-first-to-ban-palm-oil/

Regarding a PalmTalk topic getting political, when I give a tour of a nearby palmetum, I explain to the group that every topic overlaps other topics; not only does my show-and-tell about Elaeis guineensis go into global economics and politics, my discussion of Phoenix dactylifera goes into religion and anthropology.

 

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Darold Petty

Homo sapiens is a cancer on the face of Mother Earth.  Think of Creation's myriad lifeforms in South America 500 or 600 years ago, before European exploitation.

I'm glad I am not a parent.

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sarasota alex

I took these photos two weeks ago during the approach to Kuala Lumpur Airport. At some point this was all a beautiful rainforest. Now Elaeis guineensis as far as an eye can see.

IMG_5840.thumb.JPG.1cf40767d37d863692caeIMG_5838.thumb.JPG.8520ebad30d68845060ec

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sarasota alex
On 12/17/2018, 1:42:02, Elvis Cruz said:

On a similar topic, here is a story about Ikea replanting a rain forest on Borneo:  https://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/3120/IKEA-Plants-3-Millions-Trees-To-Rehabilitate-Devastated-Rainforest

 

It's very difficult to replant a rainforest. The fertile topsoil layer is very thin in a rainforest ecosystem (several inches usually). It relies on a constant decomposition of dead plants and animals, a cycle that stops immediately following the deforestation, and exposure quickly erodes the topsoil away. So there is no soil to replant into anymore. And if one is brought in, it would have to be continuously fertilized for decades and protected from erosion. So I am skeptical about many of the "reforestation" efforts out there.

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