In the News: Palm Oil blazes targeted as a chief CO2 culprit
(We found this disturbing news online imputing that “Asian farmers” involved in palm oil production are responsible for a significant increase of C02s in the atmosphere. We think, however, that these are mainly large-scale farmers, not small-scale farmers who form the majority of farmers in Asia. Thus, the term “Asian farmers” should be qualified. We invite comments and replies to this article. Please click on “Comments” below to leave your message. — Website Admin)
Recent research suggests that fires started by Asian farmers in order to clear land for palm oil production may have contributed over 30% of the increase in global atmospheric CO2.
Palm oil has become the most widely produced edible oil in the world, with more than 30 million metric tons produced in Malaysia and Indonesia alone, the two countries now supplying more than 85 percent of global demand. However, the environmental effects have been significant.
In the last decade, Asian farmers have cleared tens of thousands of square miles of forests to accommodate the demand for palm oil. As a result, the land is vulnerable to fires, which are now more frequent, and are having a serious impact on the air as well as the land. The clearing often occurs in drained peatlands – peat material in Borneo, for example, stores the equivalent of about nine years worth of global fossil fuel emissions.