Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Palm oil is killing off the orang-utan

The article below ignores the fact that if the forests are not cleared to grow one crop, they will be cleared to grow some other crop. But blaming the Western consumer is a lot more satisfying than blaming poor countries. But for a real laugh see the story immediately following the article below:

The orang-utan is facing extinction and our weekly shop is partly to blame. The culprit is palm oil, a versatile vegetable oil, which is found in around one in ten products on our supermarket shelves. Demand for palm oil is driving the conversion of South-East Asia's remaining rainforests into palm-oil plantations, destroying the last remaining habitat for the orang-utan. Ninety per cent of the world's palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, the only home of the orang-utan. Experts say it is now the primary cause of its decline and it could drive the species to extinction within just 12 years.

Stories from the front-line, the orang-utan rescue centres of Borneo and Sumatra, are heartbreaking. They are overflowing with orang-utan orphans, brought in from oil-palm plantations after their mothers had been killed by the workers. It is estimated that some 5000 orang-utans are lost each year.

Palm oil production is not just damaging the orang-utan. Workers on oil-palm plantations are often paid poverty wages of less than $1 dollar a day and many of the plantations have been set up on land stolen by the state from indigenous peoples. The resulting conflict has led to more than 500 cases of torture as the police and military move in to back up the palm oil companies. It is an unpalatable truth for the animal-loving public but our consumer lifestyles are part of the problem.

Most of us eat palm oil with every meal - whether in bread, in margarine, in biscuits, crisps or processed foods. It is also used in hundreds of household products such as soaps, washing powder, lipsticks and shampoo. It would be hard for even the most ethical shopper to avoid buying palm oil. That is why Friends of the Earth believes there is an urgent need to clean up the palm oil trade....

The response of the UK's supermarkets has been particularly galling. Despite repeated calls on them to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, an international initiative to solve the palm oil crisis, not one of them has agreed to do so.... Failure to take decisive action will not only cause the extinction of Asia's only great ape, it will cause the extinction of thousands of other rainforest species and fuel the human rights abuse. The orang-utan shares 99 per cent of its DNA with humans and is one of our closest animal relatives. If we lose the orang-utan, we lose part of our history.

More here


A lot of the demand for that Orang-killing palm oil is caused by the Greenies themselves!

Palm oil prices are set to end the year on a high as Europe's green fuel sector takes its first big consignments from top grower Malaysia to convert into diesel at a time when crude oil prices are soaring. But much will depend on the performance of palm-based fuels, industry officials have said, which are relatively untested compared with renewable energy sources developed decades ago such as rapeseed oil and ethanol derived from sugar cane.

Dutch firm Biox will build four power plants that will run on palm oil by-products, which it says are cheaper than other renewable energy sources used by European Union countries as they try to cut greenhouse gas emissions and crude oil import bills. "It's a trend we hope will extend to the whole of the EU biofuels sector," said Azizi Meor Ngah, chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Association.

Europe is short of diesel as it has underinvested in refinery production in recent decades while motorists are increasingly switching to the fuel instead of gasoline. The EU has set a non-binding target of 5.75 percent biofuel content by 2010. Biox agreed last week to buy palm oil by-products, mainly distillates, from Malaysian plantation IOI Group Bhd from 10 years starting from 2007. This followed an agreement in early October to buy 100,000 tonnes a year from Golden Hope Plantations Bhd over the same 10-year period. "We chose palm oil products because they are the most efficient in terms of energy efficiency and cost of production," said Edgare Kerkwijk, group finance director for Biox, which is also considering building plants in Italy, Portugal and Greece....

"The future plans of biofuel industries are not based just on rapeseed," said Pascal Cogels, director general of Fediol, the European vegetable oil producers' and processors' federation. "People are including more palm oil and soy oil into the mix." Fediol expects palm oil and its products will make up 20 percent of the EU's biodiesel in the next five years. To do so, it would have to claw away some of the market share of rape oil, which now accounts for about 85 percent of the EU's biodiesel.

The EU now imports about 3.5 million tonnes of refined and crude palm oil a year, mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia. This is set to rise by about 1 million tonnes next year as two new Malaysian-owned palm oil refineries come on stream in Rotterdam. Palm oil imports for electricity generation in the Netherlands were around 200,000 tonnes in the first eight months of 2005, EU oilseed traders said. For the whole year, Dutch power plants could consume up to 400,000 tonnes of palm oil, industry officials estimated.

In a report last month, the US Department of Agriculture said biodiesel had the potential to boost palm oil imports by more than 1 million tonnes a year. In Britain, green start-up Biofuels Co. is set to run its new 250,000-tonne plant in northeast England on cheaper feedstock than rape oil, including palm oil. A 100,000-tonne biodiesel plant, partly owned by British supermarket giant Tesco, is expected to come on stream by 2006. (US$1=1.208 euros)

More here

All of which goes again to show that there is no such thing as a happy Greenie

Extreme Winter weather claims 23 lives in Europe

They must be wishing global warming was real

Wild winter weather across Europe has killed dozens of people, with the homeless freezing to death and others dying in huge traffic pile-ups on icy roads. Polish police said 23 people, many of them homeless, had died of cold in that country since December 20.

Swirling snow and thick fog enveloped most of Italy, and Florence recorded 25cm of snow, the most it has seen in two decades. As temperatures in northern Italy dropped as low as -17C, a homeless man, 22, was found dead, apparently of exposure, in Rome's main railway station.

Forty vehicles piled up on icy asphalt on Hungary's busiest motorway, killing an eight-year-old boy and injuring 11 other people, one of several mass crashes involving a total of about 60 cars. A 40-vehicle accident on a highway in neighbouring Slovakia killed one person and left 22 injured.

Blizzards, ice and high winds prompted a nation-wide weather warning in the Netherlands. Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Europe's fourth-largest, was preparing to shut down some of its runways as thick cloud cover blew in.

Wind-driven snow in Austria piled high drifts on to railway tracks and left motorways a treacherous option. Two people also died in France, apparently of exposure. Authorities in the city of Le Mans reported the death of a 52-year-old woman who slept in a garden shed, and a homeless man was reported dead in Lyon. With snow falling steadily in France, the national weather service issued road and weather warnings for 70 of the country's 80 regions. Some highways were closed and temperatures of -26C were recorded in the eastern town of Mouthe.

In Berlin, most streets were buried in snow, leaving residents picking their way though drifts and snow banks. Trains across much of Germany were running irregularly, if at all. In Switzerland, skies were clear, and temperatures icy. The mercury plummeted to -36C overnight in the town of La Brevine. In Britain, the mercury moved upward after days of sub-freezing weather with temperatures as low as -12C, and heavy snow was forecast to turn into rain.


Sydney's hottest day suddenly cools

I wonder which temperature the Greenies will quote? And the Perth temperature will not suit the Greenies either!

Sydney revellers awoke to a scorching start to the year yesterday, with the city suffering its hottest day since 1939. The mercury hit 45.2C at Sydney airport, while a high of 44.2C was recorded at Observatory Hill in the city centre. In the state's west, Ivanhoe recorded the highest temperature of the day, reaching 47C. At a surf competition on Sydney's northern beaches, the MC used a loudspeaker to say what everyone was thinking: "It's stinking hot, extremely stinking hot."

Shortly after 9pm, Sydney was hit by a southerly change, with gusts of 94km/h. Within an hour of the change, temperatures had plummeted from 40C to 24C at Sydney airport and 26C in the city.

Canberra residents also endured 40C, a hazy Brisbane sweated through a sticky 30C and Melburnians enjoyed a cool respite from their hottest New Year's Eve. But Hobart was a chilly 16C and rain in Adelaide brought temperatures down to 23C.

Despite fears that race riots would again break out in Sydney, the nation enjoyed a peaceful New Year's Eve, with millions of people turning out in all state capitals for fireworks....

Unseasonally cool weather in Perth ensured festivities passed without any major incidents, with 262 arrests, police said.

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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