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    Posted April 16, 2012 by
    Los Angeles, California

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    Palm oil and Kony 2012

    “Kony 2012” artfully portrays the tragedy of Uganda’s civil war, and the evil propagated by the notorious Joseph Kony, an elusive war criminal whose acts of violence include presiding over the kidnapping of some 30,000 of Uganda's children, and innumerable acts of sexual abuse and murder. Kony forced his army of children to kill and maim without mercy. He was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, and last year Obama sent troops to Uganda to track him down. But although his criminal acts have been curtailed – Uganda's war officially ended in 2006 – Kony remains at large.

    The film addresses the conflict through the eyes of Invisible Children CEO, Jason Russell's young son, whose innocence and wide-eyed questioning prompt a simple dialogue on rescuing children and catching bad guys. The goal of the film is to make Joseph Kony “famous” by bringing him to justice in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

    In Uganda, many have taken issue with the film, saying that it inaccurately portrays post-war Uganda. Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan journalist, says that the film “paints a picture of Uganda six or seven years ago,” one that she is says is outdated. “That is totally not how it is today. It’s highly irresponsible.” Others allege that the film makes it seem as if the war is still going on – which it isn't. Fred Opolot, spokesman for the Ugandan government, chides the group for an irresponsible representation of the facts. “I suspect that if that’s the impression they are making, they are doing it only to garner increasing financial resources for their own agenda.”

    In many ways, palm oil has been subjected to a similar intense campaign by an entire cabal of “green” and “civil society” groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (FOE), Rainforest Action Network (RAN), the WWF and even zoos like the Melbourne Zoo, the Auckland Zoo and the Philly Zoo with allegations that that palm oil is causing deforestation on such a scale that it threatens the extinction of exotic wildlife like the orangutan which paints a picture of palm oil cultivation that is grossly inaccurate and highly misleading.

    For one, palm oil is planted on only 0.23% of the world’s agricultural lands. However, it is interesting to note that despite this minute global footprint palm oil is the world’s market leader in the edible oil market supplying 30% of global edible oil supplies. This is due in no small measure to palm oil’s incredible inherent productivity. In fact, just one hectare of palm oil plantation typically produces 4-5 metric tons of palm oil, which is close to ten times that of its nearest competitors such as soy, rapeseed and sunflower. Current R&D too suggests that palm oil can ultimately yield 20 metric tons per hectare, whist its competitors have virtually reached their genetic yield limit.

    Unfortunately, a 2007 report by the UNEP “found” that 98% of natural rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia could disappear by 2022, with palm oil production seen as a key driver of the destruction that sees the equivalent of 300 football pitches of forest wiped out each hour".

    If the UNEP report is credible, Malaysia would have forest cover of just 2% in 11 years time. This makes the UNEP’s report so astoundingly incredulous is the tiny country of Malaysia had for more than a hundred years been the world’s largest producer of palm oil.

    Yet after planting palm oil for more than a century, this tiny country of Malaysia can still boast forest cover of 59.5% which dwarfs the forest cover of the countries of the industrialized west, from whence these spin doctors hail! Even Indonesia, which has now assumed the mantle of the world’s palm oil producer, has forest cover of 46.46%! The UK has forest cover of 11.76% whilst North America as a continent has forest cover of 26%. (see: CIA's World Factbook 2011)

    Could these green groups be attacking palm oil “only to garner increasing financial resources for their own agenda?”
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