- Posted April 23, 2012 by
New York City, New York
Palm oil and the dissonant chords of green groups
In many ways, this scene reminds me of the dissonant tunes being played by a cabal of “green” and “civil society” groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (FOE), the WWF and even zoos like the Melbourne Zoo, the Auckland Zoo and the Philly Zoo who have banded together to launched ridiculous and unwarranted attacks against what is palm oil which is perhaps, the most inherently sustainable of all edible oilseed crops!
Like jackals baying at the moon, these green groups accuse palm oil of causing massive deforestation on such a scale that it threatens the extinction of exotic wildlife such as the orangutan.
However, a close examination of the facts shows up the sheer incongruity of their charges.
For one, palm oil is planted on only 0.23% of the world’s agricultural lands and yet produces a staggering 30% of global palm oil supply. What does that suggest? To the objective observer, something does not jive with all the anti-palm oil hype?
Could the hyper yielding nature of palm oil be the real reason behind the flak and animosity generated? Could palm oil be such a formidable player in the edible oil market (it has since become market leader) that the powers that be have concluded that palm oil cannot be reined in on the open market but only through vile schemes such as the clever use of “green” and “civil society” groups as proxies to attack palm oil? After these NGO’s are always on the lookout for funding, so what can’t a little payola and blood money do in recruiting these fund-hungry NGOs to their cause? In our view, that is the probable scenario for these baffling dissonant attacks launched against palm oil by these cabal of NGOs that fly in the face of facts!
These NGOs claimed that palm oil cultivation is responsible for deforestation and thus contributing to the release of GHG into the atmosphere.
Says the CEO of the Malaysian Palm oil Council (MPOC), Dr Yusof Basiron: “The Malaysian oil palm cultivation at 4.85 million hectares is too insignificant as compared to the 4,267 million hectares of agricultural area of the world (mostly in developed countries) to have any positive or negative effect on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. If the world agricultural land is said to contribute 17 % of the global GHG emissions, then the Malaysian oil palm plantation’s share as an agricultural crop is only 4.85/4267×17% or 0.019%. What about the 99.981 % emission coming from other agricultural areas of the world or the 56% share of fossil fuel in global GHG emission?”
“Western NGOs want to curb the expansion of oil palm cultivation as they claim it will lead to deforestation and an increase in GHG emissions. In comparison, the airline industry is contributing between 2 to 3 % of global GHG emissions (105 times more than the emission of the Malaysian oil palm industry) but no calls are made to stop the expansion of the industry. These NGOs who claim to support ‘green’ efforts have certainly not volunteered to stop using airplanes in their travels, although they often make big claims of wanting to resolve the GHG emissions problem,” observed Dr Basiron.
Thus until these green groups learn to sing in tune, they will always sound like off key hypocrites!