2011-05-26 23:49:05Brazil rainforest
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

This doesn't look good.

http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/46083

I'm probably naive, but if farmers are just ripping down trees and then magically using the land, you just put them in jail??!

Just because the land doesn't have trees on it anymore, doesn't change it's status, or if it does then maybe legislation needs to be passed so that the status remains, which would make the tree removal worthless. Why not make it a massive national park.

2011-05-27 02:38:38
perseus

owlsmoor@googlemail...
188.220.205.42

Since they have been passing legislation which allows greater deforestation (see my last post) I don't think the Brazilians are serious about protecting forests. Their main priority is development and they will ensure anything which stands in its way will get crushed. That's why I believe trade barriers should be used.  Consumer action at supermarkets might be influencial as well.  Rather than attempt to close down power stations for a day perhaps activists should be protesting outside Walmart & Tesco?   

2011-05-27 03:12:14
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Most people don't link the product they buy to rainforests.
The way to do it is probably through legislation, or social/community 'legislation'. eg. a group like Fairtrade where public support gradually filters through the whole industry. Just about all coffee and chocolate is fair trade now (in the UK, I don't know about other nations), which is quite amazing. You need that association between a logo on a product and the rainforest. It needs to be a purchase that requires little thought or no thought.

2011-05-27 06:40:28
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.100.209

Now that palm oil is appearing in so many products, my wife and I make a conscious effort not to buy anything with palm oil in it. A pain in the arse because a lot of research is necessary to find out what that "vegetable fat/oil" listed in the ingredients actually is. So far the NZ government has resisted calls for labelling of palm oil.

There was a huge stink in NZ last year, when the media/public got wind that Cadbury were using palm oil in their chocolate. Consumer backlash lead to a drop in sales, and a rival NZ owned chocolate company (which doesn't use palm oil and promotes its fair trade practices) has now claimed a big share of the market. All good, but ignores the fact that palm oil is in soooooo many products. 

I don't know if you guys have watched that BBC? documentary on palm oil, and the havoc it wreaks on the environment. Probably best you don't it's so depressing watching the greed, stupidity and indifference of many humans.

Anyway, I totally agree with you Perseus, people can make a major impact by making more environmentally friendly choices at the supermarket, and by buying more locally grown produce (farmers markets etc).

It's too late for some areas of the Amazon methinks.

2011-05-27 07:03:55
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I spent some time today trying to find soap that didn't have the prime ingredient as Sodium Palmate.
The best I could do was some made of Sodium Talowate and Sodium Cocoate.

2011-05-27 07:10:26
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.100.209

We use soapnuts for our laundry, and apparently it's easy enough to make liquid soaps out of it. Soapnuts are incredibly economic, but aren't that flash on heavily soiled clothing or gym/running clothes that get real smelly. For normal washes though, excellent. And did I say inexpensive?

We planted a soapnut tree, about 18 months ago, but it ain't looking too flash.

2011-05-27 15:10:48
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.185

Could be a great project to set up a Palm Oil website, that collects & publicizes information about brands.

2011-05-27 19:48:08
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.185

It's getting very ugly:

Prominent Brazilian Rainforest Activist And WIfe Murdered

2011-05-27 20:06:30
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.15.111

Neal, that is nothing new, murders are common place there, but often the targets are indigenous peoples. I don't know if the laws still exist, but the land could not be cleared if indigenous people had a claim to the area. Simple solution for the rancheros was to scare them off the land, and if they resisted then they were slaughtered.  

2011-05-27 21:13:44
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
109.41.61.54

I'm volunteering at the Stuttgart zoo and we are currently involved with a European wide "Apecampaign" run by the zoos to highlight the plight of our ape cousins. One of the topics is palm oil as it is most likely the biggest issues Orang Utans are faced with in Indonesia because more and more rainforests get cleared for palm oil plantations.

While collecting information we came across various lists of products with or without palm oil but most of them are rather country specific.

Greenpeace has quite a lot of information available on its website as has BOS (Borneo Orang Survival Project), unfortunately, neither has a complete "blacklist" of products containing palm oil from unsastainble resources. However, BOS AU has a list of palm oil free products available on its website.

2011-05-27 22:08:41
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.185

It is not clear if Greenpeace's activity for Palm Oil is still ongoing: the last information was dated 2008.

It seems to me that an international effort would be important both for biodiversity and climate issues.

2011-05-28 03:53:56Greenpeace and Palm oil
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.158.60

I'm not sure about current campaigns but last year Greenpeace took a shot at Nestlé to clean up their act. The video to accompany the "Have a break" campaign is rather drastic but it apparently proved quite effective to get people to contact the company with requests to stop using palm oil from unsustainable resources.

Here is the link (but better not watch while "having a break" yourself):
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/multimedia/videos/Kit-Kat-advert/

2011-05-28 07:15:29
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.23.34

Baerbel, I guess having contact with orangutans especially makes one aware of their plight, I mention this because the Auckland Zoo here in New Zealand has been staunchly highlighting the issue of palm oil too. They were the ones to draw attention to Cadbury's switch to palm oil in their chocolate.

Shame people don't give a shit about all the other life being exterminated in the destruction of the rainforests. 

2011-05-28 08:14:18
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.101.185

Rob,

An "objective" reason to be concerned is that a system with a lot of diversity is inherently more stable against unforeseen disasters than one with little diversity.

Even if someone doesn't expect humans to be wiped out, it would be valuable if the rest of the planet were still out there functioning as well.

2011-05-28 18:12:02
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.149.127

Rob, yes, the Orang-Utans are hit hard by conversion of their habitat in South-east Asia. This is one reason why the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) started the "Apecampaign" which runs at least until September this year. The zoos want to set up a fund to support ongoing in-situ projects for ape species. But, just as important is to raise awareness about what the root-causes for the apes' grim outlook are. One topic we bring up at our touch-table is to make people aware of how palm oil content is "hidden in plain sight" on ingredient lists (vegetable fat/oil). The EAZA is helping a lobbying effect with the European parliament to enforce new labelling where palm oil will need to clearly show up on the ingredients' list:

http://www.apecampaign.org/threats/habitat-loss/palm-oil

Most of the people we talk to are thankful for this type of information which - in many cases - they hadn't been aware of before.

2011-05-28 18:49:56
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.53.155

It's clearly not just an Orangutan issue. There really ought to be an international environmental issue, cross-species. It's much more important, for example, than the ivory-trade issue.

2011-05-28 19:06:52
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.149.127

Neal, sure it's much more than "just" Orangutans, but without these kinds of flagship-species, which people can relate to, it is almost impossible to get enough people motivated to do something. Even if we here on SkS know that the rainforests are worth saving for their own as well as our sake, most people just don't make that kind of connection. Flagship species do play an important role to make people aware of what is going on.