The palm-oil biofuel eco-nightmare

— Just a few years ago, politicians and environmental groups in the Netherlands were thrilled by the early and rapid adoption of “sustainable energy,” achieved in part by coaxing electrical plants to use biofuel — in particular, palm oil from Southeast Asia…

…when scientists studied practices at palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, this green fairy tale began to look more like an environmental nightmare. Rising demand for palm oil in Europe brought about the clearing of huge tracts of Southeast Asian rainforest and the overuse of chemical fertilizer there.

Worse still, the scientists said, space for the expanding palm plantations was often created by draining and burning peatland, which sent huge amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Read the story in the New York Times.

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One thought on “The palm-oil biofuel eco-nightmare

  1. What a horrible reaction to very good intentions. Although I am a little shocked that result was not taken into consideration. If a country starts demanding palm oil and I had acres of palm trees I might harvest the supply to meet the demand.

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