Smallholders are hurt by the actions of the Union of Confused Scientists!
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Smallholders are hurt by the actions of the Union of Confused Scientists!

New York City : NY : USA | Feb 17, 2013 at 11:09 PM PST
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In Indonesia environmentally destructive palm oil plantations provide work for three million people
I really doubt whether there has been a time during the last century where the reputation of a group of scientists has been regularly chewed up and spat out with such contempt by people who are just trying to eke out a living. In amongst all the edible oilseed commotion of NGO campaigns, underhanded European Commission tactics, and scientists who appear to be more confused than concerned, there are the smallholders whose livelihoods depend on the production of palm oil. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) as they call themselves have managed to jump on the palm oil bandwagon in attempts to add weight to the campaigns against the otherwise sustainable palm oil industry with no one stopping to consider the wider effects of this battle. It appears that the UCS chose possible financial rewards over concerns for the human costs of this battle, as they joined in the campaign to tarnish palm oil with the same brush as tobacco, or other unsavory activities such as whale hunting. They, in conjunction with other prominent NGO’s, are certainly very persuasive, and have many in the western media believing the manufactured and false information that they choose to drip feed. However the UCS seems to be more confused than concerned as a paper entitled “Palm Oil and Tropical Deforestation” highlights. (http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/forest_solutions/palm-oil-and-forests.html). In one paragraph from this paper it is stated that “Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of global warming pollution,” and that this is “overwhelmingly from deforestation”. In fact the real reason why Indonesia is such a big emitter of pollution is largely due to the Indonesian’s traditional custom of slashing and burning for land clearing and not as the USC would have you believe, because of deforestation. Without the land clearing tradition Indonesia would be very low down the list of countries emitting global warming pollution. The UCS’s confusion would be laughable if there wasn’t so much at stake. When a seemingly reputable union of intelligent individuals speaks such nonsense, a lot of other seemingly intelligent people jump on the bandwagon and before long everybody believes it. The UCS may just be trying to grease their pockets with more research grants but this has serious implications on the hapless smallholder who is just trying to eke out a living. It is well known that most smallholders came into palm oil cultivation by participating in government sponsored rural poverty eradication programs such as the successful FELDA programs of the late sixties and early seventies that converted most of the rubber plantations that was then going through a downturn into palm oil plantations. None of these palm oil smallholders, who contrary to popular opinion, contributes a staggering 40 percent of global palm oil production, have anything to do with orang-utans, which does not even exist in Peninsula Malaysia where most of these smallholdings are located. In our view, you cannot put a price on opportunity lost and we are not even talking of millions of dollars. We’re just talking of smallholders who are trying to make a living so they can pay their mortgage, see their kids through college and save some money thereafter. Like people in the west, these people have dreams too and living on trees and caves are not part of their dreams. In fairness, if the Union of Concerned Scientists are so enamoured of tree-living, they are welcomed to move in with the smallholders first to get a taste of their daily toils and legitimate concerns about eking out a living, before they pontificate from afar ensconced in the comfort of their air conditioned offices with their la-Z-boy armchairs and creature comforts! Note: About Inc Society of PalmHugger: We are made up of professionals and individuals with a great passion for the truth. We are biologists, creative designers, engineers, business men and women, professional tennis players, stay-at-home moms, retirees, college students, filmmakers, journalists, communication experts. You name it! Our goals are all the same – to advance the cause of truth through better and wider dissemination of true palm oil environmental news and views, assisting in CSR initiatives, or developing programmes for advocacy and lobbying of palm oil environmental matters, always with an emphasis on truth. Who we are not: We are not politically linked to any political parties. We are also not donor nor profit driven. Every single cent raised through our initiatives are channeled back to fund Palmhugger programmes that require financial assistance. www.Palmhugger.org
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Note: About Inc Society of PalmHugger: We are made up of professionals and individuals with a great passion for the truth. We are biologists, creative designers, engineers, business men and women, professional tennis players, stay-at-home moms, retirees, college students, filmmakers, journalists, communication experts. You name it! Our goals are all the same -; to advance the cause of truth through better and wider dissemination of true palm oil environmental news and views, assisting in CSR initiatives, or developing programmes for advocacy and lobbying of palm oil environmental matters, always with an emphasis on truth. Who we are not: We are not politically linked to any political parties. We are also not donor nor profit driven. Every single cent raised through our initiatives are channeled back to fund Palmhugger programmes that require financial assistance. www.Palmhugger.org
PalmHugger_ is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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