Tag Archives | Deforestation

Should People Give Up Nutella For the Sake of Our Trees?

nutella

This post originally appeared on HoneyColony.

Palm oil is used in a mind-boggling range of everyday products including shampoo, toothpaste and Nutella. In total, 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually.

As a result, tens of millions of acres of forest have been cut down to make way for large-scale palm oil plantations, lending to deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, and indigenous rights abuses. There are more sustainable oils out there that offer more nutrition.  But what is the likelihood of giving up an iconic product like Nutella for the sake of Mamma Earth?

Food Fight: France VS Italy

Italy and France are going at it again, this time it’s a food fight over Nutella, arguably the world’s most popular ‘chocolate’ hazelnut breakfast spread. About 365,000 tons of Nutella is made each year (about the same as the weight of The Empire State Building).

Earlier this week, Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal stated on the French television network Canal+ France that, “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming.… Read the rest

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This Is Absolutely Terrifying: “There Are Really Only Two Big Patches of Intact Forest Left on Earth”

Alias 0591 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Alias 0591 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Lindsay Abrams writes at Salon:

Can a forest that exists only in the spaces between roads and patches cleared for human settlement and agricultural development truly be called a forest?

Not so much, say researchers studying the growing, global problem of forest fragmentation. And the “persistent, deleterious and often unpredicted” consequences of human activity, finds a new study conducted by a team off 24 international scientists, and funded by the National Science Foundation, may be ruinous for plant and animal life.

“There are really only two big patches of intact forest left on Earth — the Amazon and the Congo — and they shine out like eyes from the center of the map,” lead author Nick Haddad, a professor at North Carolina State University, told the New Yorker.

“Nearly 20 percent of the world’s remaining forests are the distance of a football field — or about 100 meters — away from forest edges,” he elaborated in a statement.

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How Environmentalists Got One Firm to Quit Deforestation

tftMargaret Debore writes at TreeHugger:

A firm that once accused Greenpeace of making “false accusations” has finally had a change of heart. This morning, NPR’s Morning Edition has a great story on how Greenpeace and the Tropical Forest Trust pushed Asia Pulp and Paper to end their devastating practice of deforestation.

Scott Poynton of the Tropical Forest Trust, dealt with the company’s misplaced priorities:

Poynton told them bluntly that if they kept cutting down virgin forests, no amount of “greenwashing” was going to help them.

Head over to NPR to hear or read the full story.

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Deforestation Intentions Soar With Carbon Prices Low

Picture: NASA (PD)

Picture: NASA (PD)

Brian Fallow writes at the New Zealand Herald:

Deforestation intentions have soared as the emissions trading scheme, at least at current rock-bottom prices, is no longer seen as a barrier to switching to other land uses.

A survey of large forest owners (with over 10,000ha) by Professor Bruce Manley of Canterbury University has found they intend to deforest 39,000ha between now and 2020, mainly in the central North Island and mainly to switch to dairy farming.

They represent three-quarters of the plantation forests with trees older than 20 years, which are likely to be harvested within the next eight years.

Assuming smaller forest owners only replant 80 per cent of the forests they harvest in the same period, the total area deforested would be 55,000ha or 12 per cent of the area of plantation forest maturing in that period.

On an annual basis it would represent only a modest increase on deforestation over the past five years – the period of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period, through which forest owners have had liabilities under the ETS.

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Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Are Dropping Faster Than Atmospheric Carbon Levels Are Rising

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Earth6391.jpg/128px-Earth6391.jpgForget rising temperatures and bigger storms, this is the big problem that neither side of the mainstream debate over environmental destruction is talking about.  Peter Tatchell reported for the Guardian back in 2008:

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is big news. It is prompting action to reverse global warming. But little or no attention is being paid to the long-term fall in oxygen concentrations and its knock-on effects.

Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.

I am not a scientist, but this seems a reasonable concern.

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Brazil’s Biggest Bank Sued For Funding Amazon Deforestation

DeforestationBBC News recently reported:
Brazil's biggest bank — the state-run Banco do Brasil — is being sued for allegedly funding deforestation in the Amazon. Public prosecutors say the bank lent money to companies that illegally cleared the rainforest and used labour practices bordering on slavery. The smaller state-owned Banco da Amazonia is also being sued. Brazil says it has drastically reduced the rate of deforestation in the Amazon in recent years. Prosecutors in the state of Para said they had uncovered 55 loans worth nearly $5m (£3m) that the Banco do Brasil approved to farms that had broken environmental and employment laws. They also said they had uncovered 37 loans worth $11m given to farms with similar violations by the Banco da Amazonia. The loans violated Brazil's constitution, environmental laws, banking regulations and international agreements signed by Brazil, the independent prosecutors at the Public Ministry said.
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