Ok Jesus H.
I wanted to write this piece about deforestation so I thought it would be worthwhile to freshen up on the current rate of global deforestation. 13 million hectares a year… which is equivalent to 48 football fields every minute. And now, as per usual, I’m freakin out.
48 FOOTBALL FIELDS A MINUTE ARE YOU FKN KIDDING ME??! Like how do you even begin to reconcile that?? It’s one of those statistics I always rattle on about being too big to handle, too colossal to legitimately comprehend so instead we compartmentalise it and excuse ourselves from responding to it with our full attention.
Because how on Earth is Roland in Sydney supposed to do something about it?! Palm oil plantations are the culprits, and it’s all happening in Indonesia and Brazil! I’m not the one hacking down foliage! (Australia’s deforestation rate is mercifully low btw, how good to chalk one in the win column *phew*).
But heres the issue with exempting oneself from diligent comprehension of global deforestation. Buying and consuming things containing palm oil from said plantations is essentially endorsing deforestation. And if you hate deforestation, that would make you a hypocrite, right?
So I have a couple of cents to give with this self-evident piece of information: if you hate deforestation, you need to check the ingredients of products you are buying to see if they contain palm oil. If you don’t, its sortof like the Trump situation, in that the polls were profoundly contravened by the result. There’s no point in claiming commitment to fighting climate change, but then not bothering to engage with the ways in which you can do so.
There’s a catch with the palm oil thing too - it’s almost never labeled ‘palm oil’. Instead, do you see nondescript ‘vegetable oil’ in that ingredients list? Well you can almost guarantee palm makes up some component of whatever blend of hydrogenated cardiac-arresting slurry that producer has chosen to use. And right there is the wonderful solution to this potential trap! Cheap, undisclosed vegetable oil is terrible for your health. Compound that with the potentiality for attached deforestation advocacy and it makes it an easy choice to put it back on the shelf and choose something else.
I’ve always acknowledged I am probably an awful person to shop with, because I obsess over reading every piece of packaging of anything before I buy it, both for dietary and environmental information. It is a mildly prohibitive and antisocial neurosis, however it is simply a direct reaction to the particular incumbency I feel as someone who wants to be as sustainable a consumer as I can be.
So you care about the planet too, right? Then avoid hypocrisy! Educate yourself!
We’re all in this together, let’s give one another the best shot we can.