The Indonesian Government Should Copy The Tobacco Industry: Just Lie

Palm oil mill

Palm oil mill (Photo credit: Marufish)

The Indonesian government is trying to put a happy face on palm oil‘s evil practices.  News comes today that the Indonesian government is going to declare a near-trade war amid worldwide disapproval of the Indonesian palm oil plantation practices that lead to deforestation, death, destruction and displacement.

“We have to fight the bad publicity of deforestation [related to palm oil]. We cannot just be quiet.”

Yeah, what a horrible drag bad pub around deforestation is, huh?  (And look at just how much Indonesia has become a monoculture economy too.  So much so that the government has to take this step?)

Here’s the link:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/04/12/govt-counter-negative-opinions-indonesian-cpo.html

Why not take a page from the Tobacco Industry’s playbook:  just lie!  For those that don’t remember, tobacco execs literally sat before Congress, testifying (not under oath, apparently) that cigarettes are completely safe.  (How did that work for ya?)

Seriously, though, the best way to do the right thing is to ensure that palm oil plantations simply do NOT cut down high conservation value rainforests in the first place.  How’s  that for a strategy?   But that’s probably too much of a hassle for the banana republic officials and their palm oil tycoons — some of whom actually own million dollar Manhattan apartments, or so I’ve been told by reliable sources.

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