50% of Sumatran Rainforest is Gone. 70% of What’s Left is Earmarked for Destruction

SUMATRA’S LAST STAND:  Please watch this chilling video from the UK Guardian on the soul-sucking Sumatran rainforest destruction.

The most startling statistic:  50% of the Sumatran rainforest is gone already.   And 70% of  the remaining 50% is set to be razed, raped, pillaged, chopped down and destroyed by the “corporate colonialism” rampant in Southeast Asia.

(And just try to watch April Asia’s weasely corporate public relations flack, David Goodwin (about the 2:50 mark), without getting enraged as he sweats, fidgets and fumbles with answers that won’t hang him or his company out to dry on the deforestation issue.  You’d think he was being interviewed on “60 Minutes” by how badly this coward is floundering and epic failing.)

The palm oil plantations and paper mills are seemingly good for nobody but the corporations, their corrupt politician-friends and the toothless police force who turn a blind eye on poaching and illegal deforestation and logging.  Not alot of jobs are created for the locals by these palm/paper plantations.  They’ve depended on the rainforest for their livelihood and sustenance for generations.  But they can’t do that anymore when it’s all gone.

Orang utan and man at Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, I...

Orang utan and man at Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m finally going to Sumatra in August.  I’m going now because I can’t wait any longer.   I’m going now because the rainforest is being destroyed so fast I may be one of the last people of our generation to see a Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran Pygmy elephant, or Sumatran tiger in the wild.  That’s sickening.  But that’s typical of Indonesia’s plight.  Money.  Greed.  Corruption.  Poverty.


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3 Responses to 50% of Sumatran Rainforest is Gone. 70% of What’s Left is Earmarked for Destruction

  1. Pingback: Cell Phone Reception in the Sumatran Rainforest? – Listening for the Chainsaws | gettingonmysoapbox

  2. Brad Sanders says:

    First, August is not a good time to come to Indonesia this year because of the Idul Fitri holidays…millions of people will be heading home and then returning to where they work during a 2-3 week period…long lines, traffic jams, expensive tickets. But if you’ve never been to Indonesia before, you won’t know the difference.
    Second, I know David, he’s a nice guy trying to make a living like the rest of us. He screwed up royally during the interview…needs more practice and know his topic better. That being said, yes, the Sumatran forest is nearly gone, but it’s not just the companies (there are good and there are bad and there are really bad), it’s also the poor guy and middle class dude that are cutting down the forest for profit too. But guess what…where is all this wood and oil palm going? To the UK, USA, Netherlands, and the rest of the developed world +China/India…quit using your soap, shampoo, and everything else in your consumptive lifestyle and then think about complaining about forests disappearing. The big P&P plantation companies are/must replant to ensure wood supply for their billion dollar mills supplying all of us with tissue and paper.
    Third, Indonesians are proud of their country, their proud to have “freedom” to choose what they want…that is to have one of the fastest growing economies in SE Asia and have the same opportunity to consume that you do wherever you live. Yes, a little more balance would be nice, that’s one reason I work here.
    Fourth, come to Harapan Rainforest in Jambi Province, Sumatra. See what positive things are being attempted by the government and international/local NGO’s and understand the huge challenges they face as Indonesia try’s to grow and develop. Come help us achieve things that nobody thought was possible. Stop blogging and start working with us…we need motivated and talented people to save the Sumatran rainforest…here’s your chance!
    Have a great trip!!

    • Brad,

      I’d love to help. I can’t say it any more clearly and loudly.

      I’m not trying to be all criticism. But how can I help as a full-time attorney with a life and career in Southern California — where the U.S. demand is part of the problem — other than help educate here through my blog and other efforts?

      Cut down on my consumptive lifestyle? I am child-free. I volunteer for Orangutan Outreach already (Rich Zimmerman) as a volunteer legal advisor. I donate to other NGOs. I blog about the evils of palm oil to anybody/everybody to help educate and lead boycotts so people STOP using all the things you mention. I participate in supermarket stickering campaigns plastering “Say No to Palm Oil” stickers on shampoo, Oreos, Nutella, etc. I educate friends, co-workers and family about boycotting palm oil here in the USA until they hate me for my passion. I have bumper stickers on my car. I have stickers on my office window (looking at them now). I buy 100% recycled paper towels and toilet paper. I turn OFF the water in the shower and while brushing my teeth. I buy renewable energy credits (RECs) for all my home electricity needs through Pear Energy. I drive an EV that is powered by the energy from these RECs (a 2006 Prius too). I try to limit my meat consumption to only a couple days a week. I recycle all of my cups, containers, plates when I eat out — bringing them home to my own bin….

      While these may be humble, silly efforts compared to what you do on the ground in Sumatra, apparently, and run the risk of appearing like grains of sand on a beach, I’m no sycophant, I assure you. This is my passion and quest. I would love to know how I can make environmentalism my career and my life.

      But I AM doing what I can from where I sit. Yes, I’m limited. And you may think it’s small, petty and lacks dignity. But I feel hopeless and helpless — and impotent — as a white European male in the USA (and not a biologist or wildlife expert either) in the face of so much Asian corporate greed and selfishness, Indonesian government corruption and crushing poverty. If I could chuck it all (my significant other, career, house, dogs, debts) to move to Sumatra to help save the rainforests and the critically endangered species every single day of my life, I truly would.

      I’m serious. Please advise. How can I truly help people like you on the ground in Indonesia? My heart bleeds for this cause.

      PS. I had to postpone my Sumatra trip (it was a Raw Wildlife eco-tour with profits being donated to Earth4Orangutans and the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project) because my buddy can’t take this much time off from his law firm. So I’m going to Costa Rica instead. I hope to go down to Sumatra in the future with Rich Zimmerman of Orangutan Outreach next time he goes down.

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