The Wall Street Journal today is carrying an article about the trouble that demand for biofuel is causing in, Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia and Singapore. The article is available in Chinese on line, but not in English without a subscription.
Patrick Barta and Jane Spencer say in their article that rain forrest is being burnt to make way for palm oil plantations, and this is causing a rise in the number of cases of respiratory illness.
" the fires set to clear forest land spew millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, experts say... they excaberate the very global warming concerns biofuels are meant to alleviate."
The article adds
Indonesian authorities hope to capitalize on such demand to bring economic growth to some of tits most impoverished regions. The government is offering low-interest loans for plantation companies with the goal of adding 1.5m hectares of new plantations over the next five years. Officials maintiain this can be done on designated land without causing widespread environmental damage.
Peat based soil are also part of the problem, burning as well as the trees above.
Not a pretty picture.