Monday, February 22, 2010
The article from CNN, Rainforests turned into smoldering ruins, found at http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/06/indonesia.burning.raniforest/index.html?eref=rss_world+utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_world+%28RSS%3A+World%29&utm_content=Google+Reader, described how Sumatra's Kampar Peninsula rain forests in Indonesia are being chopped down at a rate of 50 football fields an hour - already 85% of Sumatra's rain forests are gone. Many environmental groups such as Greenpeace are very concerned. A major reason is that the Kampar Peninsula's peat soil holds more carbon than anywhere else in the world. If this whole peninsula were to be taken over by multibillion dollar paper, pulp and palm oil conglomerates, the carbon dioxide released through deforestation would be equivalent to 1.6 billion transatlantic flights. Not only is this a huge environmental issue, it is threatening the way of life of small villages. The people of the these villages live off and prosper from the bounty of the rain forest. They need the wood to build their fishing boats and houses. But the people in the villages are not united in their opinions about this conflict. Some villagers believe the big companies will bring jobs and needed development while others are skeptical. The Indonesian government does have laws governing deforestation but environmental groups claim that are not well-enforced. While people are trying to figure out what to do, the trees keep coming down. One villager said if the forests are not protected "we will fail to protect our future. It means we will fail to protect our Earth where we are living. It means disaster is coming to us."