By: Godwin Bowden
What is it with environmental organizations, politicians, bureaucrats, quasi-scientists (junk, pseudo- or just bad), with their dire predictions of apocalyptic climate change – claims that swamp the media, generating unnecessary alarm and panic? They are seized upon by media, hungry for eye-catching stories.
There is a growing band of people whose livelihoods depend on creating and maintaining panic. There are also some who are trying to keep numbers away from your notice and others who hope that you will not make comparisons. Their stock in trade is the gratuitous lie. The aim here is to nail just a few of them.
For instance, environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, the Friends of the Earth, Wetlands and even wannabe environmental sites such as Treehugger and Mongabay.com have curiously chosen to point accusing fingers at, of all things, palm oil. Dredging up every conceivable “environmental” infraction that they could think of, ranging from deforestation to destruction of orang utan habitat to the extinction of the great ape, pygmy elephants and the Sumatran rhino to global warming and climate change – indeed, palm oil appears to have been accused of every environmental ill right across the entire spectrum of “environmental” transgressions.
Let us examine the facts. Palm oil has been cultivated in Malaysia for over a hundred years. Yet forest cover in Malaysia has remained an extremely high 65% which is much higher than the prevailing 20 or so per cent typically found in the industrial west. That’s down to the fact that the bulk of oil palm in Malaysia is traditionally cultivated on legitimate agricultural land and previously logged over areas. Another contributing factor is the undeniably high productivity of oil palm plantations, in fact, as high as 7,250 liters per hectare per year. As the highest yielding oil seed on the market, oil production from oil palm requires less land than that for other crops including soy, rapeseed, corn and sunflower.
In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Palm Oil Truth Foundation has to ask just why these “environmental organizations” persist in pointing accusing fingers at palm oil.
How credible is the alarmism generated by these proponents of global warming and climate change?
According to these environmental alarmists, the planet is warmer now than ever before. The leading theory holds that human industrial activity is causing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases to be pumped into the atmosphere causing abnormal, runaway warming. The result, alarmists say, will be more drought, famine, pestilence, species extinction, and extreme weather events of unprecedented violence. Are these predictions true? A closer examination of the science behind global warming presents an interesting and very different picture!
The truth of the matter is
that the planet is either warmer or cooler now than in the
past, depending on what time in the past is being referred
to, for the simple reason that the temperature fluctuates.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the idea that most of the
Northern Hemisphere was once covered with ice. The vast ice
sheets of the Ice Age reached as far south as Wisconsin.
They melted when the climate warmed substantially. According
to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Environmental
Sciences Division, at the end of the Ice Age, "Forests
quickly regained the ground that they had lost to cold....
Ice sheets ... began melting.... The Earth entered several
thousand years of conditions warmer and moister than today."
In fact, those warmer, moister conditions coincided with the
rise of agriculture and the increase in food production that
made city life possible. Simply put, human civilization was
made possible by a warmer climate. Since the end of the Ice
Age, the planet has been in a long-term,
several-thousand-year period of relative warmth. Within that
long-term period, there have been shorter periods in which
the temperature has fluctuated from the average. Scientists
and historians, using both historical records and data from
ice cores and tree rings, have pinpointed two such
deviations within the last 1,000 or so years. The first is
the Medieval Warm Period, a time of warmer than average
temperatures. According to Dr. Philip Stott, professor
emeritus of bio-geography at the University of London,
"During the Medieval Warm Period, the world was warmer even
than today, and history shows that it was a wonderful period
of plenty for everyone." It was during this time that the
Vikings were able to take their remarkable journeys to North
America, which they called Vinland, and Greenland. The
slightly warmer climate made normally icy Greenland a place
where, for a time, Viking colonies were able to thrive. .
Studies have shown this to be a fact. Wiles et al. used temperature-sensitive climate proxy records with tree-ring, lichen and radiocarbon dated histories from five land-terminating non-surging glaciers located just above the Gulf of Alaska (about 60°N between 140 and 150°W) for the last two millennia to "identify summer temperature as a primary driver of glacial expansions." This work provided evidence for the Medieval Warm Period that consisted of "soil formation and forest growth on many forefields in areas that today are only just emerging from beneath retreating termini," which suggests that the Medieval Warm Period was likely both warmer and longer-lived than what we have so far experienced during the Current Warm Period. They also report that "tree-ring chronologies show that forest growth on these forefields was continuous between the 900s and 1200s" at the Sheridan, Tebenkof and Princeton glaciers.
The Medieval Warm Period was followed by the Little Ice Age, when the climate cooled to temperatures that were not only lower than those of the preceding Medieval Warm Period but that were also somewhat cooler than the average for the longer, several-thousand-year period. In short, there have been times both when the climate was warmer than today and when it was cooler than today. In all such instances, the climate changed independently of human activity
The Palm Oil Truth Foundation takes the view that the wild assertions of environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, FOE et al, on palm oil, makes such curious reading that we have to wonder at the motive behind their concerted actions against palm oil. The hundreds of scientific studies debunking their environmental alarmism show that these environmental organizations are guilty of abusing the public trust.