Forest fires in Indonesia: Why is the media looking away?
An article from “The Guardian” highlights how despite fire raging across over 5,000 km in Indonesia, the media “dominated by corporate press releases, photo ops and fashion shoots” is not paying attention. This catastrophe is having severe effects on many levels. Children are being prepared for evacuation on warships. Populations of species, including threatened species, are going up in smoke at an untold rate. Much of the forest sits on great domes of peat, releasing clouds of methane, carbon monoxide, ozone and other gases. The plumes extend for hundreds of kilometers, causing impacts even on neighbouring countries. So why is this happening? Indonesia’s forests have been fragmented for decades by timber and farming companies. Canals have been cut through the peat to drain and dry it. Plantation companies move in to destroy what remains of the forest to plant monocultures of pulpwood, timber and oil palm. The easiest way to clear the land is to torch it.