Years of Living Dangerously Silent on Palm Oil’s Use As a Biofuel

by Greg Pollowitz

Last night was the second episode of the global-warming-alarmist propaganda, James Cameron–produced Years of Living Dangerously.

One of the storylines from last night, which continued over from episode one, was Harrison Ford taking on the palm oil industry in Indonesia. Ford and the documentary focused on the use of palm oil in food while ignoring the use of palm oil as a green, environmentally approved biodiesel fuel. Ford does take discuss corruption in Indonesia, but by ignoring “green” biodiesel and it’s growing importance to Indonesia’s economy, he misleads viewers. It’s the demand for biodiesel that analysts now say is the driving force in the palm oil market:

As much as 3.4 million tons of palm will be used for biodiesel this year in Indonesia, Hasan said on Feb. 24, after Southeast Asia’s biggest economy increased the blending rate to reduce import costs and narrow the current-account deficit.

Indonesia boosted in September the amount of biodiesel blended with fuel to 10 percent from 7.5 percent and power plants had to blend 20 percent from January. PT Pertamina has already secured 2.4 million kiloliters of biodiesel, 45 percent of the 5.3 million kiloliters it’s seeking for this year and next, the state oil and gas company said Feb. 16. Pertamina will hold more auctions to buy the remainder.

Malaysia is extending its B5 biodiesel program in the country which will result in consumption of 500,000 tons of palm methyl ester annually, according to the government.

“The demand side of the equation has been overtaken by biodiesel,” Dorab Mistry, director of Godrej International Ltd., said by e-mail. “It remains to be seen how much of the Indonesian mandate is actually fulfilled.”

Andy Revkin of the New York Times noticed the omission, too:

Planet Gore has already covered how the demand for palm oil as a fuel is causing environmental havoc, especially with orangutans:

How ‘Green’ Palm Oil Is Killing Orangutans

Now Showtime, Ford, Cameron, et al. have no problem using heartwarming shots at an orangutan nursery to help sell it’s anti-palm-oil message . . .

. . .but they won’t tell “the inconvenient truth” that it’s the environmental movement itself that shares significant blame for Indonesia’s deforestation crisis.

At some point we need to stop using food for gasoline. Years of Living Dangerously had a chance to advance this message and didn’t, out of what looks to be a desire to protect the environmental movement as a whole and to make the complex story of global warming as simple as possible. 


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