The death of the indigenous people of Indonesia is being perpetrated through rising greenhouse gas emissions from producing and selling consumer goods. Aside from occasional deforestation, this process occurs during leather production. While many people may not pay attention to the production chains of their purses and luggage, more sophisticated consumers are increasingly susceptible to these ever-more complex supply chains. The effect of deforestation is also evident on Amazonian rainforests, by giving rise to huge populations of trees that grow back but are not taken care of to keep the amount of carbon dioxide emitted the same or lower.
People use electronics, cosmetics, clothes, phones, watches, even shoes and jewelry, and these represent some of the most desirable “recreational” products. According to New Environmental World Journal, “Amazon deforestation is one of the world’s biggest carbon sinks, replacing as much carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuels as it absorbs from the atmosphere. As the sales of goods around the world grow, so does the demand for trees, especially in Asia and South America.”
The impacts of logging in Asia are enormous and going unnoticed. Cotton harvesting has already caused great environmental damage in countries such as Myanmar and Vietnam, where cotton production has doubled in the last decade. The processing of forested habitat for wildlife and loggers also requires large amounts of land, altering existing ecosystem health and creating a ripple effect of ecological shifts. Tens of thousands of forested communities, known as “jurong,” have already been decimated. In addition, increasing wealth in countries such as China and the Philippines may also provide food to people who otherwise would be forced to eat less in order to survive. However, an increased world population is likely to depend on resources that are already under strain. In an already over-stressed world, such scenarios are already predicted.
So far, with that rise in income, but with mass consumerism, is still extremely under-reported, as oil and gas companies and advertisers turn a blind eye to the true, socially responsible way to sustain a society. Unless this matter is taken more seriously, we can expect the situation to only worsen. So far, it’s given rise to more than a half-million forest fire victims in Indonesia alone and still surging.
For more information about New Environmental World Journal, go to their website: nwj.org.
Elizabeth Hinderaker is a writer, consultant, speaker, and a senior contributing columnist for the Christian Post.