Papua New Guinea loses the moral high-ground

Everyone at Bali cheered when the Papua New Guinea delegate dissed the Bush team:

“We seek your leadership. But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.”

Oh, snap! [Sorry, couldn’t resist one last 2007 Daily Show-ism]

Now comes the heartbreaking news:

Malaysian company Vitroplant has been granted necessary permits by the PNG government to begin clearing 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive plantation of oil palm trees.

And the whole island is only 80,000 hectares!


True, no American is really in a position to criticize another country’s climate self-destructiveness, especially one that isn’t violating any international treaty. But PNG held itself out as a moral leader on the issue. Can’t they wait a couple of years until the international community figures out how to value preserving tropical forests? Especially since a majority of the island’s 6,000 residents “reportedly oppose the project, and were not even aware of it until after its approval.”

Shame on you, Papua New Guinea. You shouldn’t be lecturing any other country about climate policy.

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4 Responses to Papua New Guinea loses the moral high-ground

  1. Ronald says:

    Invariably there were people on the island who said to not cut down all the trees. The libertarians said we can do anything we want to do, our present wealth and joy is more important than any thing we could do for future generations, it is theft of our freedoms to do anything else.

    Those who thought about the future and future generations were left to looking out into the ocean with faraway looks saying forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.

    There is no record of what they actually said since they were the first that the cannibals ate.

  2. Derek Wall says:

    It is not about ‘libertarians’ it is about corporate interests, you will hardly find anyone on Woodlark Island who wants the forests cut, they live well with them…the world over big financial interests grease politicians to wreck local peoples land and destroy the environment…only by getting real, rolling our collective sleaves up and supporting local people against enclosure will we save the planet

    You can campaign against the destruction of woodlark via the rainforest portal which is linked in the blog entry above!

    oh and don’t forget the biofuel boat…

  3. It is not about ‘libertarians’ it is about corporate interests,