It is now widely believed that Indonesian palm oil companies are intentionally starting forest fires to clear land for palm oil plantations. As if this were not bad enough, these widespread forest fires are causing record-breaking hazardous levels of air pollution in neighboring Singapore.
If the air pollution index in Singapore is any sign, the city-state is in big trouble. A 100 on the index indicates the air is unhealthy, a 200 means the air is very unhealthy, and 300 is considered to be hazardous. This week, Singapore registered a whopping 371 – a record.
According to the Department of Agriculture, Indonesia produces more palm oil than any other country in the world, and this is accomplished by clear-cutting the land to grow palms fruit for oil. Palm oil investors, and there are many in both Indonesia and Singapore, support this clear-cutting in the name of profits.
Deforestation in Indonesia makes it all the more clear how decisions, good and bad, can have a major environmental impact. The methods used in Indonesia are causing the worst air pollution in Singapore’s history.
In fact, the pollution is so bad that it is causing birds to fall from the sky.
Contrary to popular belief, air pollution is responsible for more deaths than malaria and AIDS combined.