Palm Oil Deforestation | The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 4, 2022 by Noreen Wise, Founder & CEO of Gallant Gold Media, and author; Image Credit: AdobeStock

Historically, the arctic and the antarctic are polar opposites and never experience the same weather conditions at the same time. That is until Friday, February 18, 2022, when this scientific fact melted and our new climate conditions became that much more apparent. The Arctic reached 50 degrees above normal, while temperatures in Antartica skyrocketed as high as 70 degrees, which was way beyond the pale. Again, the simultaneous heating of both poles at the same time has never happened before, which shocked scientists.

“They are opposite seasons. You don’t see the north and the south (poles) both melting at the same time,” ice scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, Walt Meier, told The Associated Press on Friday evening. “It’s pretty stunning.”

Alarming phenomenon like the Arctic and Antarctic syncing have global leaders trying to wrap their minds around how to address this type of mind-bending occurrence. Scientists are digging deeper to determine if this was a random one-time weather event or a new trend, and if so, how it will affect climate conditions around the world.

We as individuals have to draw our own conclusions and create individual climate action plans so we can become part of the solution. Hopefully, the majority of us will rush as quickly as scientists have been warning us to do. Buy an EV, install solar, begin kitchen scrap composting, alter our household food system, transition our pesticide-covered monoculture lawns to biodiverse no mow yards, and refuse plastic all will help in dramatically lowering our carbon footprints. These types of lifestyle-changing actions will also drawdown much more carbon, especially in our yards through biodiversity. But targeted consumer choices will be what ends up making the winning difference. We have to be willing to REFUSE products that are destroying the forests and peatlands which store the majority of carbon. In the end, it will be collective refusal through boycotts that will save us.

If large global companies can immediately influence the outcome of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by pulling out of Russia (boycotting Russia), then we must apply the same tactic to consumer brands, banks, pension funds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts who are funding and participating in mass global deforestation and biodiversity loss, as well as the extinction of thousands of plants, animals, insects and microbes. Hundreds of global corporations exiting Russia underscored how effective mass boycotting is.

Palm oil is found in 50% of the goods sold in grocery stores, supermarkets, and big box stores like Target and Walmart. Consumer favorites such as ice cream, chocolate, packaged bread, margarine, cookies, frozen meals, as well as soap, detergent, cosmetics, etc are the ones most responsible. We must develop the excellent habit of reading every label in search of palm oil, no matter how fine the print, and refusing to buy the product if we find it. This will be difficult at first, but will become much easier with practice. 

A decrease in revenue and sinking stock prices are the only forces that companies respond to. 

The 2021 global production of palm oil reached a staggering 73 million tons and is projected to grow to 75.5 million tons in 2022. Production levels of this magnitude, require hefty financing from major international banks, who hold a blind eye to the deforestation required for these output levels. Globally, 27 million hectares have been deforested and converted to monoculture-biodiversity-loss palm oil plantations. There is a very long list of US Corporations that are guilty of boosting their profits through deforestation. Sadly, Amazon is at the very top of the list.

The following are a few of the deforestation overachievers that we must boycott until they end their use of palm oil produced through deforestation:

  • Amazon.com
  • Archer-Daniels Midland
  • Clorox
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Conagra Brands
  • Costco Wholesale
  • CVS
  • Dollar General and Dollar Tree
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Estee Lauder Cos
  • General Mills
  • Hershey
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kellogg
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Kraft Heinz
  • Kroger
  • McDonalds
  • Nestle
  • Nike
  • PepsiCo
  • Prada
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Shell
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Tyson Foods
  • Unilver
  • Walmart
  • Wendy’s
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • Yum Brands!

A handful of the most well-known US international banks and lenders funding willfully irresponsible deforestation are:

  • Bank of America
  • BlackRock
  • Citigroup
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC Holdings 
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Morgan Stanley 

A budding list of companies have begun moving away from palm oil in the production of consumer products, or at the very least they’ve switched to using palm oil from palm trees NOT grown on monoculture palm plantations that require deforestation. Other companies are using alternative types of oil. (Click here to find a list that will be helpful in finding new “palm oil free” brands.) 

REFUSING palm oil must to become our way of life asap. It’s simple and inexpensive. All that’s required is determination. Additionally, saying “NO” to products that are fueling climate change pays unexpected dividends. Happiness. Happiness derived from doing good and refusing to buy products that contain palm oil will not only be an individual mood-elevator, it will also improve our overall well-being. This is significant. Let’s make it happen.

© Copyright 2022. ALL Rights Reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s