The short-sighted idiocy of biofuels is not just confined to the ethanol boondoggle in the U.S. In much of the rest of the world, there is a demand for biodiesel, which is being met in large part by the clearing of rainforests in Indonesia. The Daily Telegraph, in the UK, has the story of how these clearances involve the slaughter of the greatest of the Great Apes, the Orangutan:
As jungles are rapidly replaced by palm oil plantations, the great apes starve and are hunted, mutilated, burnt and snared by workers protecting their crops. At a rehabilitation centre run by the charity Borneo Orang-utan Survival, there are more than 600, mostly orphaned babies. Lone Nielsen, the centre’s director, estimates that for each of the 227 animals they rescued last year, five more were killed in central Borneo alone.
The unspeakable truth is that this would not be happening on the same scale were it not for the European Union’s climate change goals:
With the world desperate for “green” fuels, demand for palm oil, which is used in bio-diesel, is guaranteed to increase. According to European legislation two per cent of all diesel must be vegetable oil, rising to 5.7 per cent in 2010 and 10 per cent by 2020.
Free-market environmentalism says that the rainforests will be protected if there is a non-use value placed on them higher than the use value. It is sheer insanity that governmental environmentalism has actually raised the use value by means of such regulation.
As one of the most famous orangutans in literature would say, “Ook” (“It may be a vital oxygenating biomass to you, but it’s home to me.”)