Forest fires in Indonesia cause haze and green house gas emissions. Slash-and-burn practices used by palm oil producers are the source of these fires. Palm oil that comes from these plantations is used to make biodiesel to reduce green house gas emissions… Wait… What??

Pristine Rainforest

Malaysia 2014

Pristine Rainforest




Malaysia 2016

Burned Rainforest

Palm Plantation

Jakarta Post

Palm Oil Plantation

The process of creating 1 gallon of biodiesel from palm oil that was grown on previously forested land and cleared via slash and burn releases 1,272.6 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Burning 1 gallon of gasoline produces about 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide.

See the Math

Fishing boat at Promthop Cape in Phuket Thailand moving through smoke-haze pollution. The haze is coming from Indonesia which is about 1500 miles away. This photo was taken 24 Oct 2015.

Deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 12% of global carbon emissions – more than the emissions from all the planes, trains, automobiles and ships in the world.
(Mario Bocucci, Head UN-REDD Program Secretariat, 2015)

Motorcylce riders in Asian haze

Source: BBC News

A joint study between Harvard and Colombia estimated that fine particulate found in haze coming from fires in Sumatra & Kalimantan hastened the deaths of 100,000 people.
(Koplitz, S., et al 2016 Environ. Res. Lett. 11094023)

Borneo map 1973Borneo map 2016

Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world and at the heart of the palm production industry. Borneo has the highest rate of deforestation in the world, losing about 350,000 hectares per year since 2001. The majority of forest that remains is due only to the fact that the elevation is too high to be considered viable farm land.

Borneo Elevation Map

By Sadalmelik – Own work, Public Domain,