Friday, December 10, 2010

"Green Energy" sometimes a different kind of green

"Green Energy" is a buzzword in policy circles because what is "green" must be good for the environment, right? Unfortunately, the truth is that what sounds like a good idea on paper (or increasingly, online) can actually do more harm than good.

The advocacy group Survival International, which claims to represent the interests of "tribal peoples" around the world, has criticized the Malaysian Bakun dam project in Borneo, which not only has flooded large tracts of rainforest and disrupted river flow, but also has displaced members of the Penan tribe. They also have sharp words for the palm oil plantations which are razing forest in the name of biofuel, a subject which this blog has covered many times before. As one commentator on the Malaysia Today website (where the SI article is reposted) remarks, the only thing "green" about these projects is the money changing hands!

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