This week a group of 12 prominent scientists published an open letter to “alert the public” about pro-industry groups that are distorting the truth about deforestation and palm oil production in southeast Asia. Skoll friend Rhett Butler is a driving force raising public and media scrutiny on big companies using front groups masquerading as environmental NGOs to greenwash deforestation and illegal timber activities.
Recent analysis of a wide field of data by Butler and the Skoll Foundation established that deforestation – primarily in tropical forests – is a larger contributor of carbon emissions than the worldwide transportation sector. And that commodity production (with palm oil topping the list, especially in southeast Asia) is a leading driver of deforestation.
Today The New York Times’ Andy Revkin covered the letter on its Dot Earth environmental blog.