Here are the facts. First, this is not a journalistic article. It is environmental propaganda. The New Yorker actually admits this. In very small print at the foot of the article, it is acknowledged that the piece is supported by FERN, a radical Green NGO that consistently makes false claims.
The FERN-supported New Yorker piece attempts to link violence with oil palm plantations in different parts of the world, and to claim that the palm oil industry has a systematic problem. This is manifestly untrue.
The incidents mentioned are individual tragedies. However, a small number of isolated incidents cannot be used to condemn an entire industry. The piece does not attempt to assess the underlying causes of violence not linked to palm oil producers – including weak institutions or problematic land tenure systems.
The report does not mention more than 3 million small farmers around the world who grow palm oil with no violent incidents. Or that the ‘global palm oil boom’, as the report puts it, has brought untold benefits for the rural poor in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The New Yorker, sadly, has been duped by FERN into scapegoating palm oil when the evidence simply does not support that conclusion.
Global Witness, an NGO, linked 185 deaths with environmental activism in 2015. Top of the list was mining activism. The most deaths occurred in Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia. However, FERN and the New Yorker are not interested in facts. They only want to blame Malaysian palm oil, regardless of the facts.
Another piece for the #fakenews list in 2016.