The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Palm Oil Deforestation and Illegal Trading Continue Pushing Sumatran Elephants Toward Extinction
Asian elephants are on the brink of extinction, but humans have more to do with that than the animals themselves.
There are already just 2,500 Sumatran elephants left in Indonesia, but humans are chipping away at that total by logging their forest habitat to make way for palm oil plantations.
This episode of Earth Focus shows much more valuable palm oil and money are to some as opposed to biodiversity. Jim Wickens, a show field producer, travels to the Aceh region of North Sumatra to witness the illegal logging of a 6 million-acre protected park ecosystem.
"It's one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, and it's being destroyed," Wickens says in a whisper while on site. "Everyday, we can see palm oil labeled as vegetable oil, and a lot of it is coming from here in Indonesia."
More than 50 percent of the forests in Sumatra have been cleared for paper, wood, palm oil and more.
The episode also covers the illegal exchange of elephant calves and females near the Thailand-Myanmar border who are eventually used for tourist camps.
EARTH FOCUS airs every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on Link TV—channel 375 on DIRECTV and channel 9410 on DISH Network. Episodes are also available to watch online at linktv.org/earthfocus.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A dire new report issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that the climate crisis is on a worrying trajectory as the crisis's hallmarks — sea level rise, ice loss and extreme weather — all increased over the last five years, which will end as the warmest five-year period on record.
By Peter Gleick
War is a miserable thing. It kills and maims soldiers and civilians. It destroys infrastructure, cultures and communities. It worsens poverty and development challenges. And it damages and cripples vital ecological and environmental resources.
Hundreds of activists gathered in the Swiss Alps on Sunday to mourn the loss of Pizol, a glacier that has steadily retreated over the last decade as temperatures have warmed the mountain tops, according to CNN.
Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.
By Shawn Radcliffe
- As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, health officials urge people to stop using e-cigarettes.
- Officials report 8 deaths have been linked to lung illnesses related to vaping.
- Vitamin E acetate is one compound officials are investigating as a potential cause for the outbreak.
By Julia Conley
As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever — they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.