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
By Whitney E. Akers
- "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.
- Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.
- We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.
Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.
By John R. Platt
When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.