Defining poverty

A life with zero income does not have to be degrading, if people can provide all their own needs for themselves. On the other hand, an income of $25,000 may be called poverty when all needs must be bought in, and such a sum is insufficient for the purpose.

Byproducts should not be wasted or be polluting

CAP draws attention to a report in a local English daily in August 2008 that the current chemical fertiliser import bill amounts to RM5 billion for the oil palm industry alone. The bill was estimated “to increase two fold due to higher petroleum and other commodity prices”. This is a frightening scenario.

As stated by the honourable Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Peter Chin in the same report, there are viable ways to reduce this large import bill for chemical fertilisers by the use of organic fertilisers and bio-fertilisers, including empty food bunches (EFB) and palm oil mill effluent (POME) that are by-products of palm oil industry.

GDP not an accurate measure of prosperity

In his valedictory address on his graduation from university, the author asks why, despite all the reports of impressive economic growth and trade figures, high corporate profits and stock market activity, the world today is in such a bad shape, with high unemployment, widespread starvation, and environmental degradation. His conclusion — GDP and other conventional yardsticks of global economic success are inaccurate and outdated.

Re-thinking progress

We must learn to look at nature as something sacred … or we will have no future

By José Lutzenberger

TODAY we find ourselves in an absurd situation. Twenty per cent of us, mostly in the so-called First World but also the rich elsewhere, live a suicidal lifestyle that is simply not sustainable.

There is hardly a patch on this Earth that we are not yet in some way exploiting or getting ready to exploit for our orgies of consumption. We are messing up all life-support systems and this cannot continue much longer.