Almuth Ernsting over at Biofuel Watch has been working hard to get the word out on a small problem: a billion tons of carbon going into the air annually, with the potential of about fifty billion more on the way. People are deliberately setting Southeast Asia’s rainforests and peatlands on fire to convert the land into something they can sell to countries striving to meet their Kyoto obligations — palm oil. To put this into perspective, there are about 8 billion metric tons of carbon being dumped into the atmosphere by people annually, 6.5 billion tons from fossil fuels and 1.5 billion from deforestation. This is much worse than just dumping carbon from a tailpipe because it also simultaneously destroys entire ecosystems. You get two disasters for the price of one.

Take two minutes to write and send an email. It doesn’t matter that nobody will read it. What counts is how many get sent. At some point a pee-on will inform his boss that they have been hit with five million emails. His boss will then tell his boss and up the chain it will go. The boss will want to see a few and something will happen as a result because receiving a few million emails is a scary thing for anyone clinging to a position of power. This email will be sent to 47 big shots recipients.

Go here, scroll to the bottom, and read the email that’s been created for you. Change the message title and don’t even bother to sign it (done automatically). Hit submit and go back to work or whatever you are supposed be doing. Me, I just erase the whole thing and write one or two sentences that will sting on the off chance it will ever get read:

“How will you answer if your granddaughter, sitting on you knee, asks why you let the orangutan go extinct? Will you go down in history as just another person who could have done something but didn’t?”

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These things actually work. Go for it and send a link to a friend or two or three. Get the word out about this biofuel situation.