Everyone at Bali cheered when the Papua New Guinea delegate dissed the Bush team:

We seek your leadership. But if for some reason you are not willing to lead, leave it to the rest of us. Please get out of the way.

Oh, snap! [Sorry, couldn’t resist one last 2007 Daily Show-ism]

Now comes the heartbreaking news:

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Malaysian company Vitroplant has been granted necessary permits by the PNG government to begin clearing 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive plantation of oil palm trees.

And the whole island is only 80,000 hectares!


True, no American is really in a position to criticize another country’s climate self-destructiveness, especially one that isn’t violating any international treaty. But PNG held itself out as a moral leader on the issue. Can’t they wait a couple of years until the international community figures out how to value preserving tropical forests? Especially since a majority of the island’s 6,000 residents “reportedly oppose the project, and were not even aware of it until after its approval.”

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Shame on you, Papua New Guinea. You shouldn’t be lecturing any other country about climate policy.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.