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New Internationalist

Pulp Friction

Whether you're living in the Rich World or Poor World, pulp is probably producing problems for people not too far from you. We're continuing to destroy trees that eat carbon dioxide – one of the main greenhouse gases. There’s also a litany of other problems that follow the plantations that are grown to replace old growth – the loss of food-supplies for the surrounding communities; the pollution of local water supplies; the promise of jobs at paper mills that only a few will ever get; and the community conflict that mounts as a result. And it's not just pulp. Palm oil production presents parallel problems, yet some European countries are marketing it as a sustainable replacement for petroleum.

  • Co-host Cam Walker, a seasoned international campaigner from Friends of the Earth, starts this week's Radio New Internationalist program by setting out these scenes, opening the door to today’s main forum – how countries can bring down greenhouse emissions at the same time as bringing up the standard of living in many of the world’s poorest countries.
  • Chris Lang – formerly an architect, now an environmental activist – has just completed a global audit of pulp problems: Banks, pulp and people. He invites us into a recent meeting in Germany when big bankers asked a team of non-governmental organizations to help them choose which pulp projects to finance.
  • How can China and India continue to develop without taking the planet to fatal levels of greenhouse gas emissions? Why should Europe, Canada and the United States support them in this aim? Tom Athanasiou and his colleagues at the Californian-based organization EcoEquity, have a proposal that they are about to take into international negotiations on climate change. He shares it with us.

Today's CD is called Canta Bovea y Sus Vallenatos con Alberto Fernandez, celebrating that Colombian style of music called vallenato. It's usually accordian led, and suggests that not nearly enough credit is given to the accordian's sweet and saucy strains.

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