Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?
I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it. A great tract of Earth is on fire. And the media? What I’m discussing is a barbecue on a different scale. But that doesn’t really capture it. One of the burning provinces is West Papua, a nation that has been illegally occupied by Indonesia since 1963. Nor do the greenhouse gas emissions capture the impact on the people of these lands. It’s not just the trees that are burning. Why is this happening? The president, Joko Widodo, is – or wants to be – a democrat.
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