I finally finished the mini-challenge of reading one article about an international issue by the end of February for the World Citizen Challenge. Here are the details from the challenge blog: This month, if you choose to participate, read an article from a newspaper, magazine, or journal and discuss it on your blog. The article should be something to do with ‘world citizenship,’ so just make sure it’s something international.
In the spirit of being adventurous, I decided to read a magazine from a periodical that was new to me. Mother Jones is a self-described as "a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting. Why should you read or support us? Because "smart, fearless journalism" keeps people informed–"informed" being pretty much indispensable to a democracy that actually works." I was excited to dive into this periodical about which I had heard much, but not experienced first hand. The issue that I purchased had a cover story about fixing food in America. As I started reading the articles, I felt my heart sink a bit because while the information is good and important, I found the tone of many of the articles to be too self-righteous. I am not sure what exactly was giving me that impression, but I had hard time getting past the tone to fully enjoy and absorb all the important information I was receiving. Back to the challenge requirement:
The article I read for the mini-challenge is "Slash and Burn" by Heather Rogers. The article discusses how bio-fuels are causing mass forest clearing in Indonesia and could destroy two villages. In response for a larger demand for bio-fuel worldwide, developing countries like Indonesia are eligible for millions of dollars in development from the World Bank. As part of the production, Indonesia is destroying rainforests and villages are being eradicated. The rainforest are being cleared and replaced with oil palm plantations. The plantations are designed to make Indonesia a competitive producer of biodiesel. The article described the methods by which villagers were trying to stop rainforest clearing.
I appreciated that the article illustrated that the quest to live greener is complicated; trying to produce better fuel without thinking of all of the consequences can have bad environmental effects.