Before the haze episodes began slightly more than a decade ago, the weather never changed. Forests were still being burned to cultivate the land for the new season of crop cultivation, but it was never a problem to Singaporeans or Malaysians because it was small scale.
Fast forward to today.
Corporatization of the forests in Indonesia has occurred and is being managed by Singapore and Malaysian enterprises.
With corporatization, also means, large amounts of land purchased to meet the demands of the consumers (You and Me). Businesses exist because consumers exist.
To ensure profits remain healthy, overheads must be kept low.
So, here’s what led to the haze.
Consumers (You and Me) consume plenty of such products which require natural resources, in this case, Palm Oil.
Therefore, businesses adopt expansionary measures, and in order to keep cost low for consumers, they move operations to countries where resources (human and natural) are cheap. And to continuously ensure overheads are kept low, companies must only adopt the cheapest methods available to produce for the consumers. In this case, it’s the slash and burn method of forests to cultivate the land, and since they own large amounts of land, there’s more burning that occurs.
Unfortunately, because of wind conditions, the haze travels to affect nearby countries, who are also probably the main consumers of the end product.
To prevent the haze from occurring, companies must increase sale prices so that they have more money to invest in better equipment to avoid using traditional methods of crop/land cultivation. But when that happens, consumers aren’t willing to buy and will switch brands because the item has gotten too expensive.
The solution to this can be overcomed.
It is simple.
Consumers must cut down on their consumerist attitude. Driving down the demand, will drive down the supply. When there’s less supply, there’s less need to burn so much crops which leads to lesser or no haze at all.
In the meantime, just “Keep Calm and Carry On”
Now, this doesn’t just apply to this haze. It applies across all sectors of what you consume in excess.
It’s not companies greed but consumers greed which leads to a lot of issues.