Topical Tropical Dilemmas

May 6, 2015 4:00 PM ET
Multimedia with summary

Monoculture. It displaces native plant and animal species, it leads to long-term soil quality degradation, and, in tropical areas, it often means the razing of those beautifully bio-diverse, carbon-capturing rain forests. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Rhett Butler, the founder of the popular non-profit environmental science and conservation website, Mongabay. When we checked in last with Butler he talked about the rapid expansion of palm oil cultivation and its ripple effect on ecosystems all over the tropics. Today he provides an update on the proliferation of palm oil monoculture, as well as the impact of the newly ubiquitous (and delicious) explosion in coconut products. He explains how social media and technology are helping to ensure more accurate monitoring of deforestation, and are effectively amplifying the voices of activists and small farmers all over the globe.