Consumer Power is a Smoke Screen

1 min read

Can you exercise consumer power to fight the haze? I’m sorry but I do not believe you can.

I admit I am jaded by this idea of consumer power to solve the problems of capitalism. It legitimises the idea of letting market forces decide when what we actually need is enforced regulation.

The scale of this problem is so very, very massive that even if every person in Singapore somehow got on board and tried to shop wisely, it would have a negligible impact on Crude Palm Oil sales.

So these efforts, while well intentioned, only provide the veneer of change and mask how much work is really needed to address this problem.

And asking me as a consumer to figure out the palm oil content of all the products I use and how it has been sourced is almost futile. Few can do it, even if they sign the pledge. Plus a number of aka Sustainable Palm Oil producing companies have had fires on their land. Please. Who is kidding who?

This is a gross failure of governance, industry and capitalism and we should not kid ourselves that we can change this by voting with our feet.

Yes always buy wisely. But don’t buy the BS of changing the world with your wallet. Hold government and industry accountable.