Peatlands and Climate Change

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WACANA Journal No.27/2012 | Peatlands and Climate Change

“Es gibt kein Weissweinachten, Klimawandel!“ (No white Christmas, this is the climate change!)

CHRISTMAS last year was less solemn for many people in Gottingen, a small town between Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg (Germany). Usually during the Christmas, only whiteness of snow covers the yards. In contrast to previous years, the thickness of snow reached even a foot, yet at the last Christmas even a pile of snow was reluctant to appear. The community immediately related this to climate change. Today, various talks and discussions in both scientific forums or coffee shops in the remote villages often link the nature irregularities with the Earth’s changing climate. It is save to say that at least in the last twenty years climate change is considerably occupying the attention of the mankind on earth.

Numerous researches and scientific reports have documented many symptoms of Earth’s changing climate. Of course the most referred one is the report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which documented that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen 0.76°C and the current temperature is the highest one ever recorded in history since 1850 (IPCC 2007). Not to mention the report on the increasing ocean temperatures, melting glaciers and rising sea level (IPCC 2007), which further adds to anxiety about the inevitability of climate change. It is estimated that if global temperatures continue to rise to 2°C there will be dreadful catastrophe for the humanity and environment (WWF 2008), further said that within the next two decades the average temperature of the earth will rise about 0.4°C (IPCC 2007). Although there are denials from a group of scientists (see Climate Change Reconsidered, Idso and Singer 2009), the belief in climate change continues to roll, especially with the release of An Inconvenient Truth about six years ago.

Although the science advancement to prove changes in Earth’s temperature seems unlimited, the causes and impacts of climate change are still stirring many controversies (Leroy et al. 2010). Just like the hypothesis that the root cause of climate change is ‘greed’ of human being (IPCC 2007: 10), which often still face a variety of skeptical rebuttal (Idso and Singer 2009, see also The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg 2001). Meanwhile, time is tickling. Problem of climate change requires a fast response so that there should be precise and concrete policy interventions. Unfortunately, the smooth interface between science and climate change policy is lacking (see Driessen et al. 2010, From Climate Change to Social Change: Perspectives on Science-Policy Interactions). The spectral effect believed to have touched the humanity, social inequality and injustice aspects (Houser et al. 2008) causes the policy to reduce the pace of Earth’s warming is more distorted by political interests. This edition reviews how policies related to climate change is often abandoning the logic of scientific thinking and more controlled by politics, with a focus on the role of peatlands (Indonesia) and sporadically on forest resources.

(AHMAD MARYUDI, Introduction: Peatlands and Climate Change Distortion of Science, Politics and Policy. p.2-10)


  • Introduction | Peatlands and Climate Change Distortion of Science, Politics and Policy  | Ahmad Maryudi | p. 2-10
  • Analysis | Mitigation and Adaptation of Peatland Condition in Indonesia with Sustainable Agriculture | Soni Sisbudi Harsono | h.11-36
  • Analysis | Climate Change Neoliberalism Some Financial Schemes for Emission Reduction  | Ova Candra Dewi & Agust Danang Ismoyo | h.37-52
  • Analysis | Adaptation of the Peat Ecosystem Community to Anticipate Climate Change | Hatma Suryatmojo | h.53-80
  • Case Study | Recovery of Peat for People’s Life and Solutions of Global Climate Crisis Experiences from Central Kalimantan | Muliadi | h.81-102
  • Book Review | Climate Change and the Industrialization of Science | Hira Jhamtani | h.103-108

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