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Those readers who share my concern over Indonesia’s deforestation would find the article here a great introduction to the scale and nature of the problem.

What I briefly want to highlight here is that this issue, like every other public policy problem, can’t be divorced from its place on a much wider continuum.

Initially the problem appears something like….

Indonesian rainforest clearing > Southeast Asian haze

In that context my earlier post on haze appears to cover 50% of the issue, but that is deceptive as more realistically the issue is portrayed as…

Market forces > Indonesian rainforest clearing > Southeast Asian haze

More realistically again the problem is better described as…

Market forces > Indonesian rainforest clearing > Southeast Asian haze > Lower public health

And so on.

My point is that this continuum could be extended and deepened indefinitely, reflecting in part the breadth of academic study with every discipline offering an insight into each slice of the continuum.

That also means that resolving the issue of haze potentially involves more than just the preceding step of stopping the rainforest burning. Economics is central to these efforts, but economics involves yet another continuum of steps involving politics, psychology and…and…

And each of those steps has a continuum too.

Just conceptualising the problem is excruciatingly difficult, but if there is just one ecosystem on the planet worth saving it can be found in the rainforests of Indonesia.

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