Lael Goodman

Analyst, Tropical Forest & Climate Initiative

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Lael Goodman is an analyst with the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at UCS. She conducts research and analysis to support reducing tropical deforestation as a way to mitigate climate change. Specifically, Ms. Goodman focuses on deforestation caused by the palm oil industry and protecting tropical peatlands. See Lael's full bio.

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Lael's Latest Posts

In the Cloud of Haze, a Silver Lining?

The haze in Southeast Asia these past couple of months has been truly unimaginable. Burning vegetation and peatlands has been devastating for the health of millions of people, for the global climate, for regional economies, and for education. The scale of this crisis became impossible to ignore. And recently, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has issued strong instructions which if implemented, would help to avoid future disasters of this kind. Read more >

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4 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Deadly Haze in Southeast Asia this Year

Residents in Southeast Asia are currently being subjected to a heavy blanket of smoke and haze spreading across the region. The haze originates in large part from the burning of forests and peat soils in order to prepare land for agriculture, such as palm oil. But reading news reports and even seeing pictures cannot always convey the daily experience in the way that first-hand accounts can. Read more >

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Cleanup on Aisle 8: Why Supermarkets and Other Retail Stores Need to Clean Up Their Palm Oil

9/15/2015 Update: Since the publication of this blog, Costco has updated their palm oil commitment. Their commitment now includes specific language around the protection of forests and goes beyond a RSPO-certified commitment. However, the timeline for compliance has been pushed to 2021. Importantly, Costco has also committed to no-burn policies and some level of traceability, though they do not specify if this traceability is to the plantation level.
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There’s New Science On Peatland Deforestation And, Well, Oh Dear…

What if you thought the car you drove got 40 mpg but I told you that it only gets 24 mpg? What if that ice cream sandwich that you treat yourself to after dinner had not 300 calories but 500? What if leaving your air conditioner on during the day cost not $40 a month but $67? Would any of these things make you rethink your purchasing decisions or habits? Read more >

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Where’s the Beef? Wendy’s New Palm Oil Pledge Lacks Meat

Wendy’s, originator of the “Where’s the beef” catchphrase and home of the unparalleled and delicious Frosty, just came out with some new information on their palm oil sourcing plans. But much like their famed 80’s commercials in which cute senior citizens find themselves unable to locate the tiny slice of beef on a giant bun, I’m having trouble finding any real reason to celebrate Wendy’s new palm oil commitment. In fact, I keep rereading their website, searching for more substance. Read more >

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