Anthropocene: A long form article called Indonesia

17,000 islands & almost 260 million people
Life in the Anthropocene.

Indonesia is by all accounts one of the world's most populated nations with its soon to be 260 million strong population scattered across an astounding 17 000 islands. Another fascinating aspect of life in Indonesia is that in total its population is made up of over 300 different ethnic and linguistic groups that combined speak over 700 different languages.

Rich in biodiversity and languages

Indonesia is as rich in biodiversity as it is in the number of languages spoken within its borders. But while it´s populations has doubled since 1971 it´s status as our planet's most biodiverse region is under siege due to a long range of official failures. A massive and unsustainable population growth (caused in parts by an out of date view on sexual education and contraception ) in combination with poverty and inequality.
Unsustainable corporations, poaching, and world famous natural destruction are not only rapidly cutting down on the natural resources and wildlife, but also causing widespread and long-reaching health issues inside and outside of Indonesian borders.

There are also numerous human rights issues tormenting the diverse Indonesian population. Some of it manifests as gender-based violence and abuse, such as the army having performed vaginal examinations on female recruits to make sure that they are still virgins!. All the way to the few, but far too many, females unfortunate enough ending up victims accused of imaginary crimes, similar to what can be seen in India and PNG.

[ Oceans run the risk of having more total weight of plastic than fish.]

Other ongoing and already decades-long issues include an out dated view on same sex relations. Violence and murder relating to the widespread illegal - and commercial - logging, poaching, and legal palm oil driven deforestation are also far too common.
Other issues are the non-existing waste management and recycling infrastructure.
You see, in Indonesia garbage and all sorts of scrap and litter keep being dumped straight into the sea as if the saying "out of sight, out of mind" is how things should work.

Home to
[15% of
the worlds
plants, mammals, and birds]

As much as we would like to believe that our own national and global industries are all well-behaving. And as sustainable and healthy as possible in their respective approach to making a profit the sad facts are that the biggest contributor to the deforestation, the illegal logging, the rampant poaching and decline of countless of animal species in Indonesia is us.
We, the outside world and our global import/export industry.
None a bigger culprit perhaps than the palm oil and paper pulp industry.
We are after all the ones importing the goods produced in Indonesia, we are the ones feeding the ongoing atrocity and keeping the wheels spinning on something that is utterly unsustainable. Not only is this an environmental crisis happening today, but also the source for decades long widespread health issues and human rights issues, powered by nothing but greed.

"Thankfully" by now some of the consequences have started to have a global impact, and are as such no longer restricted to just Indonesian soil. The air pollution that the deforestation is now causing is already severely hampering the health of millions of people in other Asian nations. And that is of course why the outside world has started to recognize that what is happening in Indonesia is not ok.
Sumatran tigers and rhinos.
"Demand for palm oil, both national and overseas, is a big driver of forest conversion," said Erik Meijaard, a conservation scientist at the Borneo Futures Initiative.

And if you are still shaking your head and wondering how on earth your need for palm oil and cosmetics in any way contributes to all this. Indonesia is by far the world's biggest producer of palm oil and actually produced 33 million tons in 2014 alone. Out of that 20 million ton is annually exported to other nations around the world such as China and Germany and the USA. But the problem is not just about producing and exporting palm oil which is used in everything from ice cream to cookies and several popular fitness protein bars.

There are other commercial factors involved too, such as coal mines and traditional pulp and paper industries, as well as the cosmetic industry.
Separate but related issues, which, when all combined are perpetually ravaging all of Indonesia in their shared hunt for ever increasing land and forest to exploit.

Even resorting to burning and destroying healthy forest around the 17 000 islands. Which not only is against the law but also causing the rampant air pollution that the world has noticed on several occasions.
It is also contributing to the rapid loss of land area for countless of animal species, some of whom only exist in local areas around Indonesia. Protected park areas that serve as homes for a long range of unique animal species are constantly under threat from fires and illegal logging and poaching.

"Some of the babies we’ve taken in recently have been suffering not only from dehydration and malnourishment through lack of food but also breathing problems from the polluted air.”
Add to that the unique rhinos and tigers and birds, such as the helmeted hornbill, which are living in Indonesia.
The handful that is still alive that is.
The Sumatran tiger which is the smallest known tiger species in the world are now thought to be made up of less than 500 individuals and since they only exist on the Indonesian island of Sumatra they are incredibly sensitive to the illegal deforestation and poaching currently running rampant. A sad situation that is all too familiar when talking about the Sumatran rhino which is already down to less than 100 individuals.

And the Helmeted Hornbill is one amazing, and unique bird, living almost exclusively inside of Indonesia's vast borders, and due to its gorgeous helmet shaped "ivory" which it is using fighting of rivals as they rocket themselves into each other like miniature Rhinos while in flight, this rare bird is poached and sold illegally for pretty much the same reasons as the Indian and African Elephant is hunted to extinction. But it is not just the illegal poaching, there is also the illegal ( and legal ) forest logging, and the many land claims and the ravaging palm oil industry which are all contributing to the demise of this bird which has almost vanished completely from Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Brunei.

A rhino named Harapan
Talking about the Sumatran Rhino, quite recently a male Rhino named Harapan, which means hope, was made world famous when he traveled more than 16,000km (9,941 miles) from a zoo in the USA to reach the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary at the Way Kambas National Park.

The goal here is to reintroduce him to the wild where he can breed and help introduce not only more offsprings to his own critically endangered rhino species, but also strengthen their genetic diversity.
A futile effort if we can not put an end to both the illegal poaching as well as the illegal and unsustainable deforestation.
Two related issues that are both fuelled by our global need for consumption. The poaching is mainly maintained to produce meaningless traditional Chinese medicine but there are other guilty parties too, such as England and Italy, and Vietnam.
And the logging is in part happening so international corporations can produce cheap as hell palm oil, cosmetics, ice cream, protein bar for "healthy" people and toilet paper. And as such, at the end of the day, we are all responsible for the failure that is life and equality and public health in Indonesia and that failure keeps on hurting all of us.

Connect with me

in this life of ours scattered across this tiny sphere

Views from Earth by Mike Koontz
My photography and writing as it is represented on G+

Healthier living, Fitness and Health, the facts and science by Mike Koontz
My popular health and fitness column on G+

Contemporary life in the Anthropocene by Mike Koontz
Random thoughts on life column over at G+

My personal fav print, 'a norse summer song' at Printler, check it out and buy it today :).
Fine art print by Mike Koontz,

Scandinavian.Fitness, are you in need of a sound and fierce fitness voice?. Get in touch with this Viking.
Scandinavian.Fitness by Mike

Related The helmeted Hornbill.
Critically endangered, the Hemleted Hornbill bird.

Writer and fine art photography

Mike Koontz
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

   Buy my living room fine art
   Scandinavian Fitness

Last Few Published Books and Articles

  • Anthropocene & the human health. Plastic litter in our salt, tap water, honey, fish & food. Land and soil and blood system.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Plastic Litter
    Tap water, Sea salt & Food.
    Life in the Anthropocene.

    In Europe, 72% of all tap water contains 1.9 fibers of plastic litter per 500ml of water.
    That number increases to 94% of all tap water in the USA which contains 4.8 plastic litter fibers per 500ml of water. And worldwide 83% of all tap water contains plastic litter.
    But the issue of plastic contamination in our water is not just about tap water, nor is it, as we have previously talked about, only a concern with sea food. This is a growing man-made health issue which has been going on for a very long time and by now it is part of every aspect of society and our natural world.
    For instance, scientists found plastics in products in studies on Chinese Sea salt in 2015.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 15, Do you eat plastic litter when you add salt to your food?.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 15 in our School of Fitness.
    I like to say that 'Individual health is planetary health & planetary health is individual health'. So today's question will focus a bit on that simple fact.
    Here goes. Can something as trivial as adding salt to your food expose you to unhealthy plastic litter ( on top of the many well established unhealthy aspects of consuming too much salt )?

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 13, the truth of overweight and metabolically healthy.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 13 in our School of Fitness.
    Today's question, there is a polite saying that goes like this,"fat but fit". And that is certainly a wonderfully inclusive phrase, and as such worth repeating, and respecting, this world has far too much of fat, fit and slut shaming as it is. But how is the simple truth of being fat but metabolically healthy actually looking?

  • Anthropocene: A long form article called Indonesia

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    17,000 islands & almost 260 million people
    Life in the Anthropocene.

    Indonesia is by all accounts one of the world's most populated nations with its soon to be 260 million strong population scattered across an astounding 17 000 islands. Another fascinating aspect of life in Indonesia is that in total its population is made up of over 300 different ethnic and linguistic groups that combined speak over 700 different languages.

  • Books & Publishing: How and where to buy or read 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Book 1 in my mature, new adult Sci-fi universe.

    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Price: $2.99
    Print length: 147 Pages
    Publication date: August 2017
    ISBN: 9781537855714
    Read it at your local library or right here at my own 'a Norse View' library.
    Or if you so prefer you can buy it from your fav book store for 2.99US$.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 12, Running and the shock impact of each step.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 12 in our School of Fitness.
    Today's question, running is a super healthy aspect of any fit & healthy lifestyle. But the brunt of running too often also put intense pressure and wear on feet and knees and tibia since our lower body absorbs almost all of the impact while we run.
    So how often do the average runner ( in general ) smash their delicate feet's and shin bone into that immovable ground per minute while they are ramping up the miles.

  • Book: 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'. The first book from the near future book universe 2028AD created by Mike Koontz. Mature and at times naughty storytelling and explicit events hide behind each page of this sci-fi tale. Less than 40 000 words.

    Suitable for a mature audience. 17+ and up. Adult storytelling and explicit events.
    UHD audio video book reading TBA
    Vacation read ( Three+ Nights Bed time read )
    'Wings of a Raven' By Mike Koontz is the first book in a shared contemporary book universe called 2028AD. Mature and at times even naughty storytelling and explicit events lurk behind each page as we traverse the known familiarities of planet Earth and the uncharted vastness of the universe.
    And if at any point and turn, you feel that you need more from this charming sci-fi universe, reach for the abyss of the dark world wide web and the home of every book and short story that relates to 2028AD right here at
    The first book in this sci-fi universe, is delivered with a touch of abstract horror, and the pleasure and kink of sensual and sultry naughty love. Mixed with moments of life and death, science, and space exploration, pollution, sex, war, poverty, famine. The man made horror and climate change.
    In the 2028AD universe Earth is a world wrought in chaos. And it is a place where hope and despair tumble and take turn with the trembling steps of colonizing other planets while the oceans on planet Earth keeps rising.
    Photography, and writing by Mike Koontz
    2018, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 10, Describe the complete meaning of the fitness word "repetition".

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 10 in our School of Fitness.
    Explain the word repetition as it applies to weight lifting.
    Every fitness routine talks about reps and set. But what does that mean, what constitutes a "repetition"?.

Go to top