With the nation experiencing the worse drought in history, temperatures reaching record highs and the North enveloped in smog which makes it dangerous to breathe the air, some members of the public have begun to connect these events with deforestation. In response to this CCCP, the countries largest agro-industrial conglomerate, has declared that it is going to be the Saviour of the nations environment. Private Tye talked to Venal Fookdahtrees, CCCP's public relations manager.
Private Tye: Khun Venal, CCCP is now asking farmers to stop deforestation?
Venal: Yes that's right, and we are sure that they will do what we ask because there are no trees left to cut down.
Private Tye: None?
Venal: Just a few poking out of rocks, but none on land that can be used for crops.
Private Tye: What happened to the trees, were they cut down by illegal loggers?
Venal: No, of course not. All the hardwoods were illegally logged thirty years ago. These trees have no value as timber so the farmers just burn them. But, come to think of it, blaming illegal loggers is not a bad idea – I wish I had thought of that earlier.
Private Tye: So what did happen?
Venal: The trees were cut down to plant maize (or corn, as the American call it), just like the Maya civilization which disappear overnight when the rains failed.
Private Tye: This must have been a lot of work for the Thai farmers.
Venal: Actually, the trees were cut down and corn was planted by Shan and other ethic minority migrant workers from Burma.
Private Tye: So what did the Thai farmers do?
Venal: They drove pickup trucks full of Shans, seed and axes into the mountains. Then, five months later they drove back to collect the crop and deliver it to us.
Private Tye: Of course, they have every right to do this because it is their land.
Venal: Actually, its not. The land has slopes of more than 30 degrees which means that it can not be privately owned in this country. The land belongs to the nation. The Thai farmers just pretend that they own it.
Private Tye: Still the poor farmers must have made a big investment in this.
Venal: Again, not quit right. We gave them the seed, and we gave them the pickup truck deposit money, also, some cash to pay the Shans; the condition being, that they had to sell the crop to us.
Private Tye: Does CCCP's new policy mean that the company will no longer buy maize from the mountain areas?
Venal: What an absurd idea. We will continue to buy all the maize, but do it through our dummy companies. In the 1970's (the last time anybody could check) there were more than 150 companies in the CCCP cat's cradle of companies, now there are thousands. The only person who knows the names of all of them is Danny Boy our Chairman; and nobody has seen him in years. There is a rumor that he died and has been replaced by an android owned by Morgan Stanley.
Private Tye: What are the CCCP plans to encourage farmers to grow coffee instead of maize.
Venal: Coffee? Yes, that's a good one isn't it. As you know, coffee grows in high mountains with permanent mist, not maize country. You can grow coffee if you plant it under shade trees, but they have all been chopped down. However, the public are so stupid that they will believe that coffee can grow everywhere that maize does. We will be starting a show project, a couple of acres somewhere next the road. We'll irrigate the coffee from an artesian well, and put up a big sign saying “CCCP Environmental Project”. Then invite the press to a grand opening. We might hire a few unemployed Bangkok factory workers to dress up in hill-tribe clothes and open a gift shop. Then, pay off a few tour companies to bring visitors, they love fake agricultural projects more than waterfalls. We might even get the BBC, they adore contrived environmentally friendly rural development projects. You know, biogas and all that stuff.
Private Tye: What will you do with the coffee?
Venal: Oh, dump it at the side of the road. Irrigated coffee is far too expensive, cheaper to buy it from Brazil.
Private Tye: What about educating the farmers in environmental responsibility?
Venal: Yes, we have that covered. This is always a favorite with people who have never worked with farmers or worked in education. Professors from Easygown University will be visiting the North to lecture village heads. Lots of food, lots of beer, lots of Press coverage. We might even get a few papers in the academic journals, this does not cost too much these days. Also, we are active on the web and have hired dozens of shills, through Upwork and Freelancer, these will be putting our message out on bulletin boards such as Reddit.
Private Tye: You seem to have thought of everything.
Venal: Its been nice talking to you. Here is our press kit, how much do you want to publish it “word for word” in your magazine?
Private Tye: About 50,000 baht should cover it.
Venal: Fine, here is your cheque. A real pleasure to do business with you.
Private Tye: Thank you very much, Khun Venal.