By Patti Wilson Contributing Editor
Among the strange issues that make us wonder if our world is encountering a fast meltdown, yet another topic has emerged. It’s an insidious governmental movement to plan land grabs under the guise of saving the environment. This is a global problem.
Holland has initiated a quick, painful and severe approach by planning the elimination of one-third of their country’s farms by 2030. They are blaming agriculture – primarily livestock production – for the Earth’s approaching demise.
This leads to the question: Can this happen here? My first thought is, why not?
After finding a blurb in a March 2023 issue of Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine, I consulted my search engine, horrified at what I found. The internet results were abundant and consistent. The most easily understood of these articles came from a July 12, 2022, piece in the American Conservative, written by Emma Treire.
The Dutch Dilemma
The European Union (EU) has ruled mandatory environmental standards for their members. Among the standards are the reduction of nitrogen oxide and nitrogen ammonia emissions. In June 2019, the Council of State, the highest administrative court in Holland, ruled that the country wasn’t in compliance with EU laws. COVID soon ensued and nothing was done on the matter until June 2022.
Last summer, the Dutch government stated that the only way to significantly reduce nitrogen emissions is to cut livestock numbers across the nation by at least 30 percent. To put this problem in perspective, Holland is one-third the size of Wisconsin but is the world’s second largest exporter of agricultural products, after the United States. They have the most intensive livestock production system in the world, housing 100 million chickens, 11.4 million hogs and 3.8 million beef and dairy cattle. Their efficiency is legendary and their citizens are well fed. The ag sector in Holland accounts for 6.4 percent of the country’s GDP, a significant number.
Things came to a head in September 2022 when a leaked government report presented several potential scenarios, including the forced sale of farms. Farmers began to protest and, inevitably, many believe the government is using environmental issues as cover for a land grab.
The Dutch government is planning to install thousands of wind turbines as well as 1 million residences by 2030 in preparation of an inevitable influx of immigrants. This takes land, which the government doesn’t have. But the farmers do.
How Would This be Carried Out?
Farmers can volunteer to leave their farms; however, if an inadequate number choose to go, provincial deputies would need to decide on a case-by-case basis which farms can stay in business and which would be eliminated.
Nitrogen emissions in Holland are slated to be reduced by up to 70 percent, 90 percent in certain areas with what we in the United States might call threatened or endangered bird species. A June 12, 2022, article in the Atlantic Sentinel by Nick Ottens reported that farmers who cannot meet their emission reduction targets have three options: 1) Downsize or switch from animal farming to crops; 2) relocate; or 3) quit.
Approximately the equivalent of $1 million U.S. dollars per farm is being made available to carry out all three options. Ottens goes on to say “The Dutch is not an isolated case at all. It looks more like a preview of the future of intensive animal farming globally, if intensive animal farming has a future at all. To complicate matters, about one-third of nitrogen deposits in Holland are washed in from other EU countries. Germany, Belgium, England and Denmark are all under scrutiny for their livestock numbers.”
Dutch farmers are furious, protesting loudly. One farmer is quoted as saying, “We farm in the back yards of the city and everything is watched.”
It is not only farmers who have been targeted by the Dutch government. Building projects have been put on hold and traffic speed limits severely curtailed to reduce nitrogen pollution. Adding insult to injury, the Dutch city of Haarlem, population 160,000, has banned the advertisement of meat from appearing on buses, shelters and screens in public places. The city put the ban in place because of “meat’s impact on the environment.”
The law goes into effect in 2024. It also bans ads for fossil fuels and holiday flights.
There has been some pushback, however. Peter Aitken wrote in a March 16, 2023, article for Fox News Digital that “A young Dutch political party seeking to push back on the government’s climate agenda achieved a stunning victory as it won the most seats for a single party in the Dutch Senate,” an election that took place in April 2023. The Dutch farmers have not given up.
What About Us?
The United States has joined a global push to retire 30 percent of ag land by 2030. A further proposal suggests 50 percent by 2050. On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” There is no scientific reasoning cited in the EO that supports the need to preserve any specific amount of land to “cure” climate change. In addition, one-third of the United States is already owned by federal and state governments and managed under restrictive land-use protections.
To further scare you, Gabriel Hays reported for Fox News on April 6, 2023, the following: “JPMorgan suggests government seize private property to quicken climate change initiatives.” Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO, made this suggestion in his annual letter to shareholders: “There is still time to stave off climate disasters.” He declared that “governments, businesses and non-government organizations may need to invoke eminent domain in order to get the adequate investments fast enough for grid solar, wind and pipeline initiatives. Such drastic measures may be employed because time is short.”
Folks, climate-scare tactics are a Marxist method of pushing us into Communism.
The United Nations issued a statement in April urging countries to move more quickly to carbon-free sources of energy. They warn that global warming will lead to catastrophic changes in human and animal life. GOP leaders were quick to point out that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests global temperatures peaked in 2015, nearly a decade ago. Nonetheless, President Biden pledged $1 billion more in U.S. funds to the UN’s Green Climate fund on April 19.
Closer to our way of life, Cat Urbigkit wrote on April 2, 2023, for Cowboy State Daily about the Interior Department proposal for a major makeover of Public Lands Management. She explained the U.S. Interior Department is shifting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) away from multiple-use and sustained-yield principles to require “conservation leases on par with grazing and mineral leases.”
This means that, for example, PETA can soon lease large amounts of formerly grazed BLM land and prohibit further use for livestock production. Written into the proposal is also a plan to restore the U.S. bison herd into its original state, with all bison run in one large group in a significantly huge, natural migratory setting. This requires what I refer to as a “buffalo commons.” Would that be a corridor extending from Canada to the Gulf Coast?
Any Good News?
Some people are exhibiting common sense. Thomson Reuters reported on March 29, 2023, that Italy has banned lab-grown meat in a drive to protect the country’s agri-food heritage.
We know that 24 states have formed a coalition to overturn Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The case will be handed over to the U.S. Supreme Court. This rule was formerly struck down during the Obama Administration.
We live in interesting times. The goings-on listed in this article are only a tip of the proverbial iceberg. Sadly, we have much trouble to wade through before these problems are solved. It’s best to keep our sleeves rolled up and look ahead.