Disaster capitalism and crisis narratives are currently being used to manipulate popular sentiment and push through a set of unpalatable policies that would otherwise lack sufficient political support.
These policies are being promoted by wealthy interests that stand to make billions of dollars from what is being proposed. They seek to gain full control of food and how it is produced. Their vision is tied to a wider agenda aimed at shaping how humanity lives, thinks and acts.
Throughout much of 2022, protests by Dutch farmers have grabbed the headlines. Plans to reduce the Netherlands’ nitrogen output by half come 2030 have led to mass protests. The government talks of the need to move away from animal-based agriculture and its climate-impacting emissions.
This ‘food transition’ often goes hand-in-hand with the promotion of ‘precision’ agriculture, genetic engineering, fewer farmers and farms and lab-made synthetic food. This transition is sold under the banner of ‘climate-friendly’ and piggybacks on the ‘climate emergency’ narrative.
Campaigner Willem Engel claims the Dutch government is not seeking to eliminate farmers from the landscape for environmental reasons. Instead, it is about the construction of Tristate City, a megalopolis with a population of around 45 million extending to areas of Germany and Belgium.
Engel suggests the ‘nitrogen crisis’ is being manipulated to drive through policies that will result in reshaping the country’s landscape. He argues that the main nitrogen emitter in the Netherlands is not agriculture but industry. However, land currently occupied by farms is strategically important to industry and housing.
The tristate concept is based on a giant unified ‘green’ urban region linked by ‘smart’ technologies that can economically compete with the massive metropolises we see in Asia, especially in China.
The Dutch government recently announced plans to buy out up to 3,000 farms in a bid to
comply with controversial targets to reduce run-off from synthetic nitrogen fertilisers. Dutch nitrogen minister Christianne van der Wal says farmers are to be offered more than 100 per cent of the value of their farms. But there are plans to enforce buyouts in 2023 if voluntary measures fail.