First, they came for the oil, now they’re coming for the cows. Environmentalists have no shame or sense and farmers around the world are, forget the pitchforks, “setting hay bales ablaze and dumping manure on motorways,” report April Roach, Tracy Withers,Jen Skerritt, and Agnieszka de Sousa for Bloomberg.
Never mind that food prices have spiked around the world. For instance, grocery prices are up 13 percent in the US this year. The Dutch government said it would buy out as many as three thousand of the biggest emitters (farmers) in a voluntary one-time offer. While the weather turns cold and gas supplies become scarce the green gang in Holland is setting aside €24.3 billion ($25.6 billion) to fund the transition. “Those who refuse will be forced out of business,” reports Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s quartet of reporters doesn’t say what the government will do with the land once they seize it, but you can detect their point of view with this, “Intensive farming—and decades of official inaction—have devastated biodiversity in the Netherlands, forcing the government to impose drastic measures.”
“Devastated biodiversity?” This is food we’re talking about. Something humans require. Mother nature deals farmers enough bad hands, what with droughts, floods, fires, and pests. Now, the heavy hand of government believes it must get rid of cows because, well, they fart and urinate.
“From farm to fork, the food system generates about 31 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” the Bloomberg quartet explains. “Cows and sheep emit planet-warming methane simply by digesting food; their manure and urine are a source of nitrogen oxide which, in large volumes, throws ecosystems off kilter.”
Having millions of people go hungry sounds more “off kilter” to me. “If action isn’t taken fast, researchers estimate that food-related emissions alone would push the Earth past 1.5C of warming that world leaders set as a target in the 2015 Paris Agreement.” Oh no.
In heavily farmed New Zealand, where agricultural exports account for half the country’s exports, the government passed a law in hopes that net agricultural emissions will be reduced 24 per cent by 2050, with farmers being forced to cut emissions 10 percent in just three years, when the emissions levy comes into force.
“The so-called ‘fart tax’ will be reinvested in the industry through incentives, research and technology so New Zealand can reposition itself as a leader in ethically produced, higher-value food, a market that’s growing as consumers become more climate and health conscious,” Bloomberg reports.
Bryce McKenzie has reduced his herd by 50, but that’s not enough. “We don’t want a country planted in pine trees and then not be able to grow food,” says McKenzie. “We want food security for the future.”