FIRST we were placed under virtual house arrest. Now we are being frozen by soaring fuel bills and energy supply shortages in those same homes. Coming next, we are to be starved. All in pursuit of one of the Net Zero cults: Covid or carbon emissions. Too bleak a picture? We have only to look across the North Sea to one of our nearest neighbours, the Netherlands.
Surprisingly for such a small country (it is only about twice the size of Wales), the Netherlands is the second largest food exporter in the world, second only to the United States. It is Europe’s largest meat exporter. Four million cows, 13million pigs and 104million chickens are reared annually. It provides vegetables to many of its Western European neighbours.
One would assume this success story would be widely cherished, especially in an era of increasing food insecurity and shortages, with other key sources such as Ukraine under serious threat due to the continuing conflict there.
Remarkably, and many would say sinisterly, the polar opposite is the case. The supposed crime of the Dutch farmers? They have fallen foul of the ‘Zero Carbon’ fixation of the Climate Change Cultists who control so much of the current political and economic agenda.
One of that agenda’s chief targets is agriculture, particularly the use of nitrogen. The Dutch are at the top of the tree for nitrogen use per hectare of cultivated land, at nearly twice the European average.
The European Commission has given strict guidelines to EU member states to reduce their use of nitrogen. To comply with this the Dutch Government introduced laws to enforce a reduction of 50 per cent in nitrogen emissions by 2030. Such draconian targets can only come with draconian enforcement measures.
Dutch farming is being strangled through an assortment of regulations, including new flood prevention regulations, bizarrely given the success of the Dutch in preventing flooding over the centuries despite the fact that large parts of the country are below sea level, having been reclaimed from the sea.
Perhaps worst of all, one of the Government’s new laws bans the children of farmers from inheriting the farm when their parents retire or die. Once a farmer stops farming, their entire family becomes banned from farming in the Netherlands again. A whole way of life plus decades, sometimes even centuries, of experience is being gratuitously thrown away.