Westward Independent

Environmental concerns clash with agricultural realities

by Adrienne Richards
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Photo: AP (Germany)

A few months back Westward Independent featured an article on the Dutch Farmer protests, and they still have not given up; In fact, their voices have been amplified now throughout Europe.


In the first weeks of January, it is estimated that over 2,000 farmers arrived at each major city in Germany, blocking the autobahn with rows of tractors as far as the eye can see. In mid-January, German truckers and citizens joined the protest, followed by Scottish protesters rising in Scotland and French farmers descending on their capital. As of the writing of this article, the countries that have joined the farmers’ protest against the Green Agenda include the Netherlands, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Romania, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, New Zealand, India, Wales, and many fishermen along the coasts. Videos abound out of Europe – showing manure being sprayed at government buildings, gridlock for hundreds of kilometres from tractors parked on roads, Fishermen’s horns blasting alongside tractors, food distribution centres being blocked, tire fires in Brussels, and some police forces in France using water cannons and rubber bullets on the protestors. One farmer in the Netherlands said that this was the endgame, and if the governments don’t back down, it would lead to civil war. And back home we saw our own little tractor parade in front of the CVRD meeting in February, as they lined the streets to protest the flooding of almost 180 acres of farmland in Cowichan Bay.


Farmers are protesting Green Agendas that have put them into poverty, from demands such as decreasing their livestock by 30-50%, limiting/eliminating fertilizer, massive taxes on their fuels, unfair competition with tax-exempt nations like Ukraine exporting food to their countries, methane ‘taxes’, and the demand to “rewild” their lands. Leaders have offered concessions to ‘pause’ the ‘New Green Rules’ The farmers don’t want a delay, they want them all removed. These protests, because of their size and magnitude, are putting some fear in those elected as there are elections in 2024, and polls see so-called “right-wing” populists surging.

 

These protests seemed timely as they were happening right after the COP 28 meeting in Dubai, which focused heavily on agricultural “reform” and agri-’science’ to combat the alleged “climate change” arising from farmers and food production worldwide.


The World Economic Forum met in January, and from their released booklet on farming: “Yet farmers have often been left out of the decision-making process, meaning that policy, innovation, and value-chain decisions have not always been farmer-friendly. As a result, in Europe, farmers’ incomes are 40% lower than the average wage in the EU27 economy.”


According to the COP28 page: “COP28 UAE, together with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), supported by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, launched the Action Agenda on Regenerative Landscapes, transitioning 160 million hectares to regenerative agriculture by 2030, accompanied by USD$2.2 billion in future investment, and engaging 3.6 million farmers worldwide.” There is a saying, “those who control the food-”


We see dairy farmers being thrown under the bus for having cows that “fart” and using water, and in comes other investors in this “green agenda” – “Remilk, the company redefining a dairy industry without cows, announced the appointment of three widely recognized and food industry insiders to its Board of Directors – Alicia Enciso (recent CMO of Nestle USA), Floris Wesseling (recent President of Danone Europe) and Pedro Padierna (former CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo Mexico).”


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a USD$200 million partnership for Food Systems, Agriculture Innovation, and Climate Action, focused on agricultural research, scaling agricultural innovations, and funding technical assistance for implementing the Declaration. According to the central bank president, it will cost 620 billion per year to move to green policies – cost who? And payable to whom? The best guess is the public/private partnerships and NGOs will be the benefactors of this so-called transition, and the farmers and your average citizen will be paying literally, and figuratively.


The 45-page booklet from the World Economic Forum, “Transforming Food Systems with Farmers: A Pathway for the EU INSIGHT PAPER APRIL 2022,” contains a forward by the president of Bayer’s crop science’, an interesting bedfellow especially when we hear statements from the WEF such as small farming is far worse for the environment than large-scale farming, which, as we know, needs more of Bayer’s (who purchased Monsanto)products to be viable. Another new term was coined during the January 2024 WEF meeting, claiming farmers and fishermen were committing “ecocide,”. They also stated that homegrown (backyard garden) food has a five times greater ‘carbon footprint’ than conventional food production. The WEF booklet has statements such as these: “Food systems are too big to be ignored. They are also one of the main contributors to the planetary crisis. Food and land use systems are responsible for up to one-third of global GHG emissions, are the primary driver of biodiversity loss, and account for 92% of the global water footprint.” “The transition will also need to include broader ‘shifts in production’ and consumption models, such as ‘dietary shifts”. Shifts in consumption have already been highly touted by these global overseers such as limiting meat eating to once or twice a month, or only synthetic meat if you live in the West, limiting coffee consumption a few times a year, switching to lab-grown milk, as well as factory-farmed bugs. Al Gore has said that 20 countries produce 80% of the “emissions” so therefore those are the ones that need to sacrifice and remove their farms. The shift of ‘production’ has been suggested as farmers rewilding and giving their land ‘back to nature,’ shifting to container/hydroponic growing, and other such farming practices that can be monopolized by those who invest in these practices.


These new envisioned practices come with heavy monitoring. Examples from the WEF booklet: “Remote sensing (e.g., satellite, drone), Farm management software, Decision support apps for crop protection (optimizing or reducing pesticide use), Private weather station, Soil nutrient cartography, Soil analysis modelling, Variable rate seeding, Dynamic fertilizer application according to crop growth, Targeted application of herbicides enabled by cameras and sensors.” The full surveillance state doesn’t just end at cities; it will be implemented on all lands. Al Gore is a major investor in a new tech platform called Climate TRACE. It uses satellites, sensors and artificial intelligence to track greenhouse gas emissions around the globe.


Locally, we saw in 2023 that farmers in the CVRD lost over 500,000 in crops due to their water being shut off to “save the fish” in the Koksilah River, without any follow-up studies showing the amount of fish this water restriction saved, nor having anyone from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the table when these decisions were made. Farmers were left without any sort of motivation that their sacrifices made any difference, especially when it began to rain, as it always does, and the river saw record fish return during the rainy season, which was then too late for the third crop for these farmers. Farmers then had to import hay for their animals from places as far away as the interior, which can hardly be considered “emission-friendly”. Farmers are not being given ‘solutions’, only told to restrict and cross their fingers that next year may not be the same. Nothing proactive, only reactive, no grants for water cisterns, no data, no compensation for their sacrifices.


The Federal government is squeezing farmers through carbon taxes and fertilizer restrictions. Make no mistake, this is a global attack, with many investors in the background already licking their chops as the diversion away from local sustainability and agriculture is being pressured to shift to large-scale food processing schemes stating things such as “rich countries should only eat synthetic meat”. It is time to stand up with the farmers before we become a nation asking for rations of cricket protein and synthetic milk to be generously doled out based on your monthly carbon credit score.


– A Richards.

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