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The Free Press Article on Dutch Farmers


EquipmentJunkie

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Call me pessimistic, but the morons who put these people in power will never understand how stupid they are until they go to the grocery store and the shelves are bare. And possibly not even then. You cannot have a prosperous and successful society while simultaneously banning everything that has made it prosperous and successful. As has been said before “It is not the Prince of fools who is the problem, it is the fools who made him their Prince”

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1 hour ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

Call me pessimistic, but the morons who put these people in power will never understand how stupid they are until they go to the grocery store and the shelves are bare. And possibly not even then. You cannot have a prosperous and successful society while simultaneously banning everything that has made it prosperous and successful. As has been said before “It is not the Prince of fools who is the problem, it is the fools who made him their Prince”

  It's going to get worse and its coming to the US.  Too many people who are completely insulated from how the economy works want to make decisions as to food and energy.

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Sorry about that.  The Free Press pulled a Wall Street Journal type of move.  Here is the article by Jamie Blackett:

The Revolt of the Farmers

The Dutch government wants farmers to give up their land to save the planet. They're fighting back.

By Jamie Blackett

June 1, 2023

 

The Dutch have a particular horror of fascism. They bravely resisted the Nazis during the Second World War, as the German occupation of the Netherlands cut off food and fuel shipments. During the “Hunger Winter,” which lasted from 1944 until the Allied liberation in 1945, at least 22,000 Dutch people died from malnutrition.

That experience branded the national character with a strongly libertarian streak. It also explains why, post-war, the Netherlands created the most successful agricultural economy on the planet out of the ruins. 

Though smaller than the state of West Virginia, they became the world’s second-biggest exporter of food after the United States. And despite the temperate climate, farmers have developed a thriving fruit and vegetable industry, including growing bananas in greenhouses. Not even their damp lands have held them back; Dutch engineering has allowed productive farming to flourish below sea level. There’s a floating dairy farm in Rotterdam Harbor that provides the city with milk, butter, and yogurt while shoring up flood resistance. As a dairy farmer myself, in Scotland, I’m inspired by what my fellow farmers have pulled off.

The Netherlands’ particular history also explains why, at least initially, the Dutch were enthusiastic early members of what became the European Union; they were driven by a determination that a war on the continent should never happen again. 

But now Dutch farmers are turning against the EU—and their own prime minister—in a bid to fight for their most basic liberties.

That’s because EU climate laws have led the Dutch government to commit to reducing nitrogen emissions by 50 percent by 2030. To achieve this, the government has threatened to withdraw farmers’ licenses to farm because of their high nitrogen emissions, mainly stemming from cow dung and fertilizers. Without their licenses, farmers won’t be able to borrow money, putting many in financial peril. Farmers feel they are being scapegoated even though they farm efficiently. Nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands have fallen 50 percent since 1990—while airlines and other emitters show little restraint in the face of climate change.

Why, the farmers ask, are they being singled out?

 

Their protests began in 2019, when the government, driven by climate concerns, proposed halving the nation’s number of livestock. More than 2,000 farmers drove their tractors to the seat of the Dutch government in The Hague, causing 700 miles of traffic jams during the morning rush hour. (It called to mind the Canadian truckers’ descent on Ottawa in the winter of 2022.)

The farmers’ protests have continued to flare over the past three years in the face of the government’s hardening stance. Faced with a spiraling cash-flow crisis and no chance of making the drastic changes needed, farmers have stopped traffic with piles of manure, set bales of hay on fire, and blocked supermarket distribution centers with their tractors. The uprising has led many on the right and the left to take their side. Last summer, Mick Jagger, at a Rolling Stones concert in Amsterdam, called out to farmers—“Zijn er ook boeren?” (“Are there any farmers in the house?”)

In November 2022, the protests intensified when the Dutch government threatened 3,000 farms, around a third of the country’s total, with a European-style version of eminent domain, a plan backed financially by the EU. If the farmers accept the $1.61 billion being offered for their land (around 20 percent over agricultural value, but suspiciously below development value), they will be forbidden from farming anywhere in the European Union again. The policy would clear them off land that in many cases they have held for generations, and sever their links to agriculture forever. 

 

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Farmers are stopped by police en route to the Ministry of Agriculture in The Hague, The Netherlands, on February 19, 2020. (Koen Van Weel via Getty Images)

This March, the protests paid off: Caroline van der Plas’s Farmer-Citizen Movement party, BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), surprised even themselves by winning the country’s provincial elections. This almost guarantees the BBB will win the next general election (which must happen by 2025), because members of the senate are elected by provincial councillors. 

Even so, that hasn’t stopped the threat of land confiscation, and there has been no softening of the Netherlands’ emissions policy.

The farmer revolt has become a totemic right-left issue, with many on the right internationally, including Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, speaking out in support of the Dutch farmers, although BBB is not itself especially right-wing. 

The mainstream media has covered the conflict in a predictable way, pushing the narrative of a tenacious government taking urgent and necessary steps to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. The alternate story, one told on social media and independent channels, such as the UK’s GB News, is that this is “climate communism,” part of the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset,” allegedly one step in the long march toward one-world communitarianism that some say is envisaged by the United Nations Agenda 21/2030

Some on the alternative side believe the cleared land will be used to turn the Low Countries into a tristate city of 45 million people—tristate because it would include parts of Germany and Belgium, including the headquarters of the EU and NATO. They warn of an Orwellian future where people are corralled into “fifteen-minute cities”—the climate-friendly concept of redesigning cities so residents can walk or bike to everything they need within 15 minutes—to be kept under surveillance. Their carnivorous diets would be replaced with laboratory food and insects, enriching globalist Big Food corporations while agricultural land outside the cities is “rewilded” and left to the wolves.

No doubt some of the wilder predictions about the dystopian tristate are fanciful. The idea that Holland, Germany, and Belgium would be fine giving away territory, and that land cleared of farmers would be used to build giant housing complexes for immigrants, seem more than a bit paranoid, and so it has been dismissed as a conspiracy theory by the conventional media if it’s covered at all. The BBC has gone out of its way to avoid the subject. 

As a farmer who took up journalism partly to highlight some of the threats facing agriculture, I find the lack of curiosity about this subject baffling. One would think the best way to deal with conspiracy theories is to expose them to the bright glare of public scrutiny in the media. But there seems to be a culture of omerta surrounding the WEF—strange, considering that Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is a WEF “agenda contributor” and former recipient of the WEF’s Global Citizen Award. His worldview seems eerily like that of his fellow WEF enthusiast, Justin Trudeau in Canada, who has also found himself in open conflict with his country’s farmers.

But you do not need to believe in any ulterior motives to find Rutte’s policy terrifying and illogical in equal measures. Having your family farm taken away is every farmer’s worst nightmare. And the policy itself is irrational, because it would only relocate food production from the most efficient country in the world to farmers on other continents, who will likely use many more acres and therefore cause more carbon emissions and biodiversity loss across the planet.

It’s true that the Netherlands did not get where it is without some highly intensive farming practices, which have certainly damaged the country’s ecosystem with nitrates leaching into rivers. Worldwide, the agriculture industry has been a major contributor to carbon and nitrogen greenhouse gases and has led to plummeting numbers of birds and insects.

But a society demanding cheap food has been fully complicit in farming’s industrialization. It is wrong to blame farmers for following not just markets but also government policy under the EU Common Agricultural Policy, which subsidized farmers to produce food on the cheap. 

More importantly, none of these problems is insurmountable. Just when the agricultural sector in Europe and the U.S. is teeming with innovations that will dramatically improve life on Earth, authoritarian politicians are still paralyzed in the grip of last-century groupthink. Indeed, there is already technology out there that will turn farms into major producers of food and green energy while being close to or fully at net-zero carbon

Take methane. On my farm in Scotland, we are talking to a start-up business named Biofactory. Their micro anaerobic digester can process all our slurry (cow manure) and turn the methane into biogas, which is burnt on-site to create electricity, heat, carbon dioxide, and digestate. The electricity will power not just our farming operations but also local houses, while the heat and the carbon dioxide will support a hydroponic farming operation to produce vegetables. And the digestate is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that we can spread back on the land without environmental damage.

Furthermore, farmers are already producing green fuel. After slaughter, the tallow from our cows is turned into biodiesel (one ton of liveweight animal produces around 180 liters of biodiesel)—a major saving on fossil fuels. Out in the fields, we are embracing regenerative grazing practices by moving the cows regularly to allow the land to rest. This sequesters carbon into the soil—something we can now measure. It also increases soil health and biodiversity: a cow on pasture creates a fifth of its own body weight in insects every year through its cow pats, enough to sustain increased birdlife if you don’t use ivermectin wormers.

If you were the supposedly technocratic leader of perhaps the most agriculturally innovative nation in the world, with an economy that is heavily reliant on food production, surely you would want your farmers to change what they are doing, and allow them the opportunity to do it, rather than removing them altogether? 

History has a way of being forged most intensely in the Netherlands. It was the cradle of the Reformation when the Protestant Dutch fought doggedly to establish a new religion in the face of opposition from Rome, while also throwing off their Catholic Spanish overlords. One day soon, perhaps when hydrogen or some other technology has replaced fossil fuels and we no longer obsess over carbon, we’ll look back on the current rebellion as another historic struggle by the Dutch. 

It is thought that Rutte’s government may fall soon, as his coalition with the Christian Democrats and Christian Union starts to splinter in response to the populist uprising. Still, the pressure from the EU is not going to go away. In the meantime, Dutch farmers should take courage from their stubborn ancestors and hang in there. They will be on the right side of history.

 

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This is Jamie Blackett’s first piece for The Free Press. He is a dairy farmer and writer based in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, and the author of Land of Milk and Honey: Digressions of a Rural Dissident. Follow him on Twitter @Jamie_Blackett.

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If this country doesn’t grow a pair and start pushing back, it’s going to be here before we know it!!!
I live in MN, and governor fat head has all but given this state away already!! Illegal sanctuary, taxes through the roof, 19 billion dollar surplus, but us tax payers didn’t get a dime back, tax cut, credit or anything, just higher taxes.  
If I could find 12-1800 acres in SD, or IA, I’d be gone from this state!! I’m tired of 3 spots in this state staying blue to dictate the rest of the state! 

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1 hour ago, Farmall1066 said:

If this country doesn’t grow a pair and start pushing back, it’s going to be here before we know it!!!
I live in MN, and governor fat head has all but given this state away already!! Illegal sanctuary, taxes through the roof, 19 billion dollar surplus, but us tax payers didn’t get a dime back, tax cut, credit or anything, just higher taxes.  
If I could find 12-1800 acres in SD, or IA, I’d be gone from this state!! I’m tired of 3 spots in this state staying blue to dictate the rest of the state! 

I can't recall where I saw it but supposedly J. Kerry said something to the effect we might need to look at land confiscation to meet climate goals in a recent speech he gave. It's already here in the planning stages it would appear.

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10 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

I can't recall where I saw it but supposedly J. Kerry said something to the effect we might need to look at land confiscation to meet climate goals in a recent speech he gave. It's already here in the planning stages it would appear.

It’s absolutely disgusting!! And yet some buy this garbage hook, line, and sinker!!

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51 minutes ago, Farmall1066 said:

It’s absolutely disgusting!! And yet some buy this garbage hook, line, and sinker!!

Yup and yup 

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