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Europe’s Schizophrenic Climate Agenda

Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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by Andrew Abbott
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

The citizens of many European nations must have whiplash when it comes to their governments’ ill-advised climate policies.

Just months ago, Dutch farmers made headlines worldwide with their strident resistance to the extreme environmentalist attack on their country’s independent farms—part of a larger effort to upend the world’s agriculture industry for ostensibly environmental reasons. Yet at the very moment when the left is launching this new front in its war to “save” the planet, European nations are quietly backing away from their last self-destructive environmental crusade: the abolition of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

The result is a deeply confused and even incoherent climate policy that is wreaking havoc on the European Union. And the Dutch government may be pursuing the most indefensible policy of all.

In the Netherlands, they are still pressing forward radical new restrictions on farmers that will decimate the country’s vital agricultural sector and likely lead to a significant increase in food prices throughout the E.U.

Earlier this year, the Dutch government announced a number of sweeping new restrictions on farmers in order to meet environmental “standards” set by the E.U. Specifically, the restrictions called for a 50% reduction in nitrogen and ammonia emissions by 2030, which would necessitate a dramatic cut in livestock production. By some estimates, more than 11,000 Dutch farms would be forced to close, and another 17,000 would have to significantly reduce their herd numbers.

While larger corporate farms may be able to weather the cost of compliance with the restrictions, smaller family-owned farms stand little chance of staying afloat. In essence, thousands of farmers will be regulated out of existence. In July, a Dutch court ruled that farmers would either have to meet new aggressive climate standards, sell their farms, take a government buyout, or face steep financial penalties and even jail time. In one shocking example, dairy farmer Marant Neppelenbroek was told he must cut his livestock numbers by 95 percent or accept a government buy-out worth only a fraction of what he believes his farm is worth. “I can’t run a farm on 5 percent,” he told the Epoch Times in a recent interview. “For me, it’s over and done with…In view of the regulations, I can’t sell it to anybody.”

Notably, the new restrictions come after fifty years of the European Union aggressively pushing farmers to maximize output and efficiency. They encouraged generous subsidies, the adoption of high-density livestock practices, and the use of synthetic fertilizers and insecticides. As a result of this commitment, the Netherlands became the second largest food exporter in the world, despite being less than half the size of the U.S. state of Indiana. Now, however, the Dutch government appears to be punishing those same farmers for embracing that model of production.

As a result of the policy, thousands of Dutch farmers have taken to the streets in protest throughout the summer. Taking a page out of the book of truckers in Canada last winter, farmers organized long tractor caravans on many of the country’s major roadways. In response, the Dutch government sent police to break up the peaceful protests, refusing to back down from the draconian new policies. While the mainstream media has largely stopped covering the protests, they have continued throughout the summer.

However, at the same time as the Dutch government is using E.U. climate goals as justification for their assault on Dutch farmers, other E.U. member nations are quietly abandoning the E.U.’s climate change requirements in the energy sector in the face of rising costs. Germany, for instance, has announced plans to reopen its coal power plants. France has floated a similar plan. This is in addition to reclassifying nuclear power and natural gas as “green” energies, something both countries resisted for years. Other nations, most recently Estonia, are similarly backing off their commitment to E.U. climate goals and creating new oil and gas infrastructure.

Farmers and the few conservatives left in Europe have been quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy when it comes to how the energy and agricultural sectors are now treated under the E.U.’s climate agenda. After years of economists and energy industry experts – and conservative world leaders like former U.S. President Donald Trump – warning that an unrealistic climate agenda would lead to shortages and a dangerous overreliance on Russians exports, skyrocketing costs are now forcing Europe to face that reality. But instead of realizing that the continent may soon face a similar dilemma when it comes to food, European liberals again appear determined to put climate alarmism and appeasing the environmental lobby ahead of practicality.

Some critics have also argued that the willful destruction of Dutch farming is part of a more comprehensive strategy. In recent years, wealthy billionaires and international bodies like the World Economic Forum have asserted that the world must drastically reduce all meat consumption to protect the environment. This has come alongside an aggressive campaign to normalize “imitation” milk products, synthetic (AKA plant-based) meat, and even insect-based protein. Some publications have even suggested that opposition to consuming insects is rooted in “classism and racism.”

With the price of wheat up more than 160% year over year as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world is already seeing the dramatic impact that a sudden cut in supply can have on food prices and food security. But should the Netherlands move forward with its planned self-destruction of the Dutch farming sector, they will have no one to blame for the next food crisis but themselves.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.  

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Americans should pay close attention to what is happening in Europe, because the Democrat Party in the United States is implementing the EXACT SAME ruinous climate change policies here. Europe is merely 10 years ahead of us in terms of physical implementation. Left unchecked, the Democrats will succeed in achieving the exact same dismal outcomes here as the EU leaders have already achieved throughout Europe in far less time.

We already have significantly higher energy and food prices here in this country in just 20 months. Due overwhelmingly to the implementation of the same restrictive climate policies enacted by the Democrats. These prices will continue to rise over time, because the intent of the Democrat Party is do rely solely on solar and wind energy. Neither is capable of supply a stable, consistent, cheap and reliable power source to run a modern economy of our scale. Food prices will continue to rise as the Democrats also implement a restriction or outright ban on almost all crop fertilizers and animal feed products dependent on fossil fuels to produce. Which will result in the same drastic cuts in crop yields seen both in Europe and throughout parts of Asia. Typically farmers are reporting a drop in crop yields of 80 to 90 percent of normal yields. In Sri Lanka and other Asian countries, these ruinous policies have already resulted in massive inflation and deaths due to starvation.

Neither the leftist leaders of Europe, Asia nor the United States have any incentive to back off their current climate change agenda. They are NOT personally impacted by any of the consequences of their policies and they are making money hand over fist off their investments in the various companies involved in the so-called “green energy” space. So for them, the “green agenda” is like hitting the lottery every single day of the week.

So far, only the people of Sri Lanka have actually managed to fight back effectively so far. However, I don’t see any signs that either the people of Europe or the United States are ready, willing and able to send the exact same message to their respective governments regarding the ruinous path we are currently on. So it will be interesting to see just how bad things are allowed to get before “the people” decide they don’t want to die of starvation in either the freezing cold of winter or the unbearable heat of summer, because that is where these climate policies are designed to take us.

Martin Plecki
Martin Plecki
1 year ago

It is really too bad that these good articles in AMAC get so few comments.

Ed P
Ed P
1 year ago

Those who control the food supply and power generating will control the people.

Michael J
Michael J
1 year ago

One must realize, no matter what the type of government, those at the top never suffer the consequences of their edicts. Climate change is the wholesale effort to convince the ill informed
to submit, surrender rights for the common good.
Even the dense of mind know what hunger is and when they experience it, the damage will already be irreparable.

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

If the left hadnt been so successful in indoctrinating so many in colleges for the past half century there would be a decent chance people would be vigorously protesting all of this. However, at least half the country is hypnotized, literally. As in stage performances where the subject is made to believe in absurdities for entertainment purposes, our fellow citizens believe bizarre things, but unlike stage hypnotism, these things if not stopped, will bring about catastrophe.

Larry W.
Larry W.
1 year ago

The progressives are good at causing unnecessary problems. Shortly there will be food shortages, blamed on the supply chain, which are really caused by excessive environmental regulations. Blamed on the trucking industry, on the farmers, and businesses, and mostly on YOU with your big carbon “footprint”. (which is much smaller than the footprint of the folks pushing for more regulations). These are extremists and hypocrites.

Nick Murphy
Nick Murphy
1 year ago

How many people are they willing to kill in the name of environmental extremism to stop them from dying from global warming. Just a question

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

Why are citizens of the World letting the billionaires at Davos, who want to reduce the population of the world to their numbers and Great Reset the rest of us out of existence proceed? They may have the money, but we have the numbers. If we allow them to proceed it will only put off the inevitable: let them eat cake followed quickly by the guillotine!

Robin Boyd
Robin Boyd
1 year ago

We are but a small part of nature. We cannot control nature. We need to act as a responsible part of nature, but still utilize nature’s bounty’s provided to us. Only those who think themselves gods believe we can control nature. A warmer Earth will be better for most flora and fauna, including mankind. As the polar ice is released into the atmosphere through evaporation and sublimation, more clouds of fresh water will be distributed across the globe, dropping more fresh water on grounds to refill aquafers we have depleted, turning desert areas into lush green areas as has happened in the past.

O B Kinney
O B Kinney
1 year ago

Read, “Unsettled,” by Dr. S. E. Koonin, who was Obama’s Secretary for Science, and who has an enormously impressive climate resume.
He exposes many of the verbal tricks the left uses to convince us that the science of climate change is settled. To say that it is settled is one more tactic to persuade us to spend ourselves into oblivion. Yes, the earth is warming, but the “why” that is happening is an argument now dominated by many who have no idea how immensely complicated are the workings of climate. Instead, they are infatuated by the biased guesses used by those who assemble the models they cite. Those models are replete with assumptions that force conclusions that are designed to persuade, not to inform.
And that, people, is not science.

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