ER Editor: Insanity and Utter Tyranny. Nitrogen emissions – because, you know, global warming – are the continuing excuse for the Dutch government to simply acquire land from farmers, whether by purchase or outright theft. And to reduce the number of livestock the Netherlands produces. In favour of eating those insects the EU has been promoting?
A story from almost 2 years ago shows Dutch farmers protesting harsh nitrogen regulations (pictured below), regulations which arbitrarily punished them for, say, having too many animals, and pitting one sector of the economy against another. See Thousands of Dutch farmers return to roads in protest. This Politico article also from 2019 shows that farmers have borne the brunt of government arbitrariness over nitrogen emissions for over 20 years, and have been painted as ‘animal abusers and environmental polluters’ in the process.
Now we know where all this was heading – just grab the land by force if you have to.
Total Insanity: Dutch Cabinet Plans to Take Farms from Farmers to “Combat Global Warming”
“Coercion is no longer taboo”
ICE AGE FARMER
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“The Ministries of Finance and Agriculture have advanced plans to buy out hundreds of farmers and, if necessary, expropriate them, in order to quickly reduce nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands.
This is apparent from documents that have been viewed by NRC. The cost of this operation could amount to 17 billion euros. The plans point to a rigorously different approach, in which coercion is no longer taboo.
“The other scenario, from the Ministry of Agriculture, is even more ambitious and foresees a major transformation of the Dutch agricultural sector. The government is also buying the land from the farmers, which can then be used for more sustainable forms of agriculture: fewer animals [IAF: moving to WEF’s “post-animal economy”], less environmental pollution. That costs a lot of money: up to 17 billion.”
Read this article on NRC in Dutch. (ER – we are republishing this article in translation below)
Cabinet has plans to expropriate hundreds of farmers
Nitrogen Emissions There are advanced plans to buy out and, if necessary, expropriate hundreds of farmers; farmers’ organizations are ‘thinking along’.
MARTIN KUIPER & RIK RUTTEN
The Ministries of Finance and Agriculture have advanced plans to buy out and, if necessary, expropriate hundreds of farmers in order to quickly reduce nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. This is evident from documents viewed by NRC. The cost of this operation could reach 17 billion euros. The plans point to a rigorously different approach, in which coercion is no longer taboo.
The outgoing cabinet wants to take additional nitrogen measures, because large construction projects are still difficult to achieve. In 2019, the Council of State put a stop to the granting of permits for numerous homes, roads and other projects, because of the natural damage caused by nitrogen. Agriculture is considered the biggest emitter.
Earlier this year, a major nitrogen law was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, but it primarily ensures that the Netherlands meets its nature goals in the long term. The government argues that more is needed to secure the permits for large projects now, such as infrastructure or the construction of a million homes. After all, nitrogen is also released in the process. At the request of the Council of Ministers this summer, officials from the two ministries worked out detailed proposals, which have since been set out in a report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), which NRC has reviewed.
The PBL report calculates scenarios for several sectors, but the plans for agriculture are the most far-reaching. The first scenario, from the Ministry of Finance, proposes buying up production rights from nitrogen-emitting farmers. Officials estimate the cost at 9 billion.
The other scenario, from the Ministry of Agriculture, is even more ambitious and envisions a major transformation of the Dutch agricultural sector. In this scenario, the government also buys up the farmers’ land, which it then designs for more sustainable forms of agriculture: fewer animals, less environmental pollution. This costs a lot of money: up to 17 billion.
The biggest breakthrough: even the Ministry of Agriculture sees expropriation as inevitable.
It is mainly the similarities between the two scenarios that are striking: the ministries share the idea that additional action is needed quickly to reduce nitrogen emissions. According to both visions, it is not enough to buy out a handful of peak polluters, the large emitters near vulnerable nature areas. More than a thousand companies are involved, spread across the country. And, the biggest breakthrough, even the Ministry of Agriculture sees expropriation as inevitable.
Last week legal experts in NRC already concluded that expropriation is a real possibility. The necessary legislation is already in place. Only the political will seemed to be lacking, the experts noted.
Forcing farmers to stop farming is a big taboo among politicians – and among farmers themselves. Sjaak van der Tak, chairman of the farmers’ lobby LTO, expressed his scepticism about the large-scale expropriation of farmland in an interview with NRC last week. But LTO and other farmers’ organizations were also thinking about the scenarios behind the scenes, insiders tell NRC.
The political debate on the future of agriculture has changed dramatically in a short period of time. In recent months, for example, the CDA abandoned public opposition to a shrinking livestock population. CDA MP Derk Boswijk called shrinkage “not a goal in itself but inevitable.” A new cabinet will have to make a decision about the future of agriculture. In the “outline document” that VVD and D66 drew up, and which had to serve as a basis for forming a majority coalition, the nitrogen file is not mentioned.
Featured image is from Eric Brinkhorst/NRC
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