Is the nitrogen issue used only as a pretext for getting farmers off of their land? Would the results of these implementations actually help nature?
In late June, the ruling coalition in the Netherlands voted on a plan to cut pollutant emissions, especially nitrogen oxide and ammonia, in half by 2030. These proposals are targeting the nation’s agriculture industry, saying a lot of ammonia is produced through livestock waste. In response, farmers protested around the country, as many of them might have to face the prospect of closing their businesses.
Facts Matter host, Roman Balmakov, went to the Netherlands to give a comprehensive report on the farmers’ situation. Driving through the country, the support shown to the farmers could be seen, similar to the trucker’s convoy in the U.S. The Dutch flag was flying upside down – a universal symbol for a country in distress – and many people tied a red handkerchief to their vehicle as a sign of solidarity. The first interviewee of this special report is Martin Neppelenbroek, a Dutch dairy farmer.
Neppelenbroek’s farm is a 30-year-old business, with 70 hectares of land. Most of the milk from his farm is used for cheese production and yogurt. Through the new regulations, Neppelenbroek will have to reduce 95 percent of his cows, and because a farm can’t be run with only 5 percent, he will have to sell it. With the current situation, no one else, except the government, would be willing to buy it. According to him, this solution is only “on paper,” because the situation will not change. The same amount of cheese will be consumed, but the cows producing the milk will be from somewhere else.
To learn more about the threat these nitrogen emissions pose to the environment if not cut, Roman’s next guest, Japp Hanekamp, a chemical scientist, mentioned that “damage” is actually an ambiguous term. What they found is that the “critical load” that would be considered damaging is hard to define, because of factors such as time frame, the type of damage, what is exactly debated, what experiments have been done, and many other questions.
Hanekamp mentions two problems in regard to the “wildly strange process” of implementing critical loads into law without going through risk assessments. The first would be that the government already decided that the critical loads are damaging to nature, without specifying what is “too much nitrogen” to be considered a critical load. Secondly, any standard coming from science shouldn’t be implemented in society without a societal cost-benefit analysis. The critical loads mentioned by the new regulations haven’t been through such an analysis.
Not going through this step means it can’t be known what results in it will bring, if the implementation of these regulations would actually be useful and maintainable, and how they would affect the entire food production and retail consumption system. According to Hanekamp, if all agriculture in Netherlands were to be banned, about three-quarters of the critical loads would still not be reached.
There are people in the Dutch Parliament that are fighting against these standards. Thierry Baudet, leader of Forum for Democracy Party, said in an interview with Roman that these standards coming from the European Union have two main purposes in transnational governance; making Netherlands more dependent on international supply chains, and mass migration by taking the land from the people to build more houses. This would transform their country, which is already very densely populated, into a giant tristate city.
Baudet further explains how farmers are people historically connected with their country, proudly passing their family farms down through the generations, and having a strong national identity. They are seen as a threat to the Great Reset agenda making people lose their autonomy and making them more dependent on the international rulers that are trying to take over.
Farmers own 60 percent of the land in the Netherlands. I loved how the on-site reporting in this episode carried us straight into these people’s lives, where we were able to experience their beautiful green pastures, see how they raise livestock and view their lovely Dutch homes. The policies that are being pushed in the Netherlands are not any different from the Green New Deal that’s being pushed in America, which is another aspect showing us how we are all connected. This is why I am looking forward to seeing more episodes like this and observing the process of these new regulations being implemented all around Europe.
Watch the trailer: