IN ENVIRONMENT, GREEN NEW DEAL
A small preview of what is in store comes from Northern Ireland:
Northern Ireland will need to lose more than 1 million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets, according to an industry-commissioned analysis seen by the Guardian.
The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reduce methane emissions by almost 50% over the same period.
… Analysis by KPMG, commissioned by industry representatives including the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), estimates more than 500,000 cattle and about 700,000 sheep would need to be lost in order for Northern Ireland to meet the new climate targets.
Separate analysis by the UK government’s climate advisers suggests chicken numbers would also need to be cut by 5 million by 2035.
Environmentalists suggest that farmers in Northern Ireland should switch from livestock to grains:
Chris Stark, CCC chief executive, told the Guardian that a switch to arable farming would probably be necessary if food production levels are to remain the same in Northern Ireland.
But where land is arable, pretty much anywhere in the world, people are already growing crops. Pastoral agricultural, raising livestock, typically predominates where land will not support crop growing. That is the case in Northern Ireland:
There is a reason why Ireland is dominated by pastoral rather than arable farming. It is because most of the land is unsuitable for growing of crops, certainly to a profitable extent. Much of the land is rocky and the climate is far too wet. That was why Ireland was so reliant on potatoes at the time of the Great Famine.
Currently only 4% of N Ireland’s farmland is arable.
So if you do away with cows, sheep, chickens and pigs, you are basically doing away with agriculture in Northern Ireland. But people will still need to eat. The environmentalists don’t care, of course. But others do:
Although farm labour only accounts for 7% of the country’s labour force, many more depend on the rural economy. Altogether the rural population makes up about 40% of the total in N Ireland. Destroying a large part of farming sector there would be catastrophic for the rural sector. Replacing the meat and dairy sector with, for instance, potatoes would decimate incomes and lead to mass migration out of the countryside.
My guess is that no democracy will actually go through with the idiotic “green” promises that governments have made. I hope not, anyway. As for the autocracies, they have been careful not to promise anything meaningful, and they wouldn’t follow through in any event. This gives them a huge economic and human advantage to the extent that democracies fulfill their irrational commitments.
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