Dutch farmers are angry – so much so that hundreds of them have mobilized their tractors and are blocking highways and creating havoc across the Netherlands.
The German language agraraheute.de (Agriculture Today) reports here: “Farmers in the Netherlands are fed up always being the whipping boy of the nation.”
Shutting down modern agriculture
According to agrarheute journalist, Eva Eckinger, all this was triggered by “radical demands made by the leftist liberal D66 government party.” The party is demanding the elimination of half of the country’s livestock!
D66 parliamentarian Tjeerd de Groot said: “There’s no future for intensive animal farming in the Netherlands.”
With their tractors, the angry farmers have wreaked havoc on traffic throughout the Netherlands. According to Germany’s Spiegel, the protesting farmers in the Netherlands have “caused hundreds of kilometers of traffic jams.”
“They blocked the access roads to The Hague with tractors.”
Fox News here reported that the farmers clogged “700 miles of highway” during the protest over emissions rules.
Demanding farmers make extraordinary sacrifices
According to De Groot, nitrogen emissions by agriculture is causing great damage, and a large proportion of Dutch nitrogen emissions comes from intensive livestock farming and so need to be curbed quickly.
De Groot is calling on farmers farmers to practice “closed-loop farming”, where there is a significant reduction in the number of animals and that its implementation should start quickly.
Dutch agricultural associations reacted angrily to De Groot’s proposal and said “the agricultural sector had already done a lot to improve sustainability” and so “the sector deserves a compliment – not a halving.”
The Dutch protests come at the heels of the French yellow vest protests, which are aimed at the high fuel taxes imposed on French citizens and businesses, and are the latest, clear signals that citizens are not going to take draconian environmental regulation and harsh climate protection policies quietly.
Growing chasm between ecological and economic interests
The Dutch protests highlight the economic difficulty governments have when they try to pass eco-friendly laws and reducing emissions. Despite the dubious claims that the two can go hand in hand, it is not the case as recent protests are showing. Across Europe there is a rapidly growing chasm between economic interests and radical environmental aims.
“A lot at stake”
As the New York Times reports: “There is a lot at stake: According to the Dutch farmers’ organization, LTO, exports from the Netherlands’ nearly 54,000 farms and agriculture businesses were worth 90.3 billion euros ($98.3 billion) last year.”
That’s just one sector in a small European country. Imagine the things to come should major continentwide industries like petroleum, tourism and airlines, etc. be hit – or the German auto industry.
The radical environmentalists are keeping their social-economic powder kegs awfully dry.