Food Security in a Post-Covid World

European Conservatives and Reformists Party hosts another ‘Europe Debates’ webinar  

Paul Driessen

US-EU trade talks are already stalled over agriculture issues. And yet the European Union’s new “Farm to Fork” strategy doesn’t just double down on the EU’s contentious agricultural regulations. It promises to use access to European markets to compel the United States and other countries to adopt EU-style organic farming, precautionary and other regulations if they want to remain trading partners with Europe.

“Farm to Fork” (or F2F) is being billed as “the heart of the European Green Deal.” Like recent energy, climate and other initiatives, it is largely an environmentalist wish (or demand) list – with little basis in science, practical experience or real world impacts. It sets out three primary objectives, which the EU intends to implement fully by 2030, barely nine years from now:

* Bring “at least 25% of EU agricultural land under organic farming” – from its current 7.5%  

* Reduce “overall use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% – forcing greater use of “natural” chemicals

* Reduce the use of manmade chemical fertilizers “by at least 20%” – again forcing “natural” substitutes

F2F is being billed as a continental and global agricultural transformation that will ensure a “just transition” to a “more robust and resilient food system,” guarantee “affordable food for citizens,” and simultaneously improve human health, protect biodiversity, and promote environmental sustainability.

It will almost certainly end up doing just the opposite. Which is why the European Conservatives and Reformists Party is hosting a ‘Europe Debates’ webinar on the topic this Wednesday, July 29.

The problems with “organic” farming are well documented, though largely ignored by environmentalists, policy makers, regulators, journalists and academics.

Organic agriculture requires far more land and much more human labor than modern mechanized farming with manmade fertilizers and crop-protecting chemicals, to get the same crop yields. Many of the “natural” fertilizers and other chemicals that organic farmers employ are equally or more dangerous to bees, other insects, birds, fish and terrestrial animals than modern manmade alternatives.

Low-yield organic agriculture raises food prices for consumers, particularly harming poor families and countries, many of which have been especially hard hit by the Covid pandemic. It makes EU farmers increasingly uncompetitive in world markets. It creates a less resilient food system that is increasingly vulnerable to plant diseases, invasive species, floods, droughts and insects. As a result, it inevitably undermines the climate, “sustainability,” biodiversity and nutrition goals it promises to achieve. 

Finally, Farm to Fork will also likely exacerbate the EU’s growing trade frictions with other nations. Even before F2F, agriculture issues were already imperiling US-EU bilateral trade agreements. Meanwhile the US and some 35 other nations had formally complained to the World Trade Organization that current EU regulations on agricultural imports clearly violate internationally accepted norms, because they are not based in science. And now F2F promises to impose similar productivity-destroying regulations on even its poorest trading partners: African countries. In fact, the European Commission (EC) itself has admitted:

“It is also clear that we cannot make a change unless we take the rest of the world with us.… Efforts to tighten sustainability requirements in the EU food system should be accompanied by policies that help raise standards globally, in order to avoid the externalisation and export of unsustainable practices.”

Now the European Conservatives and Reformists Party (ECRP) is offering an opportunity to learn more.

This Wednesday, July 29, US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and new European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski will appear together in a webinar hosted by the ECRP.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be the first high-level discussion of these agriculture and trade issues between the US and EU since Farm to Fork was released. Other debate participants include:

* Anna Fotyga, Member of European Parliament, Poland & Acting President of the ECR Party

* Hermann Tertsch, Member of European Parliament, Spain

* Jon Entine, Founder and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project

* Richard Milsom, Executive Director, ECR Party

Please tune in: Wednesday * July 29 * 10 am ET / 4pm CET

Go here for more information and here to register.

(The European Conservatives and Reformists Party https://www.ecrparty.eu/ is a conservative Eurosceptic European political party primarily focused on reforming the European Union on the basis of “Eurorealism,” as opposed to totally rejecting the EU. Its more than 40 political parties are united by center-right values, under the Reykjavik Declaration, and dedicated to individual liberty, national sovereignty, parliamentary democracy, private property, limited government, free trade, family values and the devolution of power away from a centralized EU and EC) .

Quite clearly, humanity’s brief encounter with food uncertainty in the early days of COVID was a stark reminder that even the most advanced, technologically capable nations on Earth cannot take the safety and security of their food supply for granted. Poor countries are still dealing with Covid-related food uncertainty. Among the other topics the panelists will be discussing are the following.

What lessons have we or should we have learned from the Covid crisis? From past experience with organic agriculture, pesticide and fertilizer policies and practices?

What policies could give our vast and complex food supply system the strength and resilience it needs to withstand whatever shocks and dislocations may hit us in the future?

How will the US respond to these EU demands and threats under the Farm to Fork initiative?

Inside the EU, who will bear the costs involved and how can the EU and EU nations assure equity, given the vast regional disparities across the EU?

How will F2F impact the global competitiveness of European farmers? 

Does growing political opposition to the EU’s agreements with Latin America and Canada signal a reassessment of its broader trade strategy?

Will the EU take an evidence-based scientific approach to the climate, sustainability, biodiversity and safety shortcomings of organic agriculture?

How does the EU demand that impoverished African countries adopt European ideas – on organic farming, agro-ecology, the precautionary principle, pesticides, fertilizers and sufficient affordable energy, for instance – reflect EU ideals on justice, human rights and self-determination?

This week’s debate promises to be an invigorating and informative program.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

68 thoughts on “Food Security in a Post-Covid World

  1. Does no one in Europe remember history any more. Remember that potato blight in Ireland which almost destroyed the country but developed an expanding US. with Irish immigrants.

    There is a world beyond Europe. Lets all use WTO requirements to trade with each other and work around the EU. It is largely falling apart anyway. Look at the recent fight over COVID funding now the UK is not there to pay its bills.

    • Quilter,
      Why bother with WTO?
      People like you are a big part of the problem.
      Paralysed from doing things yourselves, fearful of acting without government permissions, agreements, law, regulations (and taxes to pay for this superflous layer).
      The FREE in free Enterprise means freedom for individual acts, ideas, methods. It is the opposite of bureaucratic decrees, which advanced people should be calling out and rejecting at every turn.

      • So, companies are free to stick any shit into foods? Free to keep animals in abysmal conditions? Free to stuff them full of growth hormones & antibiotics? All as long as what they produce is cheap?

        • Adam,
          Yep,
          And you are FREE to not buy from them.
          That is how we traditionally kept bad apples out of the barrels.
          Do you want a society in which you are ORDERED to buy from a producer? Even one who might not be your best choice?
          That is where you are headed.

          You are also free to believe that the vast majority of people are not out to get you,
          Geoff S

          • “Geoff Sherrington July 29, 2020 at 12:46 am

            That is how we traditionally kept bad apples out of the barrels.”

            I guess you have never heard of Devonshire Colic?

        • Oh my, folks really need to learn a few English words. Specious is one. Perspective in another. Reality is yet a third. Dichotomy is yet a fourth. Then one can jump to two word used together: trade offs for example. And . . . then there’s the cognitive analysis.

          Fact is those in “rich” nations are the only ones free to choose what they consume
          Fact is people free still choose mostly choose harmful foods
          Fact is harmful foods are primarily grains, industrial seed oils, processed foods
          Fact is harmful foods are harmful regardless of methods used for growing or production
          Fact is without modern ag, periodic famines would rage as they always have.
          Fact is any food is better than no food.
          Fact is many other nations are not self-sufficient in food production no matter the method.
          Fact is China cannot feed itself.
          Fact is imposing the items mentioned in the article will kill huge numbers of humans.
          Fact is starvation is one of the big motivators for war
          Fact is war leads to pestilence and other well documented conditions

          Finally:
          Fact is solutions to the consequences of massive decreases in world food production is never addressed by those that shout out; nor do they, ever, propose solutions that might actually work (see cognitive analysis). Thus, just some blathering about to feel good about themselves and resort to four letter words as if they’re are, in fact, truly superior..

          • “Fact is people free still choose mostly choose harmful foods”

            Ummmmm, I’d be careful about this one. US lifespan has been going up since 1950. At least a part of that *has* to due to the foods we eat.

          • Fact: All those extremely advanced in age Japanese had a predominantly rice diet when they still had own teeth.

          • “choosing” is a meaningless word when the consumer is systematically denied
            or deceived as to the demerits of the products being offered. This applies equally to motor vehicles, houses, water supplies, food, and the air we breathe, etc..

            I’d love some day to find a detailed and convincing accounting of just how rich one would have to be to be able to be sure that a home one is purchasing is structurally sound and provides a healthy environment for both adults and children. I’m guessing it would be in billionaire territory, if it’s possible at all. In my case, it’s not possible to obtain such information even after having made the purchase.

            The OP’s only argument for the industrial agriculture status quo is basically that those who prefer organic foods are ignorant and/or stupid. To which the only sensible answer is “nya, nya, so are you”.

            I’m stupid/ignorant enough to have been distilling my drinking water for 40 years , and to have been eating mostly organic food for the last decade. But unsatisfied with my level of ignorance, I recently spent many tedious hours reading a 332 page book called “Un monde sans famine?”, by Francois Ramade, which contradicts at great length and depth just about everything the OP claims, particularly the sustainability of industrial agriculture.

            The author contends that artificial fertilizers and pesticides are destroying the little agricultural land we have, which is already incapable of feeding the present population of the earth, and that the longer we put off going to a model of agriculture more in step with nature, the greater the disastrous famine that will befall the human race.

            And he’s not talking about the next century, nor is he invoking “climate change”, nor even the possibility of a distribution breakdown, let alone a pandemic (the book was published in 2014).

            But maybe I’ve misunderstood. French is not my first, or even my second language…

          • oto:

            “I’d love some day to find a detailed and convincing accounting of just how rich one would have to be to be able to be sure that a home one is purchasing is structurally sound and provides a healthy environment for both adults and children.”

            Here in the US it’s called a “home inspection”. There are respectable companies that perform this task. They *do* check foundations and structural strength, including for traces of carpenter ants and/or termites. They will even run a camera down your sewer drain to see if there are any potential for problems in the future. They even check drainage from the house and the sump pump system if you have a basement.

            They aren’t inexpensive. My son’s cost about $500. But that’s far from “billionaire” range.

  2. We now live in the era of PANDERING.
    To every loonie ‘feeling’ that low-life-experience people put forth on social media.
    And it all goes unchallenged, unresearched, uninvestigated by the msm.

    • Richard, thanks. Bear with me for a second as I build to my question.

      When I read, “It promises to use access to European markets to compel the United States and other countries to adopt EU-style organic farming, precautionary and other regulations if they want to remain trading partners with Europe.”

      I enjoyed what you wrote above, “Is this an ultimatum – even if we have no crops we won’t buy yours!”

      But I also included that those of is here in the States have crops so we don’t need those from Europe.

      Now my question: Why does reality elude so many in the MSM? And that’s not a hypothetical question.

      Stay safe and healthy, all.
      Bob

      • Answer.
        Because they are only open to the ideas of the academics who indoctrinated them in the first place.

        So quickly Europeans have forgotten the days of WWII and the lean times of the years immediately afterwards. Times that if not for the relief efforts of the US and the Marshall plan millions of them would have starved or died from the elements during the winter. Times when a can of US made Spam was the only meat many could get.

      • The irony is that if the US adopts EU-style organic farming, there won’t be any surplus crops to sell to hungry Europeans.

  3. Even if the Europeans do try to lock out any country that fails to live up to their brain dead standards, the only ones who will be hurt are the European consumers who will have to pay twice as much for lower quality food.

    • There is the theory that trading countries will become interdependent and will, therefore, find it impossible to go to war. link The relationships will be win-win and everyone will prosper.

      As long as everyone sort of has good will and sort of follows the rules, capitalist peace seems to work. We have a problem with China which seems not to believe in win-win relationships and is pursuing a zero sum vision of trade. Add to that the moralistic Europeans and capitalist peace has a problem.

      Isolationism is beginning to look good. Good fences make good neighbors, speak softly and carry a big stick, and all of that.

      Up to now, the cheapest way to make goods is with ever larger factories. Now with technologies like 3D printing, it is possible that small flexible production facilities close to markets and with nearly zero inventory costs will become competitive. The cost of labor will be a non-issue. America could become self sufficient and therefore immune to pressure from folks like China and Europe. That sounds like freedom to me.

      • commieBob,
        And you know this because you, personally, trade with China and have been there to get the authority to comment like you just did?
        Geoff S

        • The one thing I said about China is that the regime seems to take a zero-sum view of trade rather than a win-win view. A lot of people think that and the idea is certainly original with me. That said, I haven’t seen anything that makes me doubt it.

          My only qualification is that, because of family connections, I am motivated to pay closer than normal attention to China.

        • Correction…Democrat Party. The Democrat party no longer seems to be any kind of democracy, especially with their designs on stealing the election with nebulous voting methods and shoddy oversight. This is the biggest threat to the USA internally.

          • It’s worse than that, Earthling2. The Democrat leadership is colluding in violent sedition. The party is unfit to govern.

  4. Market access is the same strategy California used to blackmail US and foreign car manufacturers to ‘comply’ with their over reaching emissions demands.

  5. “It is also clear that we cannot make a change unless we take the rest of the world with us.…” says it all. Total control.

    • Very valid point.
      If you insist on producing in an ineffective way, you can only sell the product if you trick your competition to produce in a similar ineffective way.
      In the “good old” USSR the great farm collectives had disastrous bad yield. However, each employee in the collectives had a small plot of their own, where they could grow whatever they wanted. I don’t think I have to spell it out, but the small private plots gave really good yield.
      Still the USSR had to import most of their food from the US – all to preserve the failed collectives. Now, that is so long ago, so we have forgotten that and will pursue it renewed on a grander scale with EU as the new Central Politburo.

  6. “F2F is being billed as a continental and global agricultural transformation that will ensure a “just transition” to a “more robust and resilient food system,” guarantee “affordable food for citizens,” and simultaneously improve human health, protect biodiversity, and promote environmental sustainability.”{

    Just transition? Gobbledygook created by someone who doesn’t know her/his/its butt from a hole in the ground about the basics of agriculture?

    Please, spare me the need to ‘splain to these morons that the reason there IS food on their plates is that REAL farmers – of ALL types – know how to grow REAL food that will fill the plates and stomachs of the general populace at what is generally referred to as “a reasonable price”.

    Organic farming? What were they planning to use as fertilizer to help these crops grow, other than the BS that comes out of their shrunken brains? If, for example, we don’t use fertilizers to promote crop growth, don’t use hybrid seeds that produce a robust edible crop, and don’t use modern farming methods such as crop rotation, we end up with little or no food on the plates at all, and that means that several billion people will literally starve to death. Wasn’t it Mao Tse-Tung who admired and embraced Lysenkoism, just ahead of a drought, resulting in the starvation deaths of somewhere between 30 million to 80 million Chinese people of all ages?

    Thanks for the heads up on this twaddle. Please keep up the good work.

  7. I’d like to see the EU says this on Nov 4th, a day after Trump wins the election. Maybe we should pull all 50,000 troops out of Germany, and see how they like dealing with the Russians? The EU needs a good slap down, and DJT is just the right person to do that. Move those troops to Taiwan to protect them from invasion from China and all the other criminality being done by China in that region. Screw the EU…nice place to visit maybe, but sure glad I don’t live there. Socialist/Marxists are now destroying Europe after we bailed them out twice over the last 100+ years. Almost seems like Germany won the 2nd war now, at least in Europe. Thats what you get from a communistic misfit from East Germany.

    • Socialist/marxists are trying to destroy the United States of America. Who do you think is funding and coordinating the BLM, Antifa, and environmental terrorists, along with the marxist Seattle city council, Seattle mayor, Portland mayor, etc, etc?

    • Poland and the Baltic states deserve our support. We need to move a fast reaction combined arms brigade in Poland from forces now in Germany, as well as long established USAF-run air bases in Germany of Spangdalem AB and Ramstein AB to support hose forward elements. That would reduce our German military footprint and tell Putin, “Don’t touch this.”

      • WW2 effectively started in Sept, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and the Brits/Commonwealth and the French declared war on Germany. And then we abandoned them to the Soviets post 1945. So yes, you are right, we don’t want to make a mistake with the Poles who have had a rough go of things in recent history. Plus they did much of the heavy lifting bringing down the Soviet CCCP. It would inflame Putin, but then we would be much closer to the Ukraine who could also join NATO. Poland is grateful, and now a very key ally In Eastern Europe. Same for the Baltic States. If
        Putin were really smart, he would join NATO too, since we have no major quarrel with them anymore. They could become very wealthy with Their vast resources, especially if the deal included a bridge across the Bearing Strait and a higher speed land corridor to connect Europe to North America.

        But they do have a reason to be paranoid, given what the French and Germans have done in the past few hundred years, which are the new EU. That would be the mother of all deals if PDJT could get Russia to join the West, and bury the hatchet for good. China is the threat anyway to Eastern Siberia which has a lot of resources. With Russia joining the civilized world on the same page, that would be it for the Chicoms. Red China would be left to disintegrate from their own miscalculation. Probably without us having to fire a shot.

        • I don’t understand why the USA keeps any troops in Germany helping to prop up an ungracious and ungrateful nation that affects largely to despise Americans and American values while next door in Poland the USA is largely loved and admired.

          Poland has done far more to resist tyranny than Germany or the EU ever conceived.
          For all the talk Poland was the first European country to fight Hitler and would have done so whatever Britain or anyone else promised and then resisted the subsequent communist tyranny of half the continent.

          Move your troops to a real ally and get some real gratitude.

          • I don’t understand why the USA keeps any troops in Germany helping to prop up an ungracious and ungrateful nation that affects

            I think it might have something to do with “air space”.

            The USAF can fly in and out of Germany without approval of any other country.

          • Whose approval do we need to fly into Poland? Denmark?

            And you think they might refuse us?

          • Tim Gordon
            France refused us when Reagan went after Gaddafi with F-111s flying out of the UK.

            Trump is removing more troops from Germany and moving most of them to Poland. But a complete withdraw from Germany would be stupid for many reasons.

          • Rah,

            Why would moving all troops out of German be stupid? There aren’t enough troops there to provide an effective defense force against an attack from Russia. The troops are only there as a trigger in order to let Russia know we *will* join the fight. But we are already treaty bound to do that under NATO whether we have troops in Germany or not.

            Germany was a nice staging location for our operations in the past. But the number of our troops in Germany has already fallen from 70k+ in 2006 to less than 35K today. As our military focus moves more and more toward China, even fewer troops will be needed in Germany. Right now our troops in Germany represent more and more a foreign aid package than a military support package.

            An airbase in Germany can certainly be justified. But an airbase doesn’t need to have 35K troops there.

          • One reason Pres Bush ordered attack on Iraq, ….. to obtain an air base in the ME.

            Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, is the next closest USAF air base that is in “striking distance” to north Africa and the ME.

    • As of June “the US president has reportedly ordered the Pentagon to reduce the number of troops by 9,500 from the 34,500 permanently assigned in Germany as part of a long-standing arrangement with Washington’s Nato ally.”

      So that’s pulling out (the remaining) 25,000 on Nov 4th…

  8. The EU is like COP process, same idiot mindset.
    The EU is also set to fail its biodiversity loss goals by the end of this year, 2020. These are interconnected with the European Green crap Paul discusses here concerning the F2F.

    Like Germany having to keeping cutting down forests to get at brown coal to keep the lights on and to become Putin’s vassal state once they become dependent on his NordStream2 natural gas, it’s all smoke and mirrors, and pixie dust junk engineering projections until the chickens come home to roost on those fairy tales of Green energy and food systems.

    read more recent EU’s green garbage failures here: https://www.iucn.org/sites/dev/files/content/documents/eu_2020_biodiversity_strategy_and_recommendations_for_post_2020.pdf

  9. Lysenkoism revisited. The US can ignore it, or isolate from it, or have a tariff war, but eventually the mass starvation to come in Europe will require a humanitarian response. That’s a broad use of the word “humanitarian”. Sometimes the kindest thing and the harshest thing co-mingle.

  10. Nonsense on a stick. Organic vegetable farming is wildly unaffordable without any benefits apart from silly virtue signalling.
    I agree totally with Mike Dunrasich.

  11. The EU is a socialist dictatorship (ie undemocratic, corrupt and incompetent). Thank goodness the UK is now out of the EUSSR (as it is known).

  12. A provoking thought: would it be possible ble to create a pandemic?

    How to create a pandemic
    This is a provoking thought experiment:
    Imagine that you want to start a pandemic, what would you need.
    1. Find some vague criteria for what constitutes the symptoms you want people to look for. Anything subjective that a lot of people can identify with is ideal. For Covid 19 it is fever,dry cough,tiredness. We can try with memory problems and confusion.

    It wold be a good idea to take something that is very common in old people so that we can use death from old age as proof of the lethality of the new virus.

    2. Then we would need something biological to test. Any RNA sequence would do as long as it is not present in the whole population. If it were, someone might claim herd immunity very quickly. Actually it could be a RNA sequence that does not really exist in humans but something that could exist as contamination in labs, e.g. in dust or water. That would be enough for a RT qPCR test to pick up as a false positive. Many RT PCRs have false positive rates of 3-5 % and that would be plenty to create a scare.
    3. Claim that we have discovered a new cluster of symptoms and that is related to a new RNA sequence.
    4. Publish the RNA sequence and start selling the tests. Of course you have bought stock in the companies producing the test.
    5. spread the news that a new deadly pandemic is spreading all over the world, and every country has to start testing. We can count on the 5% hypochondriacs in the general population to come forth to be tested first. It will always take some time for each country to get started and ramp up their testing, so the graphs are guaranteed to look exponential in the beginning.
    6. All you need now is for people to bring their old and confused elderly in for testing, and with 5% false positives, we will soon have most hospital beds filled with olds sick confused patients. We can count on doctors to treat them aggressively. Most of these old people will be on a coctail of drugs already so adding a few more drugs as “heroic treatment” will be sure to push them over the edge. Many will have pneumonia from the seasonal flu, so we can just prolongue this by putting them in ventilators. Then they will die a month later and we can say it wasn’t the flu since the flu season should have stopped a month earlier.
    7. The graphs of numbers tested positive will be exponential in the beginning, but flatten off as the testers reach their max level. After some time the lab technicians will be exhausted and tend to become sloppy, the pressure for testing will be relentless and the labs will get dirtier and dirtier, and we will get higher and higher false positive rates.
    8. In order to make money on vaccines, we will start testing antibodies. Here the false positive error rate is even greater, so we may easily get 10% with antibodies just from false positives. But on retest, we will statistically get only one percent testing positive if we test the same people. Then we can argue that we need a vaccine with booster every year. For the whole world…
    9. We can always count on several waves of the virus since the common flu and colds will come every year and kill hundreds of thousands like , and 3-10% of them will test false positive for our virus every time. So we have a fantastic money maker for years: Expensive tests, expensive drugs, and expensive vaccines for 7 billion people every year.
    10. We can count on doctors being sure that they are right in all they do. They will counter each other in every turn, and since there is no real new disease to cure, the research will run into endless blind alleys. This will prime all doctors for accepting a vaccine. We just have to make sure there is no cheap effective drug for common ailments that can kill people. We can always pay some doctors to make up some numbers and pay journals to publish (like the fake negative HydroxyChloroquin research).

  13. F2F is being billed as a continental and global agricultural transformation….

    This trend has been going on for a while, since mid 1970’s, where some woke academics in Denmark demanded bio-dynamic, non-industrialized farming in Denmark. I remember the Agriculture Minister Niels Anker Kofoed some time in the 1970’s getting frustrated with the woke hippies and their ideas that the highly effective Danish farmers were producing bad food. It prompted him to go on national TV where he, with a smile and enjoyment, ate the some of the food the woke argued against.
    Kofoed’s TV thing may have helped a little at the time, but the came EU and things got more problematic. The EU tried to control the food trade and demanded buffers of various items, inclusive butter. That ended, as expected, in a disaster, with overfilled storage facilities, trainloads of butter melting, higher prices and the total fiasco.

    We should think we have learned that USSR style “centralized equality farming”, or what ever you would call it, only work in theory and academic models. But no.
    For example Sweden used to produce enough food to feed their whole population of about 10 million. However, today we would all starve in Sweden if we for some reason could not import or pay for food from abroad.

    So why does a plan like F2F even see the daylight?
    One important reason I can think of, is that politicians today are without connection to the life in industry they represent. Remember Niels Anker Kofoed the Danish agriculture minister mentioned above. He grew up on a farm, his passion was farming and he wanted Denmark to have the world best and most effective farm environment and went into politics.
    I wish we could have more politicians like Mr. Kofoed.
    His name even went for him: Kofod equal Cow-foot in English 🙂

    • “One important reason I can think of, is that politicians today are without connection to the life in industry they represent. Remember Niels Anker Kofoed the Danish agriculture minister mentioned above. He grew up on a farm, his passion was farming and he wanted Denmark to have the world best and most effective farm environment and went into politics.”

      You’ve pretty much nailed it. Almost no one in government is tied to reality any more, not just in the US but globally.

  14. I have just had to deal with a water “security” issue, ie, I didn’t have hot water in my apartment because of a leak. Took 3 days to fix, which, as a renter in Australia, is pretty quick. First night in 3 have had a hot shower.

    Food is a big problem in Aus as it is exposed to water shortages as well as being mostly imported.

    Buy land. Oh wait! Been sold to the Chinese.

    Grow food. Oh wait! Land been sold to the Chinese.

    Australia the smart country. D’oh!

    • China doesn’t have to invade Australia, it has already owns most of it. They have learned from a good teacher.

      “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” ― Vladimir Ilich Lenin

      They have also been following a long term plan the Eurocrats would call it ‘engrenage
      ( https://lawlegal.eu/engrenage/ ). Steadily, purchasing, integrating and embedding their way into countries with a long term aim 30 – 50 years in the future. People in the UK, USA, Australia would be surprised how much has been sold to the Chinese. The ‘West’ has a problem, industry rarely thinks more than 5 years ahead and normally only as far as the next annual report. Politicians only worry about the next election and their term of office. There are very few in the West that ask (or even care<) where will my country be in 100 years?

  15. Does any reader here have any serious, plausible explanations why larger and louder sections of society are acting in a most determined way to do what common sense, scientific, engineering and economic analysis has emphatically rejected for decades now?
    Examples:
    Windmills better for grid scale electricity than most else.
    ‘Organic’ farming beats centuries of experience.
    Synthetic fertilizers fail to benefit agriculture.
    Old medicines like hydroxychloroquine banned as toxic.
    Future sea level rise is dangerous, accelerating.
    Man-made chemicals, as a class, are accused of toxicity.
    CO2 is the control knob for future climate.
    (Enough for now. The list is very long.)

    It is almost as if humans have evolved into different species. One lot believe what they think, see, feel, hear and smell in the fields of science. The other lot believe that what you like to believe is all that you need to believe in science.
    This used to be harmless. But now, the latter group has declared war by various means on the former, as this thread illustrates.
    What on Earth is going on? Geoff S

    • Spend some time in schools listening to what is being taught and more importantly what is not being taught. Teachers have often never been outside an education environment school->university/teacher training > Teaching. This feedback loop leads to the points you raise.

      If teachers above elementary level were only recruited from people who had some successful track records in a career outside education at say age 40, there would be more innate skepticism to fashionable but unscientific/non-engineering ideas.

    • My guess is growing ignorance of how the world works, and why it works that way. Is that still taught in schools and unis, and explained on the ABC/BBC and US/Ca equivalents? Even technical subjects such as chemistry and geography are becoming vehicles for woke agendas.

    • Geoff-

      My sentiments exactly! What on earth is going on? A week or so a ago a comment to one of the posts here at WUWT referenced Peter Turchin’s blog. While I think Turchin is a little to quick to grab two variables and say “correlation equals causation,” he at least is trying to use data to answer the question: What is going on and why? His blog is now on my favorites bar. He sees a periodicity in social behavior, and says we are in for a time of instability.

    • It’s the latest excrescence of the Romantic counter to Enlightenment rationalism, Geoff. It’s been rolling along since Rousseau started it in the late 18th century.

      The Romantic counter to rationalism finds its meaning in relativism, irrationality, personal sincerity, and organic holism. These views have been embraced by artists and the entire corpus of the academic Humanities. Its poison is now spreading deeply into academic science.

      I believe the Enlightenment was a speciation event in the strict Evolutionary sense. Humans are the only culturally obligate species. Our speciation transitions include in culture.

      The newer species of humans organizes itself around an individualistic psychology. The older species is organized around a collectivist psychology.

      Psychological collectivists are innately and deeply uneasy in an individualistic society. So, they invent reasons why that society is bad or wrong.

      That’s what you see going on now. The collectivist psychology drove and sustained tribalism, and drives the modern urge to socialism, communism, and national socialism.

      The entire history can be understood as a battle between two species for the same ecology. It seems to me the battle is mortal. Individualists can live with collectivists, but not the reverse.

      Note the history of branding and elimination of heretics, both religious and political. Suppression of free thought is a feature of collectivist societies.

  16. Fine, stop shipping food to Europe, problem solved and more food for Americans. Hungry people turn to Judge Lynch real quick, and all their targets will be in the capital cities of Europe.

  17. Being ‘woke’ (I hate that term) in agriculture involves a lot of backpedaling and reverting to simpler and less efficient and productive times. It won’t take long for the people to figure out why there is less yet more expensive food on their plates.

  18. Watched the meeting today. It is clear the EU politicians hear but do not listen. They are hell bent on becoming the Museum of Agriculture. Which of and by itself I don’t care but they also want to take African down the same rabbit hole. This I cannot accept.

  19. How to create a pandemic

    Imagine that you want to start a pandemic, what would you need.
    1. Find some vague criteria for what constitutes the symptoms you want people to look for. Anything subjective that a lot of people can identify with is ideal. For Covid 19 it is fever,dry cough, tiredness. We can try with memory problems and confusion.

    It wold be a good idea to take something that is very common in old people so that we can use death from old age as proof of the lethality of the new virus.

    2. Then we would need something biological to test. Any RNA sequence would do as long as it is not present in the whole population. If it were, someone might claim herd immunity very quickly. Actually it could be a RNA sequence that does not really exist in humans but something that could exist as contamination in labs, e.g. in dust or water. That would be enough for a RT qPCR test to pick up as a false positive. Many RT PCRs have false positive rates of 3-5 % and that would be plenty to create a scare.
    3. Claim that we have discovered a new cluster of symptoms and that is related to a new RNA sequence.
    4. Publish the RNA sequence and start selling the tests. Of course you have bought stock in the companies producing the test.
    5. spread the news that a new deadly pandemic is spreading all over the world, and every country has to start testing. We can count on the 5% hypochondriacs in the general population to come forth to be tested first. It will always take some time for each country to get started and ramp up their testing, so the graphs are guaranteed to look exponential in the beginning.
    6. All you need now is for people to bring their old and confused elderly in for testing, and with 5% false positives, we will soon have most hospital beds filled with olds sick confused patients. We can count on doctors to treat them aggressively. Most of these old people will be on a coctail of drugs already so adding a few more drugs as “heroic treatment” will be sure to push them over the edge. Many will have pneumonia from the seasonal flu, so we can just prolongue this by putting them in ventilators. Then they will die a month later and we can say it wasn’t the flu since the flu season should have stopped a month earlier.
    7. The graphs of numbers tested positive will be exponential in the beginning, but flatten off as the testers reach their max level. After some time the lab technicians will be exhausted and tend to become sloppy, the pressure for testing will be relentless and the labs will get dirtier and dirtier, and we will get higher and higher false positive rates.
    8. In order to make money on vaccines, we will start testing antibodies. Here the false positive error rate is even greater, so we may easily get 10% with antibodies just from false positives. But on retest, we will statistically get only one percent testing positive if we test the same people. Then we can argue that we need a vaccine with booster every year. For the whole world…
    9. We can always count on several waves of the virus since the common flu and colds will come every year and kill hundreds of thousands like , and 3-10% of them will test false positive for our virus every time. So we have a fantastic money maker for years: Expensive tests, expensive drugs, and expensive vaccines for 7 billion people every year.
    10. We can count on doctors being sure that they are right in all they do. They will counter each other in every turn, and since there is no real new disease to cure, the research will run into endless blind alleys. This will prime all doctors for accepting a vaccine. We just have to make sure there is no cheap effective drug for common ailments that can kill people. We can always pay some doctors to make up some numbers and pay journals to publish (like the fake negative HydroxyChloroquin research).

  20. Tim Gorman July 30, 2020 at 5:41 am wrote:

    “Here in the US it’s called a “home inspection”. There are respectable companies that perform this task. They *do* check foundations and structural strength, including for traces of carpenter ants and/or termites. They will even run a camera down your sewer drain to see if there are any potential for problems in the future. They even check drainage from the house and the sump pump system if you have a basement.

    They aren’t inexpensive. My son’s cost about $500. But that’s far from “billionaire” range.”

    It’s called “home inspection” here in Canada too. I paid an outfit called Amerispec $600 for mine, and got the green light to purchase. No drains check was included or offered, nor was Radon level. A minor drainage problem was noted, that the builder would surely fix, but that has turned out to be a huge problem that’s getting steadily worse caused by the developer and controlled by the City, that I cannot fix, even if I had all the cash in the world. My lawyer recommended this inspector to me.

    And please don’t tell me to hire another lawyer to sue the above one, the inspection agency, the developer, and the City. Even if I were a billionaire, I’m unlikely to live long enough to see such a lawsuit through all the appeals.

    The last home inspector I hired, in another Canadian city and province, passed with flying colours a house that had been freshly reshingled over totally rotten wooden planks. I discovered later that walking on this “new” roof one could put one’s foot through it just by stepping on the wrong spot. And when I complained to the inspector, he created a database of “bad clients”.

    The “home inspection” scam has been well documented in Canada by the CBC, among others. Most notably, the impossibility of suing the inspector for negligence. In Ontario a few years ago, this was well demonstrated by the situation where the only qualified expert witness in the field was also the president of the inspectors association, and simply refused to testify against any of his members in court.

    From what you say, the USA is blessed with a much harder working, lower paid, more honest home inspection industry . I have my doubts. Cheaper, maybe – it is cheaper to get scalped by the related Radon scam in the USA, but whether testing, analysis, and mitigation are any more reliable is questionable. Certainly, the one Holmes on Holmes Radon mitigation episode I’ve seen is not reassuring on any of those counts.

  21. In the Covid locked-down world, such as South Africa, hunger is becoming a major problem. With up to 70% of businesses closed in the first few months, and with it being unlikely that more than 30% will re-open, there is NO MONEY to buy food. The farms are still working (the ANC hasn’t stolen them yet) and the supermarkets are reasonably stocked. But if there is no work, there is no cash – except for the civil serpents who kept being paid! There were announcements of enhanced unemployment benefits, but after some extreme corruption, the funds have dried up. There was an announcement of extra money for all of the 17% of the population who are getting some sort of grant, but at the last count, hardly anyone saw that extra cash. OK, said the government, there will be food parcels – and maybe 1 in 10 needy families got one. However, a number of ANC local councillors seemed to get lots of parcels!
    Then the ‘social services’ minister tried to stop the non-government charities from donating food to needy homes, including shutting down a soup kitchen for the homeless for ‘operating without a licence’. The order was intended to set up that all food would be ‘donated by the ANC’, because there’s an election next year.
    The rule of thumb that famines are ALWAYS caused by government interference, rather than real shortages, seems to hold across the board.

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