Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Ukraine was the bread basket of Europe, and Russia was a major source of fertiliser. Yet as the interruption of grain and fertiliser supplies raises the spectre of crop failures and severe food shortages, senior British politicians are ignoring frantic pleas from farmers to release arable land reserved for “re-wilding” projects, and other whacky green schemes.
Green Agenda: Minister Ignores Ukraine Food Crisis Warnings in Favour of Solving ‘Nature Emergency’
PETER CADDLE 14 Mar 2022
A UK minister has ignored the pleas of farmers to take action against the forthcoming Ukraine food crisis in favour of maintaining her leftist government’s green agenda.
As the Ukraine crisis causes Europe’s food security situation to significantly worsen, British farmers have asked authorities to allow land earmarked for “rewilding” to be used for crops in the hopes of curbing ever-rising food prices.
However, Scotland’s leftist Biodiversity minister, Lorna Slater, has outright rejected the farmers’ pleas, instead prioritising pushing her government’s green agenda.
“We want to do as much as we can for nature and the environment, and we have done that for a long time and yes we will do more,” said the president of the National Union of Farmers Scotland, Martin Kennedy.
“But right now the world has changed and we need to focus on what is really important… food and water is something we take for granted far too much,” he warned.
However, despite the serious supply problems the Ukraine crisis poses for Britain’s supply of food, Minister Slater has outright dismissed the request in favour of her administration’s green agenda.
“We are still in a nature emergency that hasn’t gone away… so it’s a no,” Slater is reported as saying in response to the pleas of farmers.
…Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/03/14/green-agenda-minister-ignores-ukraine-food-crisis-warnings-in-favour-of-solving-nature-emergency/
If you can’t get your hands on enough fertiliser, the next best option is to expand the acreage of cultivated land, to bring every acre of arable land you can get your hands on into production, like Britain did in WW2.
Fertiliser production is an energy intensive process, which is why it has long been outsourced to countries like China and Russia, the number one and two global producers, countries which have plenty of cheap energy. Just under 2% of the world’s global energy production is expended producing ammonia, a first step in the production of agricultural fertiliser. The USA and Canada produce significant amounts of Ammonia, but US and Canadian production is dwarfed by Russian and Chinese production.
The chemical factories which produce ammonia are very large, and contain enormous, multi-story, high pressure reaction vessels. Not something which could be built in five minutes – especially in nations which have also outsourced most of their heavy industry to Russia and China. I fully support starting construction of new fertiliser plants, but plants which have yet to be built won’t solve this year’s problems.
Fertiliser application makes a big difference to crop productivity – around 35 – 60% of modern crop yields is attributable to application of fertiliser. We might get away with one year of reduced fertiliser application, but If soils are depleted by a series of years in which inadequate fertiliser is applied, crop yields could drop by more than 60%.
It doesn’t take much to trigger a food crisis. In 2007-2008 the world experienced a food crisis. The 2007-2008 crisis was not severe enough to significantly affect rich nations, but it led to mass starvation and riots in poor countries. The root cause in that case was a series of droughts, and excessive biofuel subsidies. Just a small blip in production and use of food was enough to push millions of people into hunger.
There is no way of knowing how the current food crisis risk will play out, and who will be affected.
Time is running out to make a decision – northern nations like Britain have very well defined planting and growing seasons. Some high nutrition plants like potatoes grow well throughout Britain, including Scotland, but planting must start in the next month, for most crops, or it will be too late to harvest by the end of Summer.
I strongly suggest people in Britain let green obsessives like Minister Lorna Slater know their “nature emergencies” and re-wilding projects can wait, before British food prices spiral out of the reach of poor people.