British Net Zero Insanity is the Cause of Winter Food Shortages

Essay by Eric Worrall

“… Britain … reduced how many crops they have planted over the winter, … energy required to light and heat greenhouses and the cost of the fertiliser …”

Why are UK supermarkets facing fresh food shortages?

Three big retailers are placing limits on shoppers on some produce lines. What is behind the rationing?

Joanna Partridge and Sarah ButlerThu 23 Feb 2023 01.34 AEDT

How big is the problem?

Morrisons has announced limits of two an item on packs of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and peppers, while Asda is restricting shoppers to three items each on eight fresh produce lines – including broccoli, cauliflower, raspberries and lettuces.

On Wednesday, Tesco and Aldi joined them, each limiting purchases of peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes to three packs a person.

What is behind the shortages?

Certain fresh vegetables and fruits are hard to come by in the UK as a result of an unfortunate combination of poor weather reducing the harvest in Europe and north Africa, as well lower supplies from UK and Dutch producers hit by the jump in energy bills to heat glasshouses.

Meanwhile, Britain and other northern European countries – particularly the Netherlands which is a big vegetable producer – have reduced how many crops they have planted over the winter, after the Ukraine war sent bills soaring for the energy required to light and heat greenhouses and the cost of the fertiliser used on plants.

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Who thinks Britain is ready for a climate friendly plant based diet, like the Guardian’s George Monbiot and other green radicals keep pushing, when supermarkets can’t even reliably supply the basics? There doesn’t seem to be much point pushing people to switch to a vegetable based diet, if nobody can buy any vegetables.

Of course, the Guardian blaming the Ukraine war for energy shortages a nonsensical copout. The root cause of the problem is the insane pursuit of Net Zero, and neglect of domestic British energy resources, which has exposed Britain to the geopolitical games of unreliable energy suppliers like Russia.

Putin simply supplied the final push, which toppled the rotten edifice of British and European energy policy.

Everything leads back to Britain’s lack of access to affordable energy.

Russia and Ukraine produced fertiliser and gas because they had lots of gas. They allowed their oil and gas fields to be developed.

Britain has large deposits of coal and frackable gas, but is suffering high energy costs and shortages, because British politicians refuse to allow significant domestic energy deposits to be developed. They refuse to allow fracking entrepreneurs like Caudrilla CEO Francis Egan to frack.

Britain is not alone in pursuing green energy insanity. The following video is Putin in 2010, laughing with an audience of supporters in Russia about the foolishness of German politicians, about how their energy policies were making Germany utterly dependent on Russia.

President Trump tried to warn Germany in particular against dependence on Russia, it was totally obvious to everyone Putin would one day use this dependency as a lever. The German delegation laughed at Trump, and the German political class ignored Trump’s warning.

Despite the utter failure to deliver energy stability, and the humiliation of Putin calling the shots on energy prices, the British and European political classes still haven’t learned their lesson. Even now, Britain and Europe’s energy policy, in my opinion, consists of trying to engineer regime change in Russia, so they can return to propping up their Net Zero fantasy with cheap imports of Russian gas.

Why else is Britain at the forefront of supporting arms for Ukraine, to such an extent they are jeopardising the British military’s own operational readiness? Idealism and sympathy for Ukraine might explain a level of support, but in my opinion the level of support Britain is providing goes well beyond a little help for a friend.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this. Perhaps the explanation for the radical depletion of Britain’s military inventory, is that the British political classes are as clueless about military operational readiness requirements as they are clueless about energy issues.

Whatever lunacy is running through the minds of British politicians, the British people are the only group who can force a resolution to the mess created by their political class. Write to your MP, and demand the restoration of affordable energy by any means available, including fracking.

British politicians created this disaster, through their ignorance, carelessness, ineptitude and conceited refusal to listen to advice, from friends and enemies alike. But even the dumbest British politician knows what a big sack of angry letters means.

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Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 6:09 am

The issue, as far as I can tell from Texas, is that both major parties are pushing the same green folly. Labour might push it a bit harder, but neither has shown any grasp of reality.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 6:20 am

The reality will come when the citizens revolt and throw the mentally deficient politicians out of office. Or, the folks who are behind all this nonsense completely take over and round up the “useful idiots” for their well deserved reward. History has shown it to be some sort of gallows or a wall to stand against. That is the reality they don’t see. Yet.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 6:32 am

Spot on with your observation. Voting for change is not possible without any alternative to vote for. Parties other than Red Labour or Blue Labour stand no chance of forming a government and at best could hope for powersharing such as the Liberal government led by Cameron. UKIP failed to win any seats at general elections but did scare the Tories enough that Cameron promised a referendum on the EU in the hope he didn’t win the 2015 election and need to deliver it. And as we have seen in the last year, if you can’t get anywhere by talking then war is the next option for ‘the pursuit of politics by other means’ (von Klausewitz).

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  gezza1298
February 27, 2023 1:45 pm

It’s the same here in NZ. Our largest ‘opposition’ party has declared they’re ‘fully on board’ with net zero, and the leader has just given one member a talking to for not displaying the appropriate amount of alarmism.
Tough times ahead.

Reply to  gezza1298
February 28, 2023 12:42 am

UKIP did not “fail” in the sense that a few million – just a few!!!! – voted for them in defiance of the FPTP tyranny from which we now suffer in ways not imagined in decades past; this is due, imho, to the completely corrupt and incompetent incumbents of the UK HoC and their acolytes from a wider field of malign influence.

I am not confident enough UK voters will have “had enough” by 2025 – but it appears that there is a growing dissent which needs acting upon – none of the “Class of 2019” are up to the challenges but “They are all right , Jack”.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 7:14 am

Nigel Farage is going to rain on their party. Only waiting for BoJo to change his mind and declare Fck ‘global warming’.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  vuk
February 27, 2023 7:22 am

Is there money in it for Bunter, he’s just bought a £5 million house. A PM’s pittance isn’t going to do it for him

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2023 8:29 am

He gets that much for a handful of speaking engagements, although what he can possibly say that justifies his fees is beyond me. I wouldn’t cross the road to listen to him.

Tom Halla
Reply to  vuk
February 27, 2023 7:34 am

Boris Johnson was such a disappointment. He turned into a total green squish.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 9:19 am

Never trust a clown who combs his hair with a balloon.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2023 11:22 am

And then goes out in public looking like that.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 10:58 am

The warning signs were there for anyone who looked. from being sacked from his first job for making up quotes attributed to his Godfather to his performance as Mayor of London.
Johnsom and the truth aren’t even nodding acquaintances

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2023 11:39 am

Telling fibs it’s the only pleasure he enjoys while having his trousers on.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 11:30 am

It depends who he sleeps with!

Reply to  vuk
February 28, 2023 12:46 am

Nope, sadly a busted flush given some of his items on GB News when he has singularly failed to nail AGW/CC/SARS COV 2 in the interests of balance aka editorial interference. Tice and co have shown themselves to be straw like and missed the chance to inhabit the SARS COV2 sceptic mainstream, given Tice has said “it is an individual decision” to be injected – he could not hit a barn door from 6 inches if that comment is anything to go by….

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 10:56 am

No, its worse than that. All of the following parties are pushing it:

Scottish National Party (in government in Scotland)
Liberal Democrats
Greens (in coalition in Scotland with SNP)
Plaid Cymru (Wales)

There is total unanimity in the political class in the UK. The only rather feeble opposition is coming from Reform. You have never heard of Reform. Neither have most people….

Reply to  michel
February 27, 2023 3:56 pm

You mean PUPPET class and not only in the UK. Slavery was never abolished it just changed the way it looks.  There can be no freedom in a centrally controlled economic system where those in power control every move we make. You can make a prison out of gold but it will still be a prison.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 1:29 pm

gawd, is worrying when texas can see what our politicians cant.

ethical voter
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 2:14 pm

Yeah, it’s no use changing which party you vote for. They are all in la la land. You need to stop voting for parties and instead vote for independent individuals. This way you might get some sensible law makers. You really shouldn’t expect much from people who are told what to say by other people who manipulate your fear in order to buy your vote.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 27, 2023 6:43 pm

They need to read” The Rational Climate e-Book”: by Patrice Poyet to understand how insane all these actions are. The download is free.

James Snook
February 27, 2023 6:28 am

The situation in the U.K. is surreal, an obsession with green unreliables and a total disregard for energy security. As I type at 2pm, wind and solar are contributing only 13% of demand and undersea imports from the continent 19%. It only takes a couple of specially equipped ‘trawlers’ …….

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  James Snook
February 27, 2023 7:21 am

Here is the energy mix in the New England power grid as of 10:20 AM on a very sunny and mildly windy Feb 27, 2023. Renewables are only 6% and wind + solar are only a third of that.

Reply to  James Snook
February 27, 2023 7:27 am

God never bills for sunlight or wafts.

Poor people should use sailing yachts instead of whining about the cost of petrol.

February 27, 2023 6:44 am

You missed out the disastrous ( “oven ready deal” ” prices will fall” ) Brexit !!

Navigating extra Brexit-imposed cost and bureaucracy of getting the fresh fruit and vegetables across the Channel is clearly proving too costly for some producers, which is why tomatoes are reaching supermarkets in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Southern Ireland; … but not Britain.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2023 7:25 am

Pre-EU even Dutch imports killed the Clyde Valley tomato growers and market gardens. First to market and lower energy costs, especially after coal mines closed

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 28, 2023 1:58 am

Those evil customers who want the most stuff for the lowest price but at the same time want a higher salary while voting for those who promise even more ‘free’ stuff and are spending billions on climate change, ukraine and private jets.

Reply to  1saveenergy
February 27, 2023 9:07 am

I suspect many of us in the UK will be looking at this story in complete bemusement. None of our local supermarkets have got any fruit or veg shortages other than what occurs during the day due to ‘just in time’ deliveries. So bananas may have sold out over the weekend but will be replenished sometime on Monday.

I suspect the shortages occur in large supermarkets where people who don’t buy salad stuff in the winter suddenly decide they need 5 of everything and are ‘only’ allowed 3 of everything.

None of this is helped by the high cost of energy so British growers are scaling back their planting so it has to come from further away which has been hit by bad weather.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  climatereason
February 27, 2023 9:26 am

Plus the minute you start to ration people buy up to the limit even if they know they will not eat every product, or it will go off before they can.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  climatereason
February 27, 2023 10:21 am

Ask those who lived under the Soviets about this. “Bread tomorrow” was always the refrain!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 27, 2023 2:19 pm

And “toilet paper next Tuesday.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 27, 2023 7:56 pm

For a hamburger today. Oh.. wait, that was Wimpy.

Reply to  1saveenergy
February 27, 2023 3:47 pm

None of the political parties ever wanted Brexit only UKIP. What we now see is punishing the people for voting the wrong way. 

Reply to  1saveenergy
February 28, 2023 12:49 am


Reply to  186no
February 28, 2023 8:27 am

Yep. If you breath OUT, yow will cause global warming and increased disastrous storms.

Reply to  1saveenergy
February 28, 2023 1:43 am

” tomatoes are reaching supermarkets in France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Southern Ireland”

But at what price. Look at olive oil in spain gone up in one year from 25 euros to 32 euros. Governments inflation numbers are false. Fortunately europe has seen a mild winter. Meanwhile billions are shipped to ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries on this planet, taxpayers billions that we will never see again. 

February 27, 2023 6:53 am

The green centrally planned food distribution network will at times have shortages and a lot of empty shelves. Check back on other days for your needs. And be sure not to complain in public comrade.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 27, 2023 7:19 am

While the UK sits on enough natural gas to refloat The Titanic a millions times and sufficient coal to sink it again that many times

Then, they come out with this:Drivers could be forced to pay ‘tyre tax’ in crackdown on emissions from worn wheels and brakes that experts say is more harmful than diesel fumes

Didn’t bookmark it coz it was just a random search but seemingly, setting up some solar panels on your farm (in England) pays between £20,000 and £40,000 per acre for the lifetime of the solar installation.
(To buy outright UK farmland costs between £6,000 and £10,000 presently. Make that £400,000+ for house-building or about £100K per house)

I mangled some numbers and came up with a commercially viable break-even wholesale price for solar in the UK of £130 per MWh – which kinda stacks up when they claim to be paying 6% of electricity sales

We do remember don’t we how everybody had kittens about Hinckley’s nuclear electricity coming in at £90 per MWh?
And articles coming in from everywhere saying: “Oh God we can’t afford that, it’ll bankrupt everyone”

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 27, 2023 9:43 am

Peta have you come across the proposed Cottam Solar Project to be developed east and south of Gainsborough?

Total 50MW over a wide area. Consists of Cottam 1,2,3a and 3b from Coates and Corringham to Blyton and Pilham.

Representations have to be made by 11.59pm on30th March 2023.

Reply to  Dave Andrews
February 28, 2023 12:51 am

I.E. prime agricultural land …??

Dave Andrews
Reply to  186no
February 28, 2023 7:55 am

I live in NE Wales so don’t know the area for the solar project very well but Lincolnshire is renowned for it’s arable farming and produces a significant amount of the UK’s food. (10% or more) So yes, prime agricultural land. Peta would know much more I’m sure.

Joseph Zorzin
February 27, 2023 7:17 am

It’s time for the fossil fuel companies to stop shipping any of their product into the UK, saying “we’re helping you get to net zero”.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 27, 2023 9:51 am

Perhaps the government will sabotage the people and refineries in order to align supply and demand.

Reply to  Scissor
February 27, 2023 4:26 pm


Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2023 7:20 am

The Dutch government is waging war on its farmers and will make the world and certainly Europe go hungry

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2023 7:34 am

I saw those mentions of Dutch shortages too, but memory says the Dutch farming shutdowns were only for cattle, not food crops or greenhouses.

‘twould be an interesting subject for further research.

Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
February 27, 2023 9:30 am

The same high energy cost that is driving up heating bills is driving up the cost of green house produce.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  rah
February 27, 2023 9:54 am

The shutdowns I was referring to were not farmers shutting down from energy costs, it is the government forcing profitable productive farmers to shut down for ideological fairy tale reasons.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
February 27, 2023 9:48 am

One large problem for Dutch and UK vegetable growers is heating the greenhouses and the price of energy, especially over winter.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
February 27, 2023 11:11 am

Nitrogen fertilisers are the latest target

Writing Observer
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
February 27, 2023 1:11 pm

They haven’t banned the growing of vegetables and grains. They’ve only banned using fertilizer to grow vegetables and grains. Which means you don’t grow vegetables and grains (in any economically viable fashion).

February 27, 2023 7:52 am

Another part of the problem is the fact that there aren’t enough people willing to do seasonal work on farms when needed.
And yet we have tens of thousands of “illegal immigrants and refugees” who have crossed the English Channel in dangerous small boats and who are desperate to work here but aren’t allowed to. (To be fair, a lot of them are probably criminals, but a lot of them aren’t.)

Steve Keohane
Reply to  Oldseadog
February 27, 2023 8:18 am

That brought back the memory of school not starting in the fall until crops could be harvested, as the children were part of the workforce. I’m recalling early 60s Massachusetts.

Reply to  Oldseadog
February 27, 2023 1:34 pm

if they have all crossed illegally, then they are, by definitions, criminals.

Reply to  peteturbo
February 28, 2023 8:32 am


Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2023 8:33 am

As nearly as I can tell from my remote perch on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, none of your political parties opposes Nut Zero. Don’t really need to start a new policitcal partly You could call it the “Don’t Freeze to Death in the Dark Party”.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2023 9:03 am

“Don’t really need to start” should be “Don’t YOU really need to start”

How about the Abundance Party or the High Energy Party or the Warm Well Lit Party.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2023 8:00 pm

The “We Are Not Barbarians Party”.

ethical voter
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2023 2:26 pm

There is no need for any political party. They are the problem not the answer. Democracy is not enhanced by political parties and does not require them. Indeed, the contrary is true.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  ethical voter
February 27, 2023 2:57 pm

James Madison you are not.

ethical voter
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2023 3:45 pm

I am not sure what you are saying. Could you be more explicit? Thanks

Reply to  ethical voter
February 28, 2023 12:54 am

Correct – long thought that political parties are anachronistic and certainly not for the fulfilment of their voters’ best interests.

February 27, 2023 8:35 am

story tip

The UK and NK have some things in common.

North Korea holds rare meeting on farming amid food shortage – ABC News

John Hultquist
February 27, 2023 8:50 am

Not so long ago {300 years +/-} when food was scarce the people turned to beer and wine.
I suggest monitoring the sales trend of these items over the next few months. 😁

Tim Gorman
Reply to  John Hultquist
February 27, 2023 10:23 am

In Russia I believe it was vodka!

February 27, 2023 8:57 am
February 27, 2023 9:11 am

Eric, you needn’t restrict it to the British political classes:

“[Western] political classes are as clueless about military operational readiness requirements as they are clueless about energy issues”

February 27, 2023 9:11 am

Beef is getting expensive but I won’t be giving it up

February 27, 2023 9:26 am

Neil Oliver nails this one too!

February 27, 2023 11:00 am

British political classes are as clueless about military operational readiness

You could have stopped right there

Reply to  Redge
February 27, 2023 11:46 am

You can take the “as” out as well

Ben Vorlich
February 27, 2023 11:08 am

To be fair to farmers, greenhouse operators and market gardeners they’ve have been warning about a coming crisis for a couple of years.
The year after Brexit saw a gradual exodus of EU workers back to the EU where they could move freely and needed no work permit and could stay and do seasonal work all year, whether they were free to stay was immaterial. The next year there was nobody available for harvest, then nobody to plant. So now with a minor supply hiccough in Europe and supply collapses.
The British workers who complained about their jobs being done by EU workers seem conspicuius by their absence.

February 27, 2023 12:23 pm

Just like it was govt. action not the pandemic which destroyed the economy during COVID, it is NOT the war in Ukraine which is quadrupling energy costs but the FAILED sanctions policy which European goverments are imposing on themselves and “allies” sobataging their energy infrastructure. (NS1 and NS2)

February 27, 2023 12:55 pm

But even the dumbest British politician knows what a big sack of angry letters means.

In these days it seems to mean “double down”.

Dodgy Geezer
February 27, 2023 1:24 pm

There is absolutely no point in writing to our politicians. They do NOT represent us. They are party hacks, whose career is defined by how loyal they are to their party.

They know that they will be looked after when voted out, and will be back again in a few years – so long as they toe the party line. There is no working democracy any more…

ethical voter
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
February 27, 2023 2:29 pm

Then don’t vote for them. Instead vote for real people with real integrity.

Reply to  ethical voter
February 27, 2023 5:51 pm

Then don’t vote for them. Instead vote for real people with real integrity.

If only some would run.

ethical voter
Reply to  Tony_G
February 28, 2023 1:07 pm

It’s a “What comes first the chicken or egg” thing. Regardless of the absence of good independent candidates it is still wrong to to vote for any party or party candidate because they can never represent you. They only represent the party. It is a truism that no person can represent another unless they first represent themselves. Better not to vote.

Reply to  ethical voter
February 28, 2023 1:18 pm

They only represent the party.
no person can represent another unless they first represent themselves

Those statements appear to be mutually contradictory, in that if they do not represent themselves they can’t represent the party (i.e. “another”)

Better not to vote.

So basically, just give up and don’t even try to change things, even if only incrementally. Let everyone else (especially those parties) decide the fate of the country you live in.

February 27, 2023 1:32 pm

It is past time to hold these mongrels responsible, time to bring back tar and feathering. Talking to them clearly hasn’t worked.

ethical voter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2023 2:36 pm

Rather than voting for new mongrels how about voting for intelligent, educated, honest and independent people. It’s not rocket science. You get out according to what you put in.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2023 4:15 pm

How are the people you voted for working out?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2023 8:03 pm

How is their effort working out? Look Eric I appreciate your belief in the ballot box it is very noble. I am with you on that. But that is not enough we need to win the hearts and minds of the average guy. You know the people who have been lied to and cheated for the last couple decades. A very big share of the problem makers are not elected. They are a part of the so called swamp. They and their cohorts are making decisions that are hurting the vast majority of people and they basically answer to no one. If they do answer to someone it is most often one of their own, who thinks they are doing a fine job. We need to hold these people responsible for the harm they are bring on the population.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 27, 2023 10:21 pm

Eric, you don’t have to kill people to replace them. If we can make the average guy understand how much he has been lied to and cheated those scoundrels will not be around for long, nor should they. You start holding bad people responsible for the bad things they have done and you will be surprised how soon others will see the light. They need to go.

February 27, 2023 4:25 pm

Attention: There are some crumbs in isle 10. No pushing or shoving please

February 27, 2023 6:40 pm

The reality is that there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on global climate. There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the conclusion that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. Hence all efforts to reduce CO2 emissions will have no effect on climate. Mankind does not even know what the optimum global climate actually is let alone how to achieve it. What has been going on has been a form of insanity.

February 27, 2023 6:44 pm

The deplorables are restless Minister.
Let them eat bugs and grass!

February 28, 2023 5:17 am

The British political classes are clueless. Nothing more needs to be said.

February 28, 2023 10:03 am

Correct, the UK should be self sufficient in reliable, affordable everything, but the idiots in Westminster, of all parties, are signed up to the ridiculous nut zero nonsense, because some of them don’t understand climate or energy science and most know it’s a cash cow, but all of them have their bills etc on expenses, so it costs them nothing to keep the emperors clothes charade going

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