German farmers have begun a week of nationwide demonstrations, blocking roads with tractors and trucks in protest against government plans to phase out agricultural subsidies and continue with its Net Zero crusade.
As Joachim Rukwied, president of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV), put it last month, ‘We will be present everywhere in a way the country has never seen before’.
And farmers have been supported by truck drivers, hauliers and tradespeople.
The swift and organised response of the farmers has already frightened the government. On 4 January, it tried to backtrack by announcing that subsidies for new farm vehicles would remain, and that the tax breaks on diesel would be phased out gradually over the course of the next few years, rather than suddenly this year.
But these moves have not assuaged farmers’ anger. They insist that the ‘future viability of our industry’ is at stake and ‘remain committed to the week of action’.
This conflict goes much deeper than a fight over taxes and subsidies. It is about farmers’ long-standing resentment of the green agenda that has been pursued by successive governments. This agenda now threatens the very future of German agriculture.
Indeed, the farmers first engaged in mass protest back in 2019, after Angela Merkel’s government demanded a 20 per cent reduction in the use of fertilisers and pesticides as part of its ‘agriculture reform package’.
Merkel’s successors have only increased the pressure on farmers. Plans to further reduce fertiliser and pesticide use were announced last summer, with the government keen to meet the EU’s strict directives on nitrates.
At the same time, the government announced it planned to tighten animal-husbandry regulations, entangling farmers in even more red tape and paperwork.
It is no exaggeration to say that the future of farming is at stake. In the space of just two decades, the number of farms in Germany has reduced from 450,000 to 256,000.
Environmental restrictions and soaring energy costs haven’t just affected smaller farms, either. Bigger farms have also felt the squeeze.
To make matters worse, the prices of fertilisers and pesticides have risen sharply, as the German chemical industry has cut back production due to high energy prices.
Thanks to the government’s embrace of the green agenda, it is incapable of addressing farmers’ concerns. Over and over again, it pursues Net Zero objectives that are directly at odds with the interests of farmers.
And just to rub salt into farmers’ wounds, Germany’s agriculture minister, Cem Özdemir, is a militant vegetarian. ‘If we all eat less meat together, we can all do our bit for the planet’, he told a TV talk show last year.
No wonder farmers have lost all trust in the government.
And that doesn’t just apply to Germany’s government – farmers and graziers in Australia are also angry with the Albanese government and Labor state governments’ ever-increasing Net Zero demands.
As one farmer said the other day, “Chris Bowen’s net zero crusade is ruining our lives. We are a third-generation farming family and we feel we are under attack. We face increasing demands to change our proven farming methods to suit the green agenda.
“We are also now facing the prospect of having monstrous and ugly wind turbines and transmission towers both on our land and on beautiful hills that surround our property.”
It’s time we all rose up against these governments at both national and state levels and made them stop further net zero encroachment on people’s freedom to live their lives as they wish. It’s not just up to regional people to do this because we all have to eat and pay our bills.
If this insane ‘renewables’ crusade continues, our electricity and food prices will continue to increase, as they have been doing for the past several years.
And what are these ignoramuses likely to achieve given that Australia only produces just over 1% of human-induced global CO2 emissions – precisely nothing of any relevance! It’s all just a total waste of time, money and resources.
It also distracts us from actually doing something worthwhile like reducing our cost-of-living expenses and improving our defence and national security capabilities.
Really, really, really, really dumb politicians like Chris ‘Blackouts’ Bowen need to be encouraged to find alternative employment before they inflict even more damage to our economy and reduce still further our level of personal freedom.
Thanks to Net Zero Watch (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for much of the content in this article and John Spooner for his ‘if-only-it-was-true’ cartoon.
Originally published at Richardson Post.