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Artillery Row

Killing the planet to save it

Our eco warriors have gone through the looking glass

In Through the Looking-Glass (1871), Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice climbs through a mirror into a world in which everything is reversed — including logic.

Increasingly, it feels like we have all climbed through the looking glass with Alice, into a dark parallel universe in which reason is turned on its head. In this new world, to save the planet, we must first destroy it.

We saw Mad Hatter examples of this earlier in the year. Last March Cambridgeshire County councillors voted to chop down hundreds of magnificent trees in Coton Orchard for a busway to “tackle climate change”. The orchard had been designated as a habitat of principal importance for wildlife in England. No matter: the trees had to go to save the planet.

More recently, the people of Scotland received wonderful news. Unbeknown to them, they contributed greatly to tackling the “Climate Crisis”. Nearly 16 million trees were felled on publicly owned land since the beginning of the Millenium — the equivalent of more than 1,700 trees per day — according to Mairi Gougeon, the current SNP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs. The motive was a “major drive to erect wind turbines”.

Burundi, Liberia and Somalia are much more climate friendly

The fact that nothing the United Kingdom does with regards to energy policy makes a blind bit of difference, given our population size and our energy consumption, is totally irrelevant to our decision makers, corporations and their climate disciples. According to data from the Global Atmospheric Research Program, the United Kingdom is responsible for 1.03 per cent of global CO2 emissions. For their part, whilst comparatively inhospitable places, Burundi, Liberia and Somalia are much more climate friendly. They produce no CO2 emissions and thus are an example for us to follow.

Putting feelings before facts and infantilised emotions before responsible husbandry, the country (according to our “Through the Looking-Glass” bosses) must lead the way in its own economic deconstruction to remain “influential” in the world of politicised experts. Self-righteousness, and its imposition on the rest of us, is more important than our general peace of mind and economic wellbeing. We seek to keep the moral high ground, a piece of real estate for which little can be spared. The costs imposed by their policies on the rest of us are irrelevant.

What is true for energy also holds for agriculture. Governments across Europe are working around the clock to fulfil their commitment to shift to a climate-neutral economy, whatever that might mean. Under the European Green Deal, the climate neutrality objective becomes a legal commitment for the 27 agreeing countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030.

The implications are nothing short of revolutionary. In Holland, for instance, the government has spent considerable amounts of energy in an effort to forcibly expropriate its diligent farmers to reduce emissions by 50 per cent over the next seven years. Some of the most productive farmers in the world are in the process of being thrown under the bus to meet arbitrary targets — European food supplies and security be damned.

In Ireland, the cow has also drifted in the crosshairs of Climate experts. Culls of hundreds of thousands of the placid ruminant have been mooted to meet climate change targets. So extreme are the propositions that Elon Musk intervened via Twitter, making the refreshingly commonsensical point that “killing some cows doesn’t matter for climate change” and adding “this really needs to stop”.

If tearing down our forests, dismantling our farms and culling our cows to “tackle the climate” are accepted as valid propositions, the alternatives themselves need to be closely examined. Whatever they are, these will necessarily be untested or misunderstood. Their effects on human beings, as comestibles, might have side effects that few today understand.

Some products extracted from soybeans are less than healthy

We are destroying farming, the rock on which our civilisation has been built, to experiment on a continental scale with foodstuffs with which we are much less familiar.

If cows are out and soybeans are in, as an alternative for your cheeses, ice creams and cappuccinos, it might be worth looking at what its cultivation and consumption might mean for the planet and, much more importantly, human beings.

Some products extracted from soybeans are less than healthy. A recent study by the University of California Riverside, published in Endocrinology, found that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance and fatty liver in mice.

In a different research project, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place. “The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, a UCR associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study. Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology, added, “The dogma is that saturated fat is bad and unsaturated fat is good. Soybean oil is a polyunsaturated fat, but the idea that it’s good for you is just not proven.”

We should not dismantle our agriculture or tear down our forests to appease supranational lobbies. Let us keep our forests, our farms and our herds safe from the depredation of centralised decision makers — whose competence and honesty daily comes into question. We need to step out of the parallel universe and get back to the real world where logic, once again, rules.

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