[Marxism] A Green New Deal Must Prioritize Regenerative Agriculture

John Edmundson johnedmundson4 at gmail.com
Sun May 12 15:09:36 MDT 2019

I absolutely agree about the recent intensification in NZ dairy herds and
the impact in terms of fertilisers, irrigation etc. One of the horrendous
changes has been the conversion of dry land farms over to dairy. Where I am
in Canterbury, it is very dry, our prevailing summer weather is a hot dry
Föhn wind and our winter is characteristically frosty, dry and sunny.
Canterbury farms were growing wheat and running sheep when I was growing
up. The wheat went years ago and the sheep are now few and far between.
Massive irrigation schemes have been sucking water out of the rivers,
affecting the aquifers from which town and city water is drawn. Some rivers
don't consistently make it to the sea and popular swimming holes of my
childhood are now foetid pools with safety warnings around water quality. A
few years back, our Canterbury Regional Council challenged a big new
irrigation scheme. The government stepped in, sacked the CRC and appointed
a commissioner to get the proposal through.

I also agree that the new proposed legislation, celebrated by António
Guterres yesterday on his visit here, is a joke. Farmers have had a huge
"get out of jail free" card around GHG emissions and they still do. I just
couldn't see how the farming model in the article, where farmers were still
talking about fertiliser regimes and the like, would be that different from
what happens now in New Zealand. I'm sure it's better than the current
industrial model in the States, but if, as in NZ, we don't see it as
sustainable, how can it be a sustainable model globally?

I may not have been clear enough in my previous post.


On Sun, May 12, 2019 at 8:04 PM Ratbag Media via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> The recent laws pending  in New Zealand  is not the way to proceed.
> https://theconversation.com/nz-introduces-groundbreaking-zero-carbon-bill-including-targets-for-agricultural-methane-116724
> Putting it on farmers to fix their emissions themselves won't work.
> They are too much contaisned by the market and debt.
> As the original article argues:
> "This transformative vision for the future of agriculture is possible,
> but only within the context of a national paradigm shift with the full
> backing and resources of the state. We don’t have time for individual
> farmers to adopt regenerative practices on a case-by-case basis. The
> 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is very clear:
> In order to keep the consequences of global warming from becoming
> irrevocably cataclysmic, we need to reduce emissions by 45 percent by
> 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That will be
> extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, without converting our
> country’s nearly 1 billion acres of farmland into a deep carbon
> sink.:"
> https://truthout.org/articles/a-green-new-deal-must-prioritize-regenerative-agriculture/?utm_source=sharebuttons&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=mashshare
> The same one-approach  ruled by imperatives misses the dynamic we have
> to foster.
> As this article on New Zealand regenerative agriculture  points out :
> http://www.fao.org/3/a-bt439e.pdf
> "New Zealand has had one of the world’s highest rates of agricultural
> land intensification over recent decades (Ministry for the
> Environment, 2017).Over the last fifteen years dairy farming in
> particular has intensified beyond natural and environmental limits
> through imported feed, fertiliser and irrigation. This intensive form
> of farming has caused increases in production but carries associated
> environmental problems with rising greenhouse gas emission, increasing
> water pollution and decreasing biodiversity.
> "Greg Hart,a regenerative farmer from Hawke’s Bay,reflects on these
> environmental issues: “We have a very clear understanding that where
> it’s all heading is not working”.
> "It is also a heavily debt laden model. New Zealand dairy farmers are
> among the most highly indebted in the world with around eight thousand
> farmers collectively holding around $38 billion worth of debt. This
> has led to high levels of strain among rural communities.
> "Steve Broughton, one of the regenerators,says: “There are a lot of
> stressed out, depressed farmers out there”.Greg characterises the
> situation like this: “There are two paths laid out in front of us now,
> one is that business as usual path which is leading to a climate
> change disaster whereas we do have another option of going down a more
> eco-friendly system that is in balance of nature"
> dave riley
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But leaves the greater villain loose
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