Opinion – The Climate Bill and the end of agriculture

The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill (2021) is of major concern to all farmers and rural workers. If it is allowed to be implemented in full it would be the death knell of rural industry.

The bill entails a massive cut in the national herd, setting legally binding targets to make sure Ireland reaches net zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2050. That means of 51 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. The plan is to reduce by seventy-five emissions a year.

The national herd is being reduced because of methane emissions by the cattle, technically known as biogenic methane belching, which, according to knowledgeable environmentalists, is destroying the environment and is a major factor in climate change.

I think the amount of wind the Greens and Co. spout is a bigger danger to everyone than flatulent cattle. What this means is that farms will have to reduce their herd over the next ten years. That means 1 million tonnes of emissions cut every year.

Methane from livestock amounts to 60 per cent of agricultural emissions. The targeting of this area and the forced reductions will destroy the agricultural industry by 2050. The reduction in methane will ensure the reduction of the Irish herd by 3½ million, which is about 70,000 per year.

Two five-year plans will be implemented: 2021–25 and 2025–30. If the targets are not met there will be legal challenges from the powers that be.

So how can we in this situation produce enough to compete with Mercosur and CPTTP (the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership)? We can’t. We are to become an importer of agricultural products, not a producer or exporter. Most rural areas will be afforested. That’s the future that the windbags in the Green Party and their environmental friends have for us all. And it won’t be only rural areas that will be affected: every sector of the economy will be legally required to halve carbon emissions by 2030.

So, no coal, gas, or turf, only more expensive wind farms that don’t actually work but suck in subsidies paid by the public, and electric cars etc. The future does not look good all round, except for the super-rich. Climate change or global warming is an elitist capitalist dream. It is a great financial opportunity for the elite and big corporations. We will save the planet but we will destroy ourselves, at the expense of all workers. Whether destroying rainforests or taking away bogs, coal and gas production and slowly driving rural workers into extinction, it is all for the same purpose: fattening the profits of the 1 per cent. If you are one of them, climate change is a God-sent opportunity; however, the future for everyone else is not good.

What is the solution? Well, we must get our sovereignty back. That means we may have to leave the EU to survive, get back to producing all we can produce, and find new markets. If not we can join the dodo in the museum. That’s how serious this Climate Bill is.

There is another round of submissions against yet another attempt at getting planning permission for Coole Windfarm. The No group hope to strike a blow for the people and stop it again. A couple of years ago a nature company called Promontoria Cerberus tried to take over the local clinic (Coole Clinic). A campaign of letter-writing to TDs stopped this takeover, when the clinic was bought and then leased to the GPs working there.

The clinic is still there and operating successfully. The man in charge of Cerberus Promontoria was none other than the former US vice-president Dan Quayle. This was another fine success for the people. It shows that when people make the effort they can beat exploitative vultures and companies.

Next month I will write about armchair farmers, collective farmers, and show farmers.

Editor’s note:

While we understand the real anger and deep frustration that exist in rural communities about what is happening, and the danger posed to their livelihood, climate change is real, and is threatening the very existence of hundreds of millions of people. It has had and will continue to have a massive impact on the bio-diversity of animal and plant life, threatening the very existence of life on our planet.

Like all things under capitalism, the natural world and natural resources are being plundered to enrich a tiny minority and global corporations. Within capitalism there are contending interests at play, sometimes antagonistic to each other, vying to win out over each other. Climate change is not a conspiracy by an elite or by environmentalists, it is real and is a product of the system of capitalism, of the capitalist mode of production.