Category Archives: Environment

Vision of UK Farming

THIS

For half a century, the British government and (latterly) the EU have supported production.

OR THIS

Of late, the UK Environment Secretary has begun to signal a further shift in financial support towards a politically correct view of “the environment”.

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 19 February 2018

We actually produce more per ha than any other country on earth.  We produce the most policed and safest food compared with every other country on earth.

So where will UK farming be in 10 years’ time?  By current political correctness, no doubt with awfully nice, “fluffy” environmental “improvements”.

We certainly do need to work very hard at environmental safety and care.  We certainly need to protect and encourage wild life.  However, stifling farm production will do little help on these matters.  If we really want to help “the environment”, whatever you understand by that, then we need to stop people breeding.  It is not about race, it is about numbers. Common sense tells us that uncontrolled population growth, globally and in the UK, by whatever route, must eventually destroy everything we value. But, then, common sense ain’t common any more.  For a larger, researched and balanced review of population growth and food production, see https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Sustainable-Energy-Wastes-Shale/dp/1523264217

Bill Butterworth, Land Reseaarch Ltd 19 February 2018

Entrepreneurial Business and Farming after Brexit

This is what happens when people who think they know about “the environment” start making rules about production processes about which they actually know very little.

I was talking to a client today concerning an un-necessary problem in recycling construction waste to farm land. He said, “Am I growing old or is it it getting more common that I meet more people who cause difficulties for no good reason?”

As a matter of experience, I am left in little doubt that, after Brexit, every arm of government and the establishment will not interfere with innovative activity, legal or otherwise, in areas such as electronics, automation, the web, etc, including the City.  They have neither the knowledge, nor the resources to regulate these areas and, therefore, such areas will continue to become progressively illegal and lacking in any sort of ethics other than “honour amongst thieves”. However, the ordinary activities of life including farming will become more and more regulated. The historian, Jane Marshal, was right;

“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the centre pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline.  What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline.  That is what is happening here (the EU and especially the UK) and now.”

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 7 Feb ‘18

 

 

Shale gas- Teresa May

Today, 24th December, the book “Survival” can be downloaded free.  Today, you can read, for free, a chapter on shale gas which is a balanced view of what was known at the time, and that things have not changed much. No doubt, today or shortly, there will be howls of anger and disagreement from the anti’s in the groups who purport to stand up for the “environment” and some will post rude comments on Amazon and wherever. Well, they are entitles to deny the facts and be generally bigoted. The truth is that, in isolation, they are partly right; shale gas, if we had the option, would be best left in the ground and we would use “renewable” fuels. Unfortunately, that is only part of the truth.  The Earth is already grossly over-populated and people need food and energy. The UN says that around 10 million (yes, 100,000,000) people in central Africa are on the edge of starving to death. (Not a nice way to die.)  Food production takes energy. Electric cars need electricity.  We need these things now, not at some time a few decades down the line. Shale gas is a transition fuel with a clean burn.  We need to bridge the gap.  We need it to close the national debt before we become another Greece..  We need the jobs.  We need to use shale to re-build an economy which currently is superficially still OK but is actually sliding downwards quite quickly.  We need to use shale gas as a step in generating a genuinely sustainable economy and environment.  We need to all pull in the same direction to do that.  Would that we had leadership that could create that vision and lead us into it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 24 Dec 17

Farm land and food security

Not is, when will our children in the UK be short of food?

There is just the beginnings, maybe, of a constructive debate about the balance between “environment” and how that is interpreted in land use, and food production. Both world wars, particularly the second with the advent of U-boats, saw food security being a real issue.  “Food security” is one of those things that politicians will verbally agree is an issue but there is scant evidence that it figures much in their efforts to be elected to power and to keep power when they have got there.  However, we must be grateful for the colour of UK passports.

Yet, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) of the UN, for which some of my students have spent their careers with, are calculating that we will need to double food production globally by 2050. Most thinking people conclude that achieving that, or anywhere near it, would be an inconceivable miracle. It is not going to happen.  So, whether the politicians and “environmentalists” can argue their positions as much as they like but unless we grasp population control and food security for the people, each in our own country, then sooner or later, probably too much later, the politicians will be out of power.  By that time, not just our children, but our own selves, will need a lot of money to buy food off global markets.  Putting land under buildings and into wildlife projects is great but the price in the long run will be greater.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 23 Dec 17

P.S.  May 2018 bring some common sense into our national life.

Land, energy and urban wastes

The USAF cemetry at Maddingly, Cambridge UK. What kind of world are we handing on to our children?

Globally, we are on the edge of a renewable energy revolution. It is not that we did not have the technology, what is different is that the technology, bit by bit, is becoming economic.  This bodes well for the human race.  However, there is a problem in that much of the economically attractive solutions, especially solar panels, need land. There is a problem with land – they have stopped making it. So we need to use alternatives including never making a roof out of tiles or inactive sheet and, instead, making it of solar panels. We need the land to produce food, fibres and timber – but in a different way.  Instead of using mineral Nitrogen which costs at least 21,000 kWh per tonne of N to deliver, we need to feed those crops on urban wastes. It has been done and can be scaled up safely. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H63EQX0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Nest discussion on this blog; Farming off-grid

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, December 17

Re-structure Regulation Please

Cuttings from HDD (through chalk can be used mas agricultural lime, saving many tonne-truck miles.

An “environmental commission-like-body” is needed to replace the role of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice in enforcing environmental law post-Brexit, says Environment Secretary Michael Gove.   I have recently sent a few hundred tonnes of excavated chalk to landfill because the circumstances did not fit the current interpretation of the regulations.  We really do not need any more regulators.  Maybe Brexit is a real opportunity to re-structure the regulation we have got to raise productivity within a framework of environmental care.  We could use CL:AIRE.  Look it up.  Credit to DEFRA.

 

Bill Butterworth, Land research Ltd, 29 November 17

 

5th November – Remember, Remember

Look carefully! The cardboard replica of the Houses of Parliament is backed up by an enormous pile of firewood. Moments after this picture was taken, the whole lot went up in fire and smoke.

Put on one side for a moment the shenanigans of MPs in the Palace of Westminster and elsewhere.  Frankly, apart from a bad example to our kids, they are largely irrelevant. There is more reason to ask why the productivity of the UK lags so far behind other nations. The mechanics of Westminster, however, the Civil Service, is so hell-bent on not making mistakes that their not-science-based development of more and more regulations stifles innovation and entrepreneurial activity. We have lost the art of safe enabling. It is not the Palace of Westminster we need to burn, it is all the regulations and start again with an objective of enough, and only enough,regulation to innovate and produce – safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 5 November 2017