Category Archives: immigration

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

Overseas “investors” buy UK farmland?

Overseas investors HAVE bought the electricity pylon in the background and are “milking” UK consumers. Will overseas buy our land next?

Just suppose we might, quite shortly, need to produce more food, a lot more food, at home in the UK?  Why ask?  Well, try taking a look at the Guardian article by Paul Mason; “The Soviet Union collapsed overnight. Don’t assume western democracy will last forever”.  There is certainly a shift of power going on at present with “democratic” power shifting from the establishment to a “populist” move against globalisation and in the direction of protectionist nationalism. Donald Trump rode to power on this realisation. As this happens, we may not be able to trade in the established way and that includes food imports. It would be wise, as we approach Brexit, to stop building on good agricultural land and make sure agriculture is in good heart. Just suppose Mr Trump continues to put America first and UK politicians continue to allow foreign investors to buy our assets.  Will foreign interests also buy UK farmland?

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 26 Jan 2018

Food security, global population and IVF

 

Global population and human survival are issues not just for our children but for this generation. There will be a global collapse. When?

The British people and government would do well to look to food security.  Note the graph; there will be . repeat WILL be, a global population collapse.  The evidence is compelling.  (See “Survival”).   There was a discussion on Radio 4 today about whether a woman could or should be able to get IVF on the NHS.  We already have twice as many people on this earth than is, by reasonable thought, sustainable. There are plenty of kids already here who need a family.  For everyone’s sake, don’t make any more!

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 October 2017

 

More People means more water

There is a real question about global and UK population. It is not about race, it is about numbers.

 

On 24 August 2017m the Water Resources Institute published a piece on their website looking at “7 Reasons We’re Facing a Global Water Crisis” in a piece written by Leah Schleifer.  With credit to them, I try here to relate those lessons to British farming and maybe farming elsewhere in developed counties that do not really think water may be a significant economic problem sooner rather than later.

 

Reason 2. More People + More Money = More Water Demand.

The Yorkshire Post reports that: “There has been a net loss nationally of 7,000 hectares of agricultural land in the UK between 2006 and 2012”. The Guardian has reported that: “Earth has lost a third of arable land in past 40 years”. There is an insidious water consumption in the UK.  While our own water consumption is rising with population growth (net plus 0.5 million people in 2016!) and what we each spend is continually, our consumption of “virtual water” (i.e. that which is involved with production overseas of what we import) is 30 times as much as UK water used, and the WWF reports that; “Taking virtual water into account, each of us soaks up 4,645 litres a day”.  That makes us the 6th largest water importer in the world.

Yes, there is a looming crisis.

Conservation farming action;

  1. Build water storage if you can. (There is some useful USA experience in building dams using old tyres.)
  2. Harvest water from roofs and concrete.
  3. Subsoil to allow roots to go deeper and move to reduced tillage – develop understanding and skills in direct drilling (or what is otherwise called “zero till”).

 

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd.,  September 17

 

Farming, Brexit and Le Pen

A major reason for Le Pen’s capture of a third of the vote was immigration. Can Macron manage immigration and population growth?

Water is the link between farming and immigration as a major issue connected with Brexit and Marine Le Pen. It is worth clicking on the link below (WRI – the World Researches Institute) for a clear view of how forests affect our water supply.  The authors point out that “The world’s major watersheds lost 6 percent of their tree cover on average from 2000-2014. Today, about 31 percent of the world’s watershed area is covered by forests.”

http://www.wri.org/blog/2017/03/3-surprising-ways-water-depends-healthy-forests?utm_campaign=wridigest&utm_source=wridigest-2017-03-21&utm_medium=email&utm_content=learnmore

The problem is a tension between the facts they point out and the needs of an expanding global population to have food, energy and occupy land. The tension between the two is an exponential curve related to population growth.  Something will give.  Unless, that is, we control population growth and very urgently.

Land Research   8 May 2017

Pollution in context

Book cover

Each one of us has a choice, individually, as to what we eat, how we exercise, where we live. have a cho

My first job, I hesitate to admit how long ago, was to take part in initiating the development and legal insistence to fit safety cabs to farm tractors – at the time we were killing 150 people a year in tractor accidents in the UK.  As a trained and qualified agricultural scientist and a Chartered Environmentalist, I would never wish to dismiss the risks we take in in farming, nor the risks we may pass on in the food we produce.  However, in the UK, we probably really do produce the safest food in the world.  I have no doubt that there will be some who argue with that but I heard on BBC News recently some interviews on pollution and lung diseases in which a professor, an internationally recognised authority and specialist in lung diseases, was asked about life-shortening risks.  He said that if you smoke, you will shorten your life by 15 years, if you are over-weight, you will shorten it by 10 years.  He added that if you smoke and are over-weight as well, then you will shorten your life by 30 years.  When asked how much you would shorten your life if you live in a city and breathe in traffic fumes, he said 30 days.

The point I make is this. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where most of us are able to make choices about what we eat, how we exercise, how we abuse our bodies. If you are one of many who complain about things here, go try it somewhere else.

The circular economy: 10. Landfill is not a resource bank.

 

The circular economy: 10.  Landfill is not a resource bank.

IMG_1256

Itis a beautiful world and population pressure is changing it. How can we manage the change better?

The science: It is certainly the case that we can “mine” old landfill sites to reclaim resources. Sometimes.  Some of the resources. Not very efficient. Globally, maybe in excess of half the materials we enlist for use get lost to landfill or incineration. Nearly all the energy is lost.

The bad news: Globally, we are still geared up to derive energy form burning hydrocarbon fuels.  We do have enough for decades, maybe a century, but they will increasingly expensive to extract and, we cannot get away from it, they produce greenhouse gas. Further, CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage is not likely to solve the global problem, ever.)

The good news: We can reduce waste in manufacturing. For example, we used to make solid furniture from solid wood, shaved down with the shavings discarded. Now, most domestic furniture is made by chipping nearly all the original timber and making strand board and MDF.  High quality MDF really is a very useful material.  Next step currently is to take discarded furniture and use it for Energy from Waste (EfW). Better still if we could collect it all and make new product out of it. If we could do that at local level to cut out the energy and pollution cost of long distance logistics, we really would be winning.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 29 May 2016