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Posts tagged ‘nature preservation’

“Now is the opportunity for the farmers to demonstrate what they kept telling me for years : we are the guies who look after the countryside, we do not want to spoil the wilde life”

June 14th, 2010

What an entry, what a start on the BBC.

This is Jim Paice, the brand new British minister of agriculture, launching his new policy “those guies who have been telling me for years, they are the best people to protect nature; now it is time they prove it.”

The minister seems to be willing to take the bull by its’ horns, once for all, echoing a European directive on wildelife preservation that no other country in Europe dares to address. Yes it is possible to cultivate without distroying nature. Other ways exist to get similar yields without systematically distroying nature as it has been done for the past 40 years.

Jim Paice knows what he is talking about. As agronomist he has often been shadow minister in the past 40 years; still he remains the one and only European minister to come out from the general flegmatic position. Anyone who follows his programme will be helped. The 6 billion budget of his ministry and the European subsidies are also here to help and convince. You pollute? You distroy nature? No aid. Lets see now if it is just a politician announcement. But the gesture is to be saluted. The Green Party would not even dare this.

In fact, we went too far : What have we done in the name of higher yields? The XXth has been a “seculus horribilis” for nature. Where is the famous farmer’s common sens?

In 1945, there was 6 to 8 millions brown hares in the British isles, today 600 000.
4 millions wild pheasant, today 200 000.
82% red grouses, 93% black grouses, have disapeared. Capercaillies? they were betwin 50 to 70000 in 1970. Today 2 200; though it is a protected species.
Gray partridges? 80% have disapeared in 40 years, only 242 000 are remaining.
And migrating birds, we have no record on them, they have no country.
All these figures come from the Game Conservancy Trust. After reading “A Question of Balance” you feel like having read a report on a true silent genocide… hushed.

Hunting? A ridiculous impact. Hunters have even tried to reintroduce game; which has been quickly forbidden as it degenerated the wild animal species, and made them disapear even more effenciently.

No. With total impunity we have left things being done. We have supported and financed an agriculture which uses always more chemicals, heavy and consumming machinary.

But it is fare to say, after all, that everything which has been developped for the war… barbeled wire, orange gaz, tanks… Once peace is back, you have to find new clients for all this; convert the factories; find new markets.

Zyclon B, the sadly famous gaz invented by 1918 Nobel Prize winner Frantz Haber, has killed 6 millions jews, became an insecticide; the orange agent, designed to eradicate the rice paddies and the famish Japan and China in 1945, which is also responsible for generation of deaths and chronicle diseases among the Vietnamese population, became a famous herbicide…
We have put all these weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the farmers. It is normal to get some collateral damages and aftermaths at one point, isn’t it.

This arsenal is expensive as well. It needs credit… so now we have trapped the farmer in the credit chain of banks, unions, coops, machinaries, chemistry, super markets, etc. what has he got left? Debts? Not always hopefully. This system has also brought success.

But what about the partridge living on this land? Who really cares anyway. We till the land, weed its’ pantry, eradicate all the insects before he can eat one, cut off all the hedges where he nests… What is a partridge in front of food security? The magic word has been said. Security, the master word overpowering anything.

The system sounds familiar anyway. A bit like the falling banking system, it now shows its limits : yields are declining, soil are getting worn out. Questions are being raised about this non ending arm race of fertilizers and pesticides.

Stop, lets stop this moralizing and sterile speech. Lets just state that we are experiencing the limits of an old production system which brought damage. Now that we have made some progress in science with a better knowledge of the living world, we have safer roads to head for.

This could be what James Paice is saying, by “protecting the little birds” and the beauty of the countryside; A fine excuse as populist and politically correct as the word Security.

Solutions exists. He knows them. Science, cellular microbiology, botanics, all these sciences hushed during the green revolution time, allow us to have a better understanding about the soil, plants, their life and needs… Entomology allows us to better understand how insects can be valuable to protect crops… We have now the means and the techniques to understand what is going on there : a better understand Life.

Bacteria, nematode, mycelium, worms, spiders, partridge… all are part of a food chain, a biodiversity for which the balance is warrant of the quality and sustainibility of our agriculture and environnement.

Nice words? No? This week Haitians have burned the seeds Monsanto was offering them. They had eaten the seeds to replant, so the US sent transgenic corn… with the herbicide kit which goes together. If they would have accepted, they would have been trapped in the system as well.

The political reasons of tilling, are not to be proven anymore, as it has been chronicled in details at the time of the Shoguns in Japan (cf. the mad rice) ; The blind use of pesticides and fertilizers without paying any attention to what already is in the soil … Further now here is a demonstration of the success of what we are advising to the farmers in Argentina and Europe. It has been broadcasted at the 8 O’clock news on the most popular French TV channel. (sorry it is in French, soon an English version will be available).

[flashvideo file=le-ver.mov/my-video.flv /]
It is possible to have better yields while protecting nature.
No tilling, intercroping and planting plant communities, fertilizers, nutrients and minerals according to what is lacking.
Also important in agriculture is to support biodiversity. For this it is of Public importance to stop tilling, as to stop the use of any kind of synthetic chemicals products. Each year the SOS SOiL team is proving it with success on fields from 200 acres in Europe to 100 000 acres in Argentina.
Yes we can. People should know about it.