James Patrick from Washington DC is recording a documentary on the politically created nitrogencrisis, that the Dutch Rutte-government uses to push farmers out of business for it’s corporate and internationalist allies. As a sciencejournalist involved in research and debate on nature conservation for 20 years, i will be interviewed on Sunday.
In order to make a sound documentary that hits the nail, instead of scratching the surface, i sent him this ‘short history of Dutch/European Nature policy from 1992 onwards’. In short, we see how the goverment uses ‘nitrogen’ as an excuse to spend 25 billion euro’s of taxpayers money to concentrate more farmland in the hands of a few state-controlled organisations.
This practice is already operating since 1992, where under the flag of ‘nature development’ 110 thousand hectares of farmland was bought by government. We conclude with the observation, that the government knows on what weak ground it is operating, in both the judicial sense and in the scientific underpinnings of it’s policy.
The Dutch government and Rabobank (who housed the 1991 erected ‘National Greenfund’ untill 2017, which is a private revolving fund filled with public money, directed by ex-politicians in favour of corporate power) have used ‘nature conservation’ from 1992 onwards to buy up 120 thousand hectares of the least productive farmland (or smaller farms near nature reserves), and concentrate this in the hands of three organisations, the State Forestry Service and two private organisations under government-control.
Central here is a typical Dutch phenomenon, in a land that was not created by God but by the Dutch themselves: ‘Nature development’, the idea that you create nature out of farmland with heavy machinery. With a plan based on ideas of a nature architect who wants to attract certain species, financed by taxpayers. And by the largest private lottery in the world: Postcode Lottery in Amsterdam, that from 1992 onwards directed app a billion euro’s to ‘green’ organisations.
The board of the lottery is supported by many ex-politicians and corporate power, pe the CEO of the largest farmland-leaser in the Netherlands, ASR Capital, and supported/protected by the Dutch Royal House and their friends
This ‘new nature’ created on paper is enclosed in the Nature Network Netherlands, nature reserves connected by ‘new nature’. This concept of ‘connecting nature reserves’ (loosely based on the Island Theory of Mac Arthur & Wilson) was also translated to the European conservation strategy called Natura 2000 from 1992 onwards, while the Netherlands held the EU-presidency. The Habitat Directive of this policy is therefore referred to as ‘The Dutch Directive’.
Billions of ‘green’ subsidies
The Habitat Directive was implemented by Europarlementarian Hemmo Munting of the Dutch Labour Party, who is a partner of Al Gore in the US and his Globe Legislators (a judicial lobbyvehicle enforcing the UN Agenda 21, related to the Club of Rome).
He also devised a large European subsidy-scheme- LIFE+- from which billions of public money is directed to green campaigning organisations, who campaign against fishermen, farmers and civilians ( CO2-emitting vermin that ruins their planet).
Nature Network Netherlands has an American equivalent in ‘Rewilding’ and the Wildlands project of Michael Soule, the godfather of the new discipline of Conservation Biology (that invented the term ‘biodiversity’ in 1988). The public cost of this Dutch ‘nature development’ was at least 10 billion euro’s. Irony, the ‘new nature’ in the hands of three organisations is then often leased back to farmers, for example for cattle herding
The operation with the government being the largest buyer of farmland, helped double the price of (remaining) farmland in the 2000s. This may explain the ardent support of the Rabobank, whose CEO Herman Wijffels also became the president of the largest recipient of ‘free’ agricultural land, Natuurmonumenten (The US equivalent of The Nature Conservancy) However, the public support for this operations was fastly waning around 2011 under a new secretary of agriculture, Mr Henk Bleeker, a farmer himself.
This shocked the greens, and they needed a new storyline to continue operations.
A new narrative for an old practice
This became ‘the nitrogen crisis’…It is because of a lawsuit of ‘greens’ and their multimillion-subsidised green allies in government, corporate (pe Arcadis, Rabobank etc) and the ministry of agriculture (the fraction of bureaucrats who were the supporters of buying farmland from 1992), based on the Habitat Directive (article 6/3) that the socalled ‘nitrogen crisis’ in The Netherlands evolved in 2019.
Suddenly a lock on development arose because a cap on nitrogen emission was enforced, on the grounds of ‘state of nature in reserves’
On the surface it seems that the activists who helped ennforce the nitrogen-cap (Johan Vollenbroek) came out of thin air. That is highly unlikley. This strategy was needed by government, because new judicial problems of the ‘buyup farmland’-practice arose. Sharp resistance came from private landowners of natural lands and farmland, who started lawsuits at the European Court of Justice against the Ministry of Agriculture.
If private landowners wanted to increase their landownership and buy farmland next to their land, they continually found the Dutch state interfering.
All new land was continually directed to the three organisations, including the State Forestry Service. The landowners stated that the ministry of agriculture – by this operation of the nature network- broke European legislation on the restriction of state support to private organisations (two of the organisations that got all the land for free, or the money, including Natuurmonumenten)
The organisation of private landowners won their case eventually after 11 years, in september 2020. However, the ministry of agriculture (and nature) to this day refuses to implement the decision of the European Court of Justice. If they would, then this would mean the end of the farmland-buyup, and even more; two large nature organisations would have to pay back state support received. This would mean the end of current nature policy and probably the organisations involved
Illegal and unscientific
The way this problem is now solved by Dutch government, is to reframe rewilding with the nitrogen-mask and ‘climate adaptation’. Now ‘Nitrogen’-reduction is a mask to continue this operation, with 25 billion euro’s of public money to buy more farmland under the flag of conservation. This is again converted to wildlands (‘climate adaptation’) and used for housing
However, the instruments they use to force farmers to quit (computermodels on nitrogen deposition) have been debunked repeatedly in the scientific literature. (with the help of a US-statistician Matt Briggs, you should interview him, published in Soil Use and Management)
This means that both in the judicial sphere and the scientific underpinning of it’s policies the Dutch government knows it is cheating and lying, acting illegaly. So all is not lost for farmers, because now they know they are being lied to. So it is not a question of opinions, or being ‘for’ or ‘against’ nature conservation. Everybody loves the natural world.
The case is that the government and it’s academic, media and corporate allies are lying to farmers and the public, in order to spend 25 billion euro’s of tax money on illegal buyup of farmland and direct this in the hands of state-controlled organisations. And they know that they are lying, and know that we know they do.