Over the past few months, thousands of Dutch farmers have blocked highways and staged protests. Hundreds have been arrested, and one was even shot at by a police officer. Dutch farmers have been protesting in the streets on and off since 2019.
Why are the farmers so outraged? They’re fighting for nothing less than the survival of modern agriculture as such. In the name of “sustainability” and fighting “pollution,” Green activists are trying to do to agriculture what they have been doing to the power grid and the oil and gas industry. In the name of highly questionable environmental goals, Green activists want to destroy the ability of farms to produce high-quality, abundant, clean, and inexpensive food.
Although the Netherlands has a population of 17 million and is only slightly larger than the U.S. state of Maryland, it is the second-largest agricultural exporter in the world after the United States. Dutch farms produce enormous quantities of beef, pork, dairy products and many other agricultural goods that are sold all over Europe and the world. The Dutch can produce so much food in such a small country thanks to the application of technology to farming methods. Dutch farms are perhaps the most advanced in the world. Thanks to the latest technology, Dutch food is not only plentiful but also inexpensive, efficient, and clean without sacrificing quality.
Green activists claim that this agriculture produces too much pollution and thus must be drastically reduced. At the behest of the European Union and Green groups, the Dutch government is imposing a plan to reduce nitrogen oxide and ammonia pollution by 50% by 2030. If carried out, this draconian plan would force Dutch farmers to reduce their herds by one-third and reduce their use of fertilizer. Many farms would be forced to close, and the cost of food would undoubtedly rise.
The radical Green movement has been waging war on modern agriculture for years. Claiming that farming practices are “unsustainable,” it wants to eliminate the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and technology, which would eliminate the massive gains in productivity and efficiency achieved over the past century.