The headline says poll shows growing support for cutting fertiliser and cows:
“New polling shows growing public support for calls to cut fertiliser, regulate the dairy industry to protect water and, while not yet a majority, lower dairy cow numbers,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa senior campaigner Steve Abel.
The polling results released today by Greenpeace, from a nationally representative Horizon Research survey undertaken late last year, show 61% of New Zealanders favour regulating the dairy industry in order to reduce water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions. This is a significant increase from 48% in a similar poll only a year ago, in December 2021. It also shows that a majority (55%) support phasing out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. . .
Dairying, like other activities, is already regulated to reduce water contamination and Fonterra audits its suppliers to ensure they meet a range of standards:
The current assessment covers food safety and quality, animal health and welfare, and environmental topics including effluent management systems, stock exclusion from waterways, and riparian, nitrogen and water management processes.
And dairy farmers have fenced off 250,000 hectares of waterways.
But the poll didn’t ask a follow up question – do you support significant reductions to food production and export income, and higher food prices?
That would be the result of
GreenRedpeace’s policy of a lot more plant-based, regenerative and organic production.
That policy is not supported by the science :
The ongoing push that “organic is better” is frustrating when the facts, evidence and data don’t support the case, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.
With all the research and information available it is extraordinary that the myth of organics – that the food is safer, healthier for them and kinder to the environment which means that people will pay more for it – persists.
It isn’t and they don’t. Not enough to cover the costs. . .
And organic food is not necessarily safer than that which is conventionally produced.
The implication is that organic growers and farmers don’t use chemicals. This is not the case.
Some agricultural chemicals have been certified for use in modern organic agriculture, and some of those certified are far more toxic, and toxic to more species, than those used by conventional growers and farmers.
Modern chemicals target the problem and use low rates of active ingredient. They are subject to standards of use to safeguard people and the environment. . .
The claim organic production is environmentally superior is also disputed.
Although organic systems have lower energy requirements (though it is not clear that the transport and calories for staff hand weeding are included in the calculations), they have higher land use, ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions per product unit than conventional systems.
The big problem is that more land is required by organic systems to achieve the same overall output.
A meta-analysis published last month revealed the reality. The yields under organic farming were on average 25 per cent lower than the conventional ones, reaching a yield gap of 30 per cent for cereals.
Had those answering the survey been given all the information on the costs and benefits of conventional farming and its alternatives, and understood the economic, environmental and social harm that
GreenRedpeace’s prescription would do, support for reducing fertiliser use and cow numbers would have been very different.
The anti-farming movement, is motivated more by red philosophy than green. For them improving the environment is not the goal, it is merely the means for inflicting their socialist agenda on the world, leaving us all colder, hungrier and poorer.
Would those polled support more poverty and hunger? I doubt it but that is what they’d get for their support of less fertiliser and fewer cows.