Thousands of farmers gathered in the central Netherlands Wednesday to protest the Dutch government’s plans to rein in emissions of nitrogen oxide and ammonia, driving their tractors across the Netherlands and snarling traffic on major highways.
The protest was organized earlier this month after the government published nationwide targets for reducing emissions, sparking anger from farmers who claim their livelihoods — and those of thousands of people who work in the agricultural service industry — are on the line.
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Calling it an “unavoidable transition,” the government mandated reductions in emissions of up to 70% in many places close to protected nature areas and as high as 95% in other places. The government has been forced to act after courts in recent years began blocking permits for infrastructure and housing projects because the country was missing its emissions targets.
Organizers said some 40,000 farmers converged on a green field in the small agricultural village of Stroe, about 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of the capital, Amsterdam. A stage was set up for speakers to address the crowd and music blared out of speakers while children bounced in a giant inflatable pig.
Farmers hooted their tractors’ horns as they drove onto the field, where a banner on a truck read, in Dutch, “What The Hague chooses is deeply sad for the farmer,” a reference to lawmakers in the city that houses the Netherlands’ parliament. Another banner on a tractor said: “We can no longer be stopped.”
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Marijn van Heun, a 23-year-old dairy farmer from the central Utrecht province, said the government plans were stripping young farmers of their futures.
“We cannot invest. Our fathers, our uncles, cannot invest in the future. And so as young farmers we also have no prospect of … taking over a farm,” he said.
The national infrastructure authority urged motorists to delay travel as slow-moving convoys of tractors defied appeals not to use highways as they drove toward the demonstration. The traffic chaos continued throughout the day.
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As tractors returned home, some farmers blocked a highway. A tractor and a truck collided elsewhere.
Earlier, in The Hague, a few dozen farmers and their supporters, some wearing T-shirts with the text “No farmers, no food,” gathered for a breakfast before heading to the protest.
“This is where the rules are made,” said dairy farmer Jaap Zegwaard, who parked his tractor on the edge of a park in the city. “I was asked to come here and provide breakfast so we can show we are food producers, not pollution producers.”
The ruling coalition has earmarked an extra 24.3 billion euros ($25.6 billion) to finance changes that will likely make many farmers drastically reduce their number of livestock or to get rid of them altogether.
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The plans, which have to be carried out by provincial governments, have been opposed even by members of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s own party and other members of his coalition. Provincial governments have been given a year to formulate plans to meet the reduction targets.
One government lawmaker, Tjeerd de Groot, tweeted that he had planned to attend to discuss the plan with farmers but called off his trip on the advise of a government security agency.
“Does the law of the tractor apply in our country?” he tweeted.
Farming is a key sector in the Dutch economy, with exports worth nearly 105 billion euros last year. But it comes at a cost of producing of polluting gases, despite farmers taking steps to reduce emissions.
Zegwaard said farmers were prepared to talk about how to reduce emissions, but objected to the industry shouldering most of the blame.
“Now the agricultural sector is dismissed as a major polluter and that is not right,” he said.
We are heading to the total collapse of the western countries… [OurMidland, DutchReview]
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“A nitrogen war?” The atmosphere is 78% nitrogen… 20% oxygen, 1% argon, .4-1.0% water vapor (depending on location), .04% carbon dioxide with trace amounts of other gases. Of that .04% carbon dioxide 1-3% is caused by human activity–statistically zero, like the other trace gases. Furthermore, carbon dioxide does NOT contribute anything meaningful to earth’s radiative equilibrium temperature. (there is no such thing as atmospheric “greenhouse effect”) It’s all a scam to diminish your quality of life…and then end it.
This is totally by design.Their hatred for humanity knows no bounds.This is the most artifical crisis to exist.Its the white knight syndrome at play.Create the crisis blame it on everyone but themselves then offer to fix it.Then when found out and the fix is rejected they go to whatever authority they can find and act innocent and oh so sweet.Time to hold these bleeping aholes to account.
Note want to stop global warming and pollution shut a politicians mouth.More specifically those who tout this BS.
You have to understand the climate boogeyman was established by the Club of Rome. This was published in 1991 in a book titled, “The First Global Revolution”…
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which demands the solidarity of all peoples. But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap about which we have already warned, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”
They have declared war on humanity. This will never go away.