21 May, 2008
Business as usual and blind to the new realities of future resource scarcities. This is how I would characterise the so-called “health check” of the EU’s agricultural policy. One wonders whether these Commissioners and their civil servants in the Berlaymont really understand what is happening in the world, when on the same day when oil reached new records (near 130$), they present a future farm policy which is deaf and blind to the implications of current and future resource scarcities.
Our global mode of intensive industrial farming has been completely dependent on fossil fuels for fertilizers, pesticides and the farm machinary used for production and transport. When we start hitting the ecological limits of our fossil fuels (climate change and resource crunch), our agriculture will need to be radically transformed if we want to prevent a serious farming collapse (and therefore a global food crisis). There is nothing in the Commission’s proposals which indicates that their farm policy specialists have any awareness of these new realities. It is one more symptom of the utter irrelevance of the European Union.
For alternatives, I suggest to read the following articles:
- Richard Heinberg: Threats of peak oil to the global food supply (2005)
- Richard Heinberg: What will we eat when the oil runs out (2007)
- Soil Association: One Planet Agriculture
Other news sources and blogs’ coverage of the EU’s farm health check:
- EU Referendum: Tinkering at the margins
- Farm Policy.com: Analysis from Brussels. What is the CAP health check?
- EurActiv: Mixed reactions to proposed EU farm sector reform