What poor countries really need more of is supermarkets.
That’s the conclusion to draw from the latest leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Of course, it’s not what the usual environmentalist suspects are telling us the world needs more of. Instead the response to the leak has been the usual mantra of eating less meat and changing farming methods with the likes of the Soil Association and Greenpeace pushing a counter-productive agenda. Plus ça change.
The title of the report, which will be officially released soon, is ‘Climate Change and Land’. According to the Guardian humans use some 72% of the earth’s available, non-iced, land. In order to counter climate change, farming habits must change. Entirely true so far.
However, Greenpeace insist this means less industrial farming – which is quite the opposite of the truth – and there’s a well-oiled lobby telling anyone who will listen that organic is the answer.
The counter-intuitive truth is that to help combat climate change we need more industrial farming and less organic. The reason being that if we want to save us much land as possible for wildlife, trees and all that good stuff, we should be as economical as possible in our use of land.
That’s where industrial farming comes in. Fertilisers and other technical innovations increase the yield per acre of land, allowing us to use less of the earth’s surface to produce more food. If we’re concerned about food, land and climate change then using more land by going organic is entirely and completely the wrong strategy.
What’s more, it’s hard to reconcile having fewer methane-belching animals around if organic is the future, given that manure is a key fertiliser.