One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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It should not come as a galloping shock to…well, most of the planet – that American farms are a bit more sophisticated and technologically advanced than…well, most of the planet. Our farms are far more efficient – and thus far better on the environment.
And this is where the Environmental Left goes off the rails. The economic advancement they decry – is the economic advancement that allows for our vastly better treatment of the bits of land we use to farm (and every other bit).
Americans are one of the world’s few peoples who can afford to care about the environment. A Third World resident who hasn’t eaten for three days and drinks water from a sewer – doesn’t care quite so much about mythical problems like climate change.
The more efficient farms are – the “greener” is the planet. Because they can maximize their use of the least amount of natural resources (land and water being but two major examples). Which is what the Environmentalists claim they want.
Except Environmentalists don’t actually want that. What they are really all about – is anti-capitalism. (Earth Day’s date? Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.) What they want is economic regression. Back to a day when farmers were much less efficient – and MUCH harder on the environment.
The thing is, we have visual aides of what they want – all over the world. And these visual aides are environmental horror shows – in nations that are environmental horror shows. Because they are inefficient nightmare messes.
Yaa Amekudzi bounces along dirt roads in a sport-utility vehicle from one village to the next as part of a $1 billion scramble by the world’s top chocolate makers to fix the industry’s most vexing problem….
(C)ocoa production is down, including a steep slide last year in Ghana, the second-largest cocoa-growing country. Cocoa prices have jumped nearly 40% since the start of 2012.
As a result, the pressure is on Amekudzi and her team of five employees at Mondelez International Inc., the maker of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars and Oreo cookies, to help cocoa farmers boost their dwindling crop yields.
“They need to change the way they farm,” says Amekudz….
Similar instructions to farmers in neighboring Ivory Coast, the world’s No. 1 cocoa grower, have helped produce back-to-back record crops, companies say. But average crop yields are just one-third as big as they could be if all cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast followed good agricultural practices.
The problems worry the industry so much that 10 of the largest chocolate producers and cocoa processors agreed in 2014 to begin sharing with each other a wide swath of private data on farming practices and crop yields. The move was unprecedented.
“Good agricultural practices” – are the practices of farms here in America. The $1 billion these desperate cocoa companies are spending – is to spread the word about what we’re doing here.
And here’s the irony: This private money is being spent to mitigate the damage being done by billions and billions of government dollars – being spent subsidizing said slovenly, anti-environment farming.
As but one example: a product near and dear to these cocoa companies – sugar. Global sugar-producing farms are for the most part regressed, anti-environment messes – microcosms of their regressed, anti-environment nations.
Why are these farms stuck in the past? Because their governments are. These governments – in 20th Century, centralized-style – spend billions and billions of dollars subsidizing their sugar status quos, In effect bailing them out for their inefficiencies – and locking those inefficiencies in.
Human nature: If you pay someone to do something – they’ll keep doing it. And others will join them in doing it. These governments have paid a LOT of coin for inefficient, anti-environment farming. It is no shock that the world suffers so much of it.
Thankfully for these desperate cocoa companies – and anyone else who likes to eat food – there is a bigger, broader solution to this problem. We should sit down with these nations – and free trade away their ridiculous farm programs. In exchange for us free trading away ours.
And not just with sugar (See: Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho’s “Zero-for-Zero” Resolution). But with every crop and product farms produce – and governments warp with stupid programs.
It is the efficient, pro-environment, pro-humanity thing to do.