Wednesday, 15 August 2012

VIA CAMPESINA'S Real Green Solution to Climate Change - No to the Agro Industrial Complex by Nickglais

In an recent exchange on Radical Wales a contributor was told he had to choose between Corporate Industrial scale Windmilling or Corporate Fossil Fuel Mining in Wales.

The reply was that these were the false dicotomies posed by Corporate Capitalism and were not the real choices offering fundamental and long lasting solutions to our ecological problems.

The real ecological choices are between the real solution from the ground up and community based or the top down fake "green" corporatism posing as a solution.

The Green market economy is in disarray if anybody cares to take a closer look, with carbon trading on verge of collapse and a well deserved prison sentence looming for one of the founders of this carbon trading scam.

Utimately the ecological prolem is a social problem and not a technical one of windmills or coalmines.

The clear advocates of a ground up community ecological solution are the International Peasant Movement of Via Campesina who have developed an alternative based on the science of agroecology as opposed to agro industrial agriculture.

This grassroots movement has the real possibiity of contributing to the revolutionary transformation of the world and putting in place a series of solutions that will avert the impending global climate catastrophe imposed on us by the neo liberal capitalist economy.

1. Introduction to Agroecology 

The Real Green solution from the Ground Up

Olivier De Schutter the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in a report submitted in 2010 gave a clear description of Agroecology and how it works.

"Agroecology is both a science and a set of pracatices.It was created by the convergence of two disciplines: agronomy and ecology.

As a science, agroecology is the application of ecological science to the study, design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.

As a set of agricultural practices, agroecology seeks to enhance agricultural systems by mimicking natural processes, thus creating benefical biological interactions amongst the components of the agroecosystem.

It provides the most favourable soil conditions for plant growth, particularly by managing organic matter and by raising soil biotic activity.

The core principles of agroecology include recycling nutrients and energy on the farm, rather than introducing external inputs; integrating crops and livestock; diversifying species and genetic resources in agroecosystems over time and space; and focusing on interactions and productivity across the agricultural system rather than focusng on individual species.

Agroecology is highly knowledge intensive, based on techniques that are not delivered top down but developed on the basis of farmers knowledge and experimentation".

De Schutter looked at scientific studies into the effectiveness of agroecology.The most systematic study yet, carried out by Jules Pretty and others compared the impacts of 286 projects in 57 developing countries.

It found that productivity increased by 79% on average under groecological system, whilst "environmental services" (for eample, insect pollination  fish stocks, water supply and crop pollination) also improved.
Citing additional evidence from other studies De Schutter affirmed that agroecology reduces rural poverty, improves nutrition, increases resilience to climate change and inproves gender equality.

He concluded by calling on all states to include agroecology in their plans to reduce poverty and to mitigate climate change.

Other studies have found that agroecology has a startling potential with respect to global warming.The Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania carried out a 10 year study comparing organic agriculture (comparable to agroecology in that no chemical inputs are used) with fields under standard tillage using chemical fertilizers.

It found that the organically farmed fields could sequester (capture) up to 2000lb of carbon per acre per year from the atmosphere.

By contrast fields relying on chemical fertilisers lost in the atmosphere almost 300lb of carbon per acre per year.

These findings are extraordinary. In 2006 US carbon dioxide emmissions from fossil fuel combustion were estimated at nearly 6.5 billion tons.

At a global level according to similar calculations by non-governmental organisation GRAIN, if traditional systems of mixed farming were adopted throughout the world, about two thirds of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be captured in the next 50 years.

Agroecology is more than a theoretical construct. Farmer movements across the world are now implementing their own programmes to introduce agroecology in local communities.

2. What we can say is that Industrial Agriculture and the Industrial Food systems are major causes of the climate crisis.

Numbers on how these processes warm the planet are variable, but about global emissions we can say that :

Agricultural activities are responsible for 11 - 15 %
Land Clearing and deforestation cause another 15 - 18 %
Food processing, packing and transportation cause between 15- 20 %
Decomposition of organic waste 3- 4 %


1. By Recuperating Soil Organic matter 20- 35 %

2. By reversing the concentration of meat production and re integrating animal and crop production 5-9 %.
3. By putting local markets back into the centre of food production 10 - 12 %

4. By halting land clearing and deforestation 15 - 18 %


The Ago Chemical companies continue to expand with industry figures suggesting that the combined sales of agrochemical products in Latin America and Asia have now for the first time surpassed combined sales in North America and Europe.

In the dog eat dog world of corporate competition, companies either buy up their rivals or are bought up themselves.

The agro chemicals sector has been going through - and is still going through - an intense process of concentration.

By the end of 2007 the top 10 companies were responsible for 89% of agrochemical sales.

The Agro Industrial Complex

The World's top 10 Agrochemical companies in 2007

Sales US$ millions market share

1. Bayer (Germany) 7,458 19%
2. Syngenta ( Switzerland) 7,285 19%
3. BASF (Germany) 4,297 11%
4. Dow AgroSciences (USA) 3,779 10%
5. Monsanto (USA) 3,599 9%
6. DuPont (USA) 2,369 6%
7. Makhteshim Agan (Israel) 1,895 5%
8. Nufarm (Australia) 1,470 4%
9. Sumitomo Chemical (Japan) 1,209 3%
10. Arysta Lifescience (Japan) 1,035 3%
TOTAL 34,396 89%


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Tuesday, 14 August 2012


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Monday, 13 August 2012

CROWN ESTATES AND AUSTRAILIA LAND ACT LEGISLATION This Post Helpful To Considerations of a Wales Land Act.

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

RESTORATION OF OUR STOLEN LAND Wales - Depopulation, Emigration and Immigration. A contribution to the Wales Land Act Campaign by Rhodri Jones of the Great Unrest 2012 Group

The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003

The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003 was a milestone Act in allowing crofting communities to force a sale on reluctant owners and allowing other local Scottish Communities of under 10,000 people to exercise a right to buy when land or buildings come on the market.

The process whereby the Scottish Land Act came into existence goes back a decade when Highland Communities like those of Assynt and Isle of Eigg succeeded in raising money to buy back their own land back from feudal owners on the open market.

Cymrwch y Tir yn ol demands a Wales Land Act with a provision for a right to buy by communities in urban and rural areas.

Cymrwch y Tir yn ol also calls for a Wales Land Act for the return of asentee crown and aristocratic estates in Wales to be returned to the people of Wales.

In Support of the the Campaign of Cymrwch y Tir yn ol for a 
Welsh Land Act Now !

Wales - Depopulation, Emigration and Immigration
Statement from Great Unrest Group 2012

The right wing has a obsession with inward migration to Wales which it sees as the source of all problems, while always missing the main problem in Wales that of the neo liberal capitalist economy which drives many of the most able and resourceful young people into outward migration from Wales.

Wales is the second poorest country in Western Europe after Portugal with a GNP per capita that is unfavorable to that of Greece.

The focus on the immigration into Wales takes the focus away from the more fundamental question of Welsh Depopulation. It is comparable to focusing on symptoms rather than of the main cause of illness of the patient.

In Wales the problem is the terminally ill neo liberal capitalist economy and immigration is just one of its many symptoms.

The Welsh population is ageing and the productive working population is shrinking, therefore there is an urgency to fighting depopulation in Wales which none of those parties that participate in representative democracy in Wales have so far seriously addressed.

The representative parties in Wales represent themselves. This shoud be no surpise and was clearly seen by the early Greek Democrats thousands of years ago, which was why they favored direct democracy over representative democracy.

It is time for a new real democracy in Wales - Direct Democracy.

The question of an ageing population and a shrinking productive population has been tackled by some capitalist economies like the Japanese by promoting inward migration and that can only contribute to a solution to the problem on a temporary basis.

We at the Great Unrest Group 2012 propose to tackle this problem by a series of economic measures to stop Welsh depopulation - a more permanent solution to the problem.

Welsh Depopulation and measures to overcome it, are at the centre of the politics of the Great Unrest Group 2012 for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party.

Amongst the measures we recommend in the fight against depopulation is the passing of Welsh Land Act which will transform Wales from being a country with very low percentage of Welsh people owning their own land into a country like the Irish Republic where a much higher percentage of Welsh people owning their own land.

Land ownership in Wales was identified by Kevin Cahill as early as 2003 in Who Owns Britain as being one of the underlying causes of rural and urban poverty in Wales.

The Welsh Land Commission established by a Welsh Land Act would give priority to provide land for Township and Village Enterprises along the successful model of Chinese economic development.

Apart from the development of a Welsh Land Act - Welsh Economic development would require the development of a Welsh Banking system with a Welsh Central Bank at the core of the system. It would be supported by Welsh Banks for Rural and Urban Development.

Therefore we at the Great Unrest 2012 also call for Wales Bank Act to implement this development. These banks would have public service mandates and be owned by the people of Wales and would not be allowed to speculate - we can learn the lessons from the Icelandic Banking collapse here to ensure a Welsh Banking system would be both transparent and accountable.

For those who think that Wales could not support its own Banking system - Iceland has its own banking system and currency with a population lower than Cardiff.

With Land and Capital in the hands of the Welsh people we have the real possiblity of regeneration of the Welsh Economy in the 21st Century.

Land and Capital should be made available to resource processing industries in rural areas rather than just seasonal tourism as a way of combating depopulation. Norway or example has high energy processing projects in the countryside which we could study.

There have been various successful schemes against depopulation in Europe but they have relied heavily on tax concessions and seasonal promotion of tourism, we want to put the emphasis on processing raw materials from Wales to lessen the historic colonial relationship with England which has seen Wales a source of raw materials to be processed in England.

We want to establish relations of equality with the English Nation and this calls for a restructuring of the economic relationship between Wales and England. We want a relationship based on mutual benefit with the working people of England not one based on an unequal colonial or imperial relationship.

With the tools of a Wales Land Act and a Wales Bank Act - Land and Capital combined with the Labour of the Welsh people would arrest Welsh national decline and start the Renaissance of a new democratic Wales - A Welsh Socialist Republic.

Rhodri Jones.