by John Klar
If the title of this commentary sounds discordant, that in itself proves the challenge: Why aren’t conservatives America’s leading conservationists? As food prices rise and globalists strive to dominate agricultural production in the name of saving the environment, conservative support of local, regenerative agriculture is a win-win environmental platform for a GOP desperately in need of credibility on this highly ranked issue.
Richard Nixon, remembered for Watergate and Vietnam more than his accomplishments in China, got the environmental issue right. Responding to passionate public concern about chemical pollution, Nixon launched the EPA and wisely led the Republican Party to champion environmental stewardship. Granted, the popularity of the EPA has waned due to claims of overreach, but perhaps that too is well-deserved. After all, the Agency defends glyphosate and mRNA vaccines, directing citizens to FEMA guidelines.
Real Threats to the Environment
Aside from issues of implementation, the premise of the EPA was that there were some chemicals in the environment that do real harm, especially endocrine disruptors that impact reproduction and hormones in humans. Rachel Carson explored these problems in her 1962 book that sparked the environmental movement, Silent Spring (named for the disappearance of spring songbirds due to chemical-induced die-off). Americans were largely united in support of a cautious awareness of the potential harms from manmade chemicals
.Six decades later, it is estimated there are more than 144,000 human-crafted chemicals in the world, many of them thoughtlessly released into a swirling soup of interactions and potential disruptions of human reproduction and other functions – as well as the world of microbes, including the human gut and the microbe-populated soil in which food is raised. Yet the environmental battle lines have been politically re-drawn behind greenhouse gases thanks to Al Gore’s ghastly Inconvenient diversion that polarized the nation.
So here’s where the cows come in. The Green New Deal and WEF climate warriors seek to manufacture faux-renewable gadgets in China and eliminate cows. A conservative environmental initiative that fights both is found in one package by supporting small family farms – and pasture-raised cows. The contrast between the impact on the environment of cows versus solar panels exposes the folly of both renewable energy and the bizarre vilification of benevolent bovines.
The attacks on cattle are premised on an inflated assessment of methane emissions by cows which were fed grain and raised in Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs). But this is an unnatural industrial creation: Cows raised on pasture instead of grains, who are regularly rotated for feeding, replenish soils like no renewable technology of any kind ever has or will. Rotational grazing sequesters more carbon than all the solar panels manufactured in China, while dramatically increasing the capacity of soil to retain precious water. Grain is avoided, along with all the destructive aspects of its production including chemical and fossil fuel applications. Instead of being amassed in lagoons and spread by tractor, manure is distributed efficiently by the cows themselves in tandem with their much-maligned flatulence, replacing synthetic fertilizers shipped from afar or manufactured from fossil fuels.
Conservatives value fresh water and don’t want their children to die young of cancer or become sterile. Increasing evidence points to bird die-off, mutated amphibians, and other environmental harms caused by chemical pollution (not carbon dioxide or methane). The current crop of human boys suffer radically lower sperm counts than previous generations, obesity and diabetes are rampant among youth, cancer rates have risen sharply, the microbiome is vulnerable to chemical interruption, autism may be linked to toxic exposures, and excessive levels of glyphosate are present in the breast milk of American mothers, as well as 70% of Americans’ drinking water.
If conservatives reclaimed a voice for Americans concerned about chemical exposure, the former bipartisan environmental unity of a nation could be reforged. Reducing chemical pollution reduces greenhouse gases in the bargain – regardless of whether, or how much, anthropomorphic warming is a climate issue. Nurturing small-scale agriculture and local food production reduces industrial inputs, rebuilds soils being destroyed by mono-cropping, rebuilds rural economies and communities, and establishes a national security foundation of fresh, reliable food supplies instead of increased dependency on Chinese food and foreign fertilizers – let alone reliance on Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates or their fake meat and cow-genocide.
Once the focus is shifted from the carbon fixation, the true environmental impact of massive factory gear-up for “renewables” manufacturing is laid bare. Regardless of whether a fancy EV car uses less gas over its life than a combustion engine vehicle, what is its chemical cost in production? How much lithium was mined, employing how much energy? What plastics and glues and toxic metals were involved as inputs, and what effluent or smog was churned out in production? How about solar panels, mostly manufactured in China using coal? Was the coal input weighed against the imputed future gasoline savings? I think not.But what then of our contrasting cow friends? Has the alleged harm of their methane gas production been weighed against their contribution to soil health and the sequestration of carbon? Cows convert slender green solar blades called “grass” into tasty, healthy meats. Grass-fed meat is healthier, and cows free to roam don’t require antibiotics to sustain them as do factory-farmed animals. To the extent cows do produce methane, the benefits are well worth the price. And when they die, cows don’t leave the chemical footprint of solar panels, EVs, or windmills.
Supporting small farms and supporting cows – that is a winning environmental triumph which conservatives must make their own.
The author is a Brookfield best-selling author, lawyer, farmer and pastor. Reprinted from the Small Farm Republic website.