The thoughts behind the Renegade Ecologist

From my 20 years as a nature conservationist I have learned the utter futility of trying to protect nature under our current economic system. But by making some small changes to our taxation system we could make a world fit for our children to inherit full of wildlife & prosperity for all.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root....
Henry David Thoreau
"In many ways, nature conservation has become just another method of rent extraction by landowners who are trying to hide the fact that modern farmers’ fields are essentially deserts, devoid of wildlife, and the taxpayer must pay ‘rent’ if we want wild animals to occupy ‘their land’."
Peter Smith

Land Value Tax, which is in my opinion the Holy Grail of legislative changes to protect wildlife, is the simplest expression of the Economic theories of Henry George. This theory goes that if we abolish all harmful taxes on our hard work and trade and instead charge a rent for the use of natural resources such as Land we will not waste them or allow private interests to exploit the rest of humanities access to them.

Such a tax would not only stimulate jobs and enterprise but put a value on all of our natural resources and force us to look after them. If it was implemented for agricultural land, where the lower value of perpetually designated wilderness or natural grazing land is reflected in its land value taxation, it would be the surest way to save the wildlife of the UK and for the least cost to the taxpayer”

This would mean hard to farm areas, steep banks, riverbanks, rocky outcrops and areas landowners want to designate a nature reserves, which must be legally binding, could be set aside for wildlife and as such attract no taxation. The result of this would be that unproductive and marginal land would become wildlife havens and receive long term protection for future generation to enjoy. But it would also take away land and monopolies from our plutocrats who own wealth with no obligation to the rest of society, these plutocrats fund both the red and blue (and Yellow) faction of the vested interest or ‘line my friends pocket’ parties that control the legislature in Britain.

This blog is dedicated to teaching those who love nature that there is a simple ‘magic bullet’ that can save the rare wildlife of this country at no cost to the taxpayer. This magic bullet will actually grow our economy and create jobs and help create a better society based on rewarding those who work hard while penalising idol people who make monopolies such as bankers and landowners.

The solution if adopted worldwide would alleviate poverty and starvation and make a significant contribution to preventing war and terrorism.

Follow me on twitter: @peetasmith

Views are my own and don’t reflect the views of Wildwood Trust

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Land Value Tax and Badgers...

Land Value Tax and badgers... I have been having a long campaign against the state funding of badger culling in the UK - My thoughts are both animal welfare and Georgist in nature. I would welcome your thoughts on the Georgist aspects of agricultural subsidies. Fred Harrison recorded my thoughts on the subject above: My argument is the solution to M.Bovis (bovine tuberculosis) are well known and well documented. The problem is that landowners want the taxpayer to fund this to protect agricultural rents.  In my view farming must internalise the costs of production and solve their own problems. Ricardo's law of rent tells us that every £1 taken off the selling price of beef and milk by subsidy means and extra £1 of rent in the landowners pocket (or profit if the farmer owns the land). While the badger is in the public eye landowners can avoid addressing the problem. We must consider M.Bovis like industrial pollution, their is no excuse for it and it can be simply eradicated by imposing quarantine measures that the landowners must bear themselves. Private insurance premiums, instead of state handouts, would reward good farmers and punish bad farmers and this would be reflected in rents and at no cost to the taxpayer.