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

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

WAR On ISIS & Syria! Let's solve it with a Land Value Tax Not Bombs!

As the UK government is setting us on a path of war tomorrow I thought I would explore how the Syrian war started. Many commentators have speculated how a natural resource disaster may be at its roots.

But what is the solution to natural resource disasters, climate change and war? 

Many have documented how a drought, high temperatures and very poor regulation of water & grazing rights has led to Syrian desertification, crop failure and the displacement of 1.5Million syrians from relative wealth as farmers to poor urban dwellers and thus formed the social impulse to cause the civil war.

Background Stories on this :
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2871076/overgrazing_and_desertification_in_the_syrian_steppe_are_the_root_causes_of_war.html

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/syrias-climate-conflict/

The intervention of those seeking to profit from the crisis by getting their hands on the spoils such as Saudi Arabia, France, USA, Russia & now the UK have a keen eye on Oil and natural resources just as we did with Libya, like vultures around the carcass we will pick it clean, given the chance. They have funnelled billions to there chosen proxies in the civil conflict and when that is not working then send in their own forces. This web of murderous self interest is at the root of many such conflicts and it is easy to get side tracked by the dishonesty and duplicity of all the countries indulging in this. I cannot express my contempt at Mr Cameron, like Blair before him, duping the public once again into war.

My heart is broken by what has befallen the Syrian people and I have wept for the victims. But my anger must really be reserved for the stupidity of all of us at preventing war. The anti war movement needs a concrete objective, a remedy, that will remove the causes of warfare such as environmental destruction, loss of lively hood and remove the incentive of those that seek to profit from war. Only a Land Value Tax as a policy objective can fulfill these objectives so why do anti war, anti poverty  & environmental campaigners not band together to promote this as a policy?

Land Value Tax is the solution to both macro and micro issues in preventing climate change and mitigating environmental scarcity such as water (at the heart of the syrian issue) so a tax and dividend system to share scarcity equally removes the perverse incentive to exploit. This goes for land (a land Value tax), water use (abstraction tax), carbon tax etc and other natural resources & 'green' taxes. This solves scarcity but also suppresses the use of the fossil fuels and land changes(oxidation of soils) that are causing climate change in the first place.

This solution will suppress those seeking to push our foreign policy to war by removing the perverse incentive to fight over natural resources rents as they will be impossible to monopolise by one group, country or corporation under such as system.

So what the Syrian people really need is a Land Value Tax & not bombs on their heads

My thoughts on War: