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

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Rent - Umansked: A new book that could save the planet....

I have had my first contribution to a book published, co-authored with 12 leading Professors from around the world, the book focuses on economic solutions to social and environmental problems.




 The book comprises of essays in honour of Professor Mason Gaffney, who has for years researched and published the most insightful work in to the economic concepts that can solve our social and environmental problems. Professor Gaffney is a personal hero of mine I am am deeply honored to be chosen by the Schalkenbach Foundation to honor Mason in this way.

 “An inveterate optimist [who] makes an excellent case that, by applying the Henry George principle, we can reduce inequality, and raise ample public revenues to be directed at any one of a multitude of society’s ills”. Joseph Stiglitz (University Professor at Columbia University, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics) 

 Mason Gaffney Describing how to solve the water crisis in California:

Rent Unmasked explores the new economic paradigm that policy-makers need to solve global problems in the post-2008 era. With conventional economic theories discredited, the new model must equip governments with tools to re-stabilise societies in a dangerous world. Rent Unmasked explains why one paradigm only qualifies to serve this purpose: the dynamic model that reinstates time and space in economic theorising.


The Flat Earth economics of the neo-classical school is analysed by the 13 contributors to this volume, which honours the seminal role played by Mason Gaffney, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of California (Riverside), in exposing the way in which classical economics was debased to serve rent-seeking interests.



The authors are drawn from the legal and property professions and from universities around the world. They evaluate the key contributions from Mason Gaffney, the Ultimate Heterodox economist, and they apply the new insights to current challenges. The issues confronted in Rent Unmasked range from corporate tax evasion to the rise of irrational forces within democratic societies; the housing crisis to the fractured politics of the Eurozone; the misdemeanours in the banking sector to the way in which financial policies must be framed if economics is to be harmonised with ethics. The social science branded as “dismal” because of the ideological prejudices of past exponents is shown to be empowering for problem-solvers in the 21st century.

Buy your copy Here:

  http://www.shepheard-walwyn.co.uk/product/rent-unmasked/

Or on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rent-Unmasked-Global-Economy-Sustainable/dp/0856835110