The thoughts behind the Renegade Ecologist

From my 30 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

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bullingdon Dave - will he save us from the violent young men smashing up local businesses in our cities and Towns?

I had an e-mail exchange with a David Cameron apologist in a discussion about the role Wildlife conservation has in preventing riots,  my response to the Bullingdon Club apologist (who had the temerity to say that the poor and underclass relied on these people to create wealth) is copied below, :

The members of the Bullingdon club represent mostly landowners who derive their wealth by charging others a rent for land usage. The banking system, which many of the young Landowners find themselves working for these days works on a similar system of charging ‘economic rent’ by the private ownership of the supply of money, where only a tiny fraction is actually put into the productive economy and most goes into third world exploitation and the creation of massive asset bubbles, such as the frightening housing bubble that is crippling the economy of this country.

Our Bullingdon Club friends create virtually no wealth, so do not confuse them with entrepreneurs and the productive members of our society who drive innovation and wealth creation. These leaches are nothing but a drain on the productive, wealth creating parts of our economy, robbing hard working people of the fruits of their labour.

They also represent a system of privilege that enshrines the disenfranchisement of the youth who were involved in the riots. To understand is not to condone. And Both our Prime Minister displayed the same temperament in his involvement in smashing up the restaurant as did the vast majority of those involved in the riots. To both of them it was nothing more than hi-jinks. Obviously this does not include the very serious crimes committed by some very disturbed and violent individuals.

Of course every individual should be held responsible for their own actions but we must understand the factors that bring about trigger events and put policies in place that reduce the thuggish tendencies that lies in the hearts of young men. But when a 11-year-old boy is handed an 18-month youth rehabilitation order for stealing a bin and a 22 year old gets 4 years for posting something on facebook yet David Cameron can get away with hiding his involvement in the smashing up someone else’s restaurant then there is a fundamental problem in this society, one that eats away at the heart of any young man trying to establish his role in society and form a moral compass

The Nature Conservation movement has an important role in re-engaging all people with the nature of Britain as in that process we will give them a stake in this country. By far the biggest part of that process will be in allowing a disaffected young man in London to have just as much say in how the countryside is governed, and how its natural bounty is distributed, than a young man from the Bullingdon Club.

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