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

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Will Father Christmas Kill the Planet

I have just been ordering xmas presents for my son - the Chinese built radio controlled helicopter will make him very happy, but at what cost to the planet?

Christmas has become a obscene feast of needles consumption typifying the terrifying and unsustainable increase in the natural resource use. But how can we stop it? How can I and the rest of humanity make a decision to value something sustainable, instead of the radio controlled nightmare of unsustainable resources that is my son's present this year?

Equality and security of future income is key to reducing population and natural resource use. This was beautifully explained in the observations of the great political economist Henry George in 1870, who recognised this problem and its solution. Through observation he recorded that the 'Malthusian doctrine'  had some fundamental flaws and was often used by the rich to justify the status quo of poverty, as if nothing could be done about it. His empirical and non-empirical research and the work of economists since then have shown the huge flaws in taking a simplistic view to the work of Malthus.

Poverty will not always be with us and we can change the problems of the world very simply. We can reduce population growth to zero and even reverse it, we can use less resources per head and we can give everyone on the planet a better standard of living through innovation and efficiency and we can conserve its biological diversity.

The simple step needed for this is to make greed expensive!  To tax avarice and natural resource use exploitation. The private collection of the monopoly rents of land and natural resources is at the heart of the problem. We can only learn to live within the resource constraints of the planet if we share and value its natural resources, this can be simply achieved by using the monopoly value of land and natural resources as the only source of Government revenue and then sharing that equally to all.

I worked until the small hours last night turning a friends slide show, explaining some of the issues above into the video below:

A very Happy Xmas from the Renegade Ecologist...

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