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

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Cap & Enslave - Or.... Don't put a cork up your donkey's bum, just give it less carrots

Cap & Enslave - Or.... Don't put a cork up your donkey's bum, just give it less carrots

Cap and trade is something I have blogged about for a few years as a travesty of an economic policy designed to enrich the rich and impoverish the poor while not helping reduce carbon emissions. This great YouTube video has been produced by Annie Leonard and explains the problem to non-economists.

The only issue with the video is that  Annie does not fully understand just how the Cap & Trade system would enslave humanity. This is because we would create new energy monopolists (a bit like today's landowners) that would own nearly all of production in perpetuity, owning the right to pollute and renting it out to humanity who would have to pay them for the privilege of economic activity and prevent a free market in energy and manufacturing. Today's large polluting companies  (or to be more precise their shareholders) would at a stroke become hereditary barons, milking humanity for the rest of time of their productive labour.

The real solution is to tax carbon at source and redistribute this money amongst all of the worlds people equally (thus eliminating global poverty, hunger and taking away the main reason for international war) or just introduce a Land Value Tax which would achieve a similar result.

This would also be far more efficient at reducing carbon emissions and stimulating research and innovation into more environmentally friendly growth.

A witty economist said this of it:

"If you want to keep a donkey healthy you don't regulate what comes out of it, you regulate what goes in"


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