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, 20 September 2019

Protect, Restore and TAX

Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot are absolutely correct with one small amendment...

Protect, Restore and TAX – Tax land, natural resource use and pollution. Shift taxes from incomes and trade to Land Value Taxes and Green Taxes. Nature needs no funds, no $trillions of pointless projects that are economically inefficient, just make nature’s use (and abuse) expensive.

Tax carbon and we will have amazing efficient homes and transport. Tax land and we will have 40% rewilded as its economically pointless for agriculture our human use.  Just as a plastic bag tax resulted in nearly 90% reduction in plastic bag use, or sugar tax cut sugar in drinks by 50% virtually overnight

so a tax on land and natural resources will have an immediate and systemic shift to achieve a planet that can survive and still provide prosperity for all. Every economic transaction will contain the abuse of nature and Land used so every transaction will force down the use of land and nature as companies and trade avoid the tax.

And land taxes and carbon taxes can not be avoided, dodged or offshored – there is no escape – environmental protection will be relentless and every bank, investment house, multinational corporation and government will turn their energies to using less land and natural resources in everything they do.

Funding is the wrong approach - its vastly inefficient  if you buy land the price just goes up rewarding landowners.  So we can achieve all that the army of activists inspired by Greta and George desire, and save our planet,  for no cost to the taxpayer. 

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