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© Image copy: Ron Peyton
After two days of frost, the snow in some agricultural areas was filled with goose rolls. As you can see, the response from Carolyn van der Plas and other members of the BBB was: This is where the nitrogen problem lies, with the geese. And the farmers are to blame!
More importantly, dairy farms themselves seem to be the reason behind the large number of geese in the Netherlands, especially in winter. Geese flock to our perennial grass (aimed to increase cows' milk production) and breed like rabbits with all this protein-rich superfood. The goose is not the cause of the excess nitrogen; consequence“, says a goose expert from the University of Groningen. In fifty years, the number of geese that spend the winter here has increased from several hundred to millions, as a result of intensive agriculture: this creates a large food supply through excessive fertilization and nitrogen so that there is enough food for the geese even In winter. .
With its legs…a castle in the air
What is noteworthy is that livestock farmers, even though they themselves are the cause of the problem, receive compensation for the damage caused by the geese. Shooting doesn't help, although hunters and Naturmonumenten claim it does. The Netherlands remains a place to set the table for geese. If more food is available for each animal, that animal will have more offspring.
The solution is simple: If you want to get rid of geese, you have to solve the nitrogen problem—that is, reduce the livestock population.
Farmers and BBB's often act as if the townsfolk don't know what they're talking about. But if I understand that, why don't I understand the farmers and their representatives in politics? You won't solve the nitrogen crisis if you point to the geese and that farmers are now also being blamed for this crisis. Van der Plas claims that BBBers have their “feet in the mud.” It's hard to believe from people who seem to think that geese import nitrogen and that they sit in the ditch all day even when it's not freezing; After all, they are on the land and eating local foods. In full compliance with circular farming principles, they do not add nitrogen – unlike livestock whose feed is imported from other countries.
It seems that the legs of these actors are standing in a self-built castle in the air. This kind of statement, followed by entire tribes on social media, illustrates a much larger problem. Voters need a simple story in which someone else (the goose, the immigrant, etc.) is to blame. So they do not have to give up any of their Western achievements. Populists respond to this, and Dutch talk shows make viewers stupid. Together you create a country with major problems, ruled by politicians who obscure the cause of those problems and thus find it impossible to solve them.
This has already become clear from 30 years of VVD and CDA nitrogen “policy,” which the BBB now wants to replicate again. Whether it's silliness or pure spite, it sure seems like it's all just a game to these people. They win votes and seats with superstitions. They don't care at all what happens as long as they score in the match. And it works thanks to the stupid geese that follow him.
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