Sri Lanka, a small island nation in Southeast Asia, is on the verge of political and economic collapse after its president’s ‘green’ policies sowed starvation among the country’s 21 million people. ‘island.
From the 1970s to 2020, thanks to synthetic fertilizers, Sri Lanka had become self-sufficient in rice production. However, the government of Sri Lanka fell under the spell of the “green” revolution promoted by Western liberal elites. In a now-deleted article published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), then Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged to make his country “wealthy by 2025”, in part by adopting WEF-sponsored “climate change” initiatives.
Advised by the Rockefeller Foundation, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to transition the national agricultural industry to organic farming within ten years. In April 2021, it banned “the import and use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and ordered[ed] the country’s 2 million farmers to go organic,” according to Foreign Policy magazine. Western Green Revolutionaries were so pleased that they gave Sri Lanka a near-perfect Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score of 98, well above the US score of 51.
But Sri Lanka’s adoption of green policies has only brought disaster. Its rice production fell by more than 50%, while domestic rice prices rose by more than 80%. Once sufficient in rice production, the nation was “forced to import $450 million worth of rice.” In the words by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sri Lanka is experiencing “a government-created famine reminiscent of Mao.”
Additionally, the ban on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides has also affected the country’s tea production, a primary export. Compounded by the effect of declining tourism following the Covid-19 lockdowns, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have shrunk. The Sri Lankan government was finally forced to lift its ban on fertilizers and pesticides when prices for both hit historic highs.
With its foreign exchange reserves close to zero, the Sri Lankan government has struggled to import basic necessities, such as food, fertilizer and fuel. It also struggled to repay its foreign loans to finance the country’s infrastructure. Its monetary value plummeted and the country defaulted on its debt obligations.
The angry and hungry Sri Lankan people staged protests and stormed both the President’s residence and the Prime Minister’s office. President Rajapaksa resigned and fled the country this week.
Sri Lanka is the tip of the iceberg of how the “green” policies promoted by western liberal elites have brought misery and instability around the world.
Food security depends on energy
Liberal politicians and climate activists in the West have failed to understand how much food security depends on oil and gas. For example, about 80% of synthetic fertilizers are made from natural gas. The widespread adoption of synthetic fertilizers was the main reason farmers could feed a global population of 7.9 billion as available agricultural land was shrinking. Farmers also need petroleum-based pesticides to protect crops and control weeds, insects and disease.
Despite the vital role energy plays in food security, many European countries have shut down coal and nuclear power plants, cut natural gas production and banned fracking, in a bid to achieve net emissions nil by 2050. According to the Wall Street Journal, “barely 15 years ago, the countries of the European Union produced more gas than Russia exported”. But Europe’s “green” revolution has left it vulnerable to Russian energy and Putin’s aggression. In the United States, the Biden administration has waged a similar war on fossil fuels, including canceling the Keystone Pipeline project.
The Ukrainian crisis has aggravated existing problems
These misguided policies had driven up the prices of all the energy resources on which modern agriculture depends, from diesel to natural gas and oil, long before Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up energy prices and further aggravated the global food security problem.
Russia and Ukraine provide about one third of world wheat and barley exports. In addition, Ukraine is responsible for 14% of corn exports and about half of the world’s sunflower oil. Russia’s invasion has disrupted Ukraine’s agricultural production and halted exports as Ukrainian ports are under blockade by the Russian military. Since Russia is also one of the world’s largest fertilizer suppliers, Putin “temporarily” suspended fertilizer exports in retaliation for economic sanctions imposed by the West.
Farmers around the world have responded to rising operating costs, from energy to fertilizer, by reducing production and using less fertilizer and pesticides. Downstream effects include lower crop yields, reduced food supply and higher prices for all foods, including maize, which is also an essential feed for livestock. Higher corn prices will translate into higher prices for meat, milk and other food products. Rising operating costs may also drive some farmers out of business. Doomberg, a financial research site with numerous reports on the relationship between energy policies and agriculture, warns that farmers “are on the brink” and “we are at the beginning of a global famine of historic proportions”.
Warnings of food shortages
The chief economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Maximo Torero, tweeted, “World wheat and barley prices have risen 31% over the past year. In February, food prices hit a record high due to strong demand, transport costs and port disruptions. Volatile natural gas prices have caused fertilizer prices to skyrocket. All of this could lead to millions more facing severe hunger. Similarly, Bloomberg analyst Alexis Maxwell called food shortages the next “slow disaster” to hit the world. Even President Joe Biden has warned Americans to prepare for food shortages and rising prices.
Another sign that a global food shortage is approaching is China’s food hoarding. According to Bloomberg, China “will hold 69% of the world’s corn reserves, 60% of its rice and 51% of its wheat” by mid-2022.
Doubling the green revolution
Yet despite looming food shortages, liberal politicians and climate activists in the West have chosen to redouble their efforts in their green revolution. At its recent summit, NATO included climate change in its declaration of intent and pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its military.
Rather than develop fossil fuels at home, European nations are preparing to ration energy. Germany is sticking to its plan to shut down the three remaining nuclear power plants while considering revive wood burning This winter. The same European countries that refuse to fund oil and gas development in Africa are rushing to buy natural gas from the continent. Their hypocrisy has left millions of poor Africans without access to natural gas and dependent on “black market kerosene and diesel to light wood-burning stoves and power electricity generators”.
The Biden administration is continuing its war on fossil fuels by canceling oil and gas lease sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, “essentially removing millions of acres of potential drilling as U.S. gas prices hit record highs.” record highs,” the AP reported. This week, President Biden is traveling to Saudi Arabia to beg the Gulf state to produce more oil. At home, his administration is urging farmers to produce more soybeans to make biodiesel, even though soybeans are an important food source for human and animal nutrition and there are cooking oil shortages and shortages. food in the world.
The Doomberg researchers asked: “In the face of a global energy crisis, war in Ukraine, food shortages and runaway inflation, does it make sense to redirect so many hectares of valuable cropland to make renewable diesel? , a fuel that we can easily and directly drill for the country? »
From ancient Rome to present-day Sri Lanka, history has taught us that revolutions broke out and regimes fell when people were hungry. The looming global food crisis may not hit the United States as hard as other parts of the world, but we are not exempt from empty shelves and food shortages if the Biden administration’s green revolution continues. .