“Sustainable Development” Sucks

The soul-killing ideas advanced in the United Nations’ Agenda 21 Sustainable Development movement are not benign.  Please take a moment to let a company or individual who is playing along with this game know that you do not support it.

Below is a letter I have sent to Monsanto.  Here is Monsanto’s contact page.

All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

Please.  Let us not do nothing.

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I love ag.  If I choose to do nothing right now to fight the ideas encompassed in movements such as Agenda 21, I fear that my children will never learn how much they, too, could love agriculture.

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Monsanto

Monsanto Company
800 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO63167

Attn:  Mr. Hugh Grant and Board of Directors

Dear Mr. Grant and Monsanto’s Board of Directors:

It has come to my attention that Monsanto has officially joined the United Nation’s Agenda 21 movement by joining the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

This is unnecessary, counterproductive and will lead to many problems for both Monsanto and your customers.  As life-long agricultural producers, my family and I encourage you to reconsider lending your good name to such an organization.

Agenda 21 was birthed in 1992 at the UN’s “Earth Summit” at Rio de Janeiro.  Agenda 21 is Maurice Strong’s plan to advance “the environment” through local governments all over the globe.  Local governments, especially if they sign up as dues-paying members of ICLEI (now Local Governments for Sustainability), are encouraged to limit what people do on their own property for supposed benefits to the environment.

In the name of nebulous, indefinable concepts such as biodiversity, sustainability, ecosystems, social justice and environment (amongst many others), a small group of people make centralized decisions about what can and cannot be done on an individual’s property.

At its core, Agenda 21 is an aggressive (albeit very clever) assault on private property.

Private property is necessary for Monsanto’s success because it is vital to each and every one of your customers.  Private property is core to a free and prosperous, market-based economy.

I know that you have joined WBCSD in an attempt to demonstrate to detractors that you are doing good work and that your technologies, voluntarily purchased by farmers throughout the world, are, in fact, good for the environment.

Your technologies allow us to be more efficient.  By its very nature, efficiency is good for the environment.  It means we produce more food with fewer inputs.  Were that not the case, farmers would not voluntarily purchase your products.  Were it not for a profit motive, farmers would have no incentive to become more efficient.  Were it not for private property and the surety that we personally will benefit from excellent care of and improvements to our land, no incentive for excellent care or improvements would exist.

Development improves the world around us.  One need only travel to a few choice countries in the world to gain first-hand evidence of this fact.

“Sustainable Development,” though, as defined and advanced through Agenda 21, is the opposite of what it claims to be.  We have many examples in history – even recent history! – of top-down, centralized decision-making leading to wide-spread starvation and degradation of land.  Long-term, thoughtful investments in property improvement are traded for short-term survival decisions.

Never in the history of free-market civilization have ideas been as important as what this one is today.  I beg of you to fully understand what is behind that to which you have signed up, and then to make a brave and responsible decision for the future of Monsanto and every Monsanto customer.

Thank you for your time.  Thank you for your wonderful products.

Sincerely,

iloveag

Freedom’s Not Always Fun!

Freedom ain’t free.  We’ve all heard that.

But freedom is also tough to take at times!

Living in a land of liberty ensures that we hear things we vehemently disagree with – things that would never be thought, let alone said, in our own home.

It means that the rock band next door might have daily jam sessions.

Flag burning

It guarantees that a symbol of freedom which we love dearly will be burned or stomped on.

It means that our neighbor will use his property in a way we know to be harmful to the land or in a way that offends our own sense of taste.

It allows for the possibility that a woman might own 235 cats and have no way of taking care of them to the extent we deem they should be cared for.

But freedom cannot be qualified.  Either people are free to do with their own property – including themselves! – what they wish… or not.

“But,” you might say, “I’ve always been taught that my freedom ends where another person’s nose begins.  Freedom has to be qualified!”

We do not live in a slave society.  Other people are not our property, and we are not the property of others.

If we believe in freedom, we believe in the sanctity of each individual to own and control the fruits of his labors.  This means that freedom naturally encompasses the six or seven commandments that deal with how we treat others.

Thou shalt not steal, kill, lie, covet others’ possessions, or dishonor others.

We must understand that in order for our own freedom to be respected, we must equally respect others’ freedom.  Once we start eroding the edges of freedom, no matter how “morally justified,” freedom itself has been infringed.

Liberty is tough to take.  But a society which holds the sanctity of life, liberty and property in the highest regard will reap untold benefits of peace and prosperity.

The biggest challenge within a truly free society is to withstand the eternal temptation to control other people.

♠♠♠♠

I love ag. I love the general attitude of “live and let live” that most farmers and ranchers embrace.

The Seen and The Unseen

It’s been a tragic week.

We learned that a friend of ours was killed in a car accident.  Andrew was 20 years old.

Andrew in 2008, helping out with The Fundrai$er.

Andrew in 2008, helping out with The Fundrai$er.

Andrew was a lovely young man who had worked at our feedlot in Australia.  He had also acted in and generally helped out with “The Fundrai$er,” a community play I was very involved with which was performed to four huge sold-out audiences in 2008.  Andrew was always a pleasure to work with and be around.

His parents and two younger siblings, and indeed, everyone in the community, are reeling.

Then we learned that Andrew had run into a farmer on a tractor.  When I heard that, I groaned inwardly.  “We’re sure to know whoever that was,” I thought.

Sure enough, we know the farmer well.  He had his 8-year-old daughter on the tractor with him.  Neither of them was hurt, but neither of them is doing well emotionally.

My heart is aching for everyone.  I’ve cried.  I’ve been sick to my stomach.

My immediate emotional response is, “This is too much tragedy!  How can we keep this from happening again?  How can we keep a good 20-year-old from being killed in a car wreck?  How can we protect an innocent 8-year-old from such horror?  How can we ensure that an honest farmer does not go through such guilt and grief?”

But then I recall the main theme in Frederic Bastiat’s cautionary screed: We must not only consider that which is seen, but also that which is not seen.

19th Century French Classical Liberal Theorist, Frederic Bastiat.

19th Century French Classical Liberal Theorist, Frederic Bastiat.

We’ve seen the tragedy.  We see the obvious horrendous results of this accident.

But if we implement policies at a top-down governmental level to attempt to effectively answer any of my emotive questions above, there will exist substantial unseen consequences.

How many 20 year olds drive down gravel roads every day without having an accident?  They learn multiple things from such driving.  They enjoy the change of scenery.  Perhaps they get to work or school faster.

How many young children learn independence and hard work and decision-making by helping their parents on farms or ranches or in businesses every day?

How many farmers take pride in teaching their children the tricks of the trade?  How often do they get real benefit from their child/ren helping with production?  How would we ever account for the mutual benefits that accrue?

Andrew was full of life!  He was a doer.  His life would have been less than satisfying if, at every turn, a nanny was present telling him that he should not do a backflip off the monkey bars, or that he should not work at a feedlot when he’s 16, or that he should not drive to town for play practice, or that he should not ever drive down a gravel road.

I’m certain he would rather have lived life to the fullest and taken the chance of dying young as to live a long life without any challenges, decision-making or risk-taking.

Only a person who risks is free.

RIP, Andrew.  You are now — and always have been — free.

♠♠♠♠

I love ag.  I love freedom and the risk taking that goes with it.  I do not always love the consequences of freedom, but the consequences of impinging upon freedom, mostly unseen, are much more horrendous.

Finally, I love the fact that our lives were enriched by the presence of Andrew and his family.  We have been truly blessed.

Centrally-Planned Agriculture! What Could Go Wrong?

Here is the piece originally published in Australia’s Quadrant Online in which the progression from one unsuccessful scare campaign to the next is outlined.  Agriculture is in the direct line of fire of advocates of centralized planning.

There are lots of great ideas in agriculture.  But just because someone discovers or invents a new and better way to do things does not mean that that new idea or product should be forced upon everyone.  If it’s truly a good idea, the market will ensure that it is voluntarily taken up by increasing numbers of people.

Individual land owners must choose for themselves what and how to produce — or indeed, whether to produce anything at all!  Respect of private property is central to a free and prosperous society.

More freedom…not more central planning…is always the answer.  Always.

 

Peasant Farmers

Modern Farming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love ag.  I know lots of people who do.  But in order to continue doing what we love, we must be aware of how agriculture is viewed and treated by those who do not live it.