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Monbiot : We Must End Our Dependence On Farming

February 20, 2023

By Paul Homewood


We must end our dependence on eating.





Why does anybody treat this nutter seriously?

Perhaps before he makes a fool of himself next time, he might like to check what the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation have to say on the matter:


ABOUT 60 PERCENT of the world’s pasture land (about 2.2 million km2), just less than half the world’s usable surface is covered by grazing systems. Distributed between arid, semi arid and sub humid, humid, temperate and tropical highlands zones, this supports about 360 million cattle (half of which are in the humid savannas), and over 600 million sheep and goats, mostly in the arid rangelands. The distribution of livestock over the different ecological zones is provided in Annex Table 2.

Grazing systems supply about 9 percent of the world’s production of beef and about 30 percent of the world’s production of sheep and goat meat. For an estimated 100 million people in arid areas, and probably a similar number in other zones, grazing livestock is the only possible source of livelihood.

Environmental challenges

Grazing can be visualized as beautiful cows in lush pastures in north-western Europe or New Zealand-livestock in harmony with nature. Indeed, livestock can improve soil and vegetation cover and plant and animal biodiversity, as described in this chapter’s case studies of widely different conditions in Kenya, the western United States and Guinea. By removing biomass, which otherwise might provide the fuel for bush fires, by controlling shrub growth and by dispersing seeds through their hoofs and manure, grazing animals can improve plant species composition. In addition, trampling can stimulate grass tillering, improve seed germination and break-up hard soil crusts.

However, many people associate grazing animals with overgrazing, soil degradation and deforestation. To them livestock keeping in arid regions of the tropics provokes images of clouds of dust, bleached cow skeletons and an advancing desert. The two most quoted sources are the Global Assessment of Soil Degradation (Oldeman et al., 1991), which estimates that 680 million hectares of rangeland have become degraded since 1945, and Dregne et al., (1991) who argue that 73 percent of the world’s 4.5 billion hectares of rangeland is moderately or severely degraded. In humid areas, livestock are associated with ranch encroachment and deforestation of tropical rainforests and competition with wildlife.

Prolonged heavy grazing undoubtedly contributes to the disappearance of palatable species and the subsequent dominance by other, less palatable, herbaceous plants or bushes. Such loss of plant and, in consequence, animal biodiversity can require a long regenerative cycle (30 years in savannas, 100 years in rainforests). Excessive livestock grazing also causes soil compaction and erosion, decreased soil fertility and water infiltration, and a loss in organic matter content and water storage capacity. On the other hand, total absence of grazing also reduces biodiversity because a thick canopy of shrubs and trees develops which intercepts light and moisture and results in overprotected plant communities which are susceptible to natural disasters.

The environmental challenge is thus to identify the policies, institutions and technologies which will enhance the positive and mitigate the negative effects of grazing. Environmental challenges, issues and options differ significantly according to climate and land capabilities. Livestock-environment interactions are therefore described separately for the arid, semi-arid and sub-humid, humid rainforest, and temperate and tropical highlands grazing systems respectively. As will be seen, that differentiation is particularly important for the arid eco-systems. As aridity increases, so does variability of rainfall, to the extent that the periodicity of rain becomes the single most important factor affecting the state of the natural resource base. Classical concepts of vegetation succession and climax vegetation do not apply in such environments and new concepts are required.

Forget climate change and all the other things that Monbiot rambles on about. His only real concern, as he makes clear at the end of his rant, is that farming takes up too much land, which he thinks should be rewilded.

And he is evidently happy to condemn billions to starvation to do it.

  1. sensescaper permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:03 am


    • February 20, 2023 11:12 am

      You are too kind

    • Curious George permalink
      February 20, 2023 4:05 pm

      He should end his dependence on farming first.
      Then I’ll be ready to listen to him.

  2. eromgiw permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:05 am

    Maybe he’s run out of useful suggestions and is now just coming up with random things to get attention? Best ignored.

    • John Palmer permalink
      February 20, 2023 10:12 am

      You think he had ‘useful suggestions’ once???

      • eromgiw permalink
        February 20, 2023 10:13 am

        True, at least there was some logic even if it was flawed.

    • GeoffB permalink
      February 20, 2023 10:46 am

      I once read a Monbiot article that I actually agreed with. It was about the exporting of waste, mainly plastic to the mid and far east for “re-cycling” when in fact, it was just tipped in the sea or burnt on open bonfires.

      • T Walker permalink
        February 20, 2023 11:17 am

        Yes I agree Geoff, even Moonbat is not totally devoid of sense.

        It is just that I don’t have time to read the 99.99% dross to find something sensible.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        February 20, 2023 12:48 pm

        Nobody is wrong every/all the time

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 20, 2023 5:32 pm

        Stopped clock effect.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:13 am

    Monidiot. Thinks all his food comes out of a Waitrose van.

  4. 2hmp permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:19 am

    There is no accounting for the the appearance of human stupidity; his next idea perhaps will be that we try to reduce breathing, as the gaseous quality of human breath is similar to exhaust from a modern power station.

  5. February 20, 2023 10:21 am

    Farmers were on the BBC this weekend, apparently many have mental health problems, caused by … Brexit, and a few other causes, none of which were the weekly witch hunts on Countryfile and similar BBC/Green Party Political Broadcasts.

    DEFRA civil servants should be obliged to sign a declaration, that the primary purpose of most land in the UK is the production of food. But of course there is no such thing as an X civil servant, because if they gain any expertise in X they get moved onto Y, apparently there is a reason for such madness.

    The economics of farming is simple: cows and similar turn inedible grass into healthy food.

    • February 20, 2023 10:35 am

      From the DEFRA website, confirming that farming is secondary:

      “We are responsible for improving and protecting the environment. We aim to grow a green economy and sustain thriving rural communities. We also support our world-leading food, farming and fishing industries.”

      • February 21, 2023 9:33 am


        that is atypical political\governmental department statement. All sounding good but the bearing no resemblence of what is actually happening.

    • February 23, 2023 12:52 pm

      1968: Tomorrow’s World: Mechanical Cow

  6. Mr Robert Christopher permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:29 am

    So George, you aren’t in favour of Keto diets? 🙂

  7. Joe Public permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:33 am

    The Moonbat’s future:

    • David Young permalink
      February 20, 2023 10:58 am

      From my local newspaper:

      “Certainly about time we stopped consuming so much and started contributing more. Mediaeval society had a much more collective and kinder society than I see today with our wants and demands.”

      A reply to my commenting that Greens won’t be happy until they see the country returned to a medieval feudal society. I might add that having worked alongside ‘scientists’ for a number of years, the author of the comment also believes the human race will become extinct in around 70 years time – an opinion based on wildlife habitat modelling conducted some 30 years ago.

      The mind boggles.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 21, 2023 2:11 pm

        Where do these people get such bizarre views? Kinder? Bear-baiting, dog fights, witch burning, public executions, torture, mutilation, endless warfare and pillaging, endless back-breaking work. The delusional fantasies are extraordinary

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 21, 2023 5:09 pm

        And a nasty, brutish, short life with an expectation of 35 years on average, infant mortality in excess of 10%…
        Sounds like paradise!

  8. Teddy Lee permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:37 am

    White man wishes to impoverish and condemn other races to death via starvation. Mon. Biot!

  9. February 20, 2023 10:39 am

    There is no cure for stupid, and the Moonbat has it is spades.

  10. February 20, 2023 10:39 am

    He looks and acts more like an complete barmpot every single day

  11. February 20, 2023 10:45 am

    Monbiot is a miserable Malthusian. But don’t think he’s too far out on a limb.
    Our government is anti-farmer and pro-‘nature’. It’s everywhere from DEFRA to Natural England, the Environment Agency, the National Trust and all the eco-charities. They are intentionally destroying our capacity to produce food from our own land. Wake up!

    • T Walker permalink
      February 20, 2023 11:21 am

      Spot on Philip.

      • February 20, 2023 12:04 pm

        He’s just obviously a bit battier than the others who would destroy our farming: Packham, the BBC, Attenborough, Countryfile etc etc. But it’s everywhere.

  12. lordelate permalink
    February 20, 2023 10:58 am

    The man is a hypocrite of the first order, has anyone seen the article where he bursts into tears about his THREE wood burners in his large detached house?
    What a bellend.

    • Vernon E permalink
      February 20, 2023 11:19 am

      Yes, I was about to comment on his tearful appearance on a tv discussion. The man seiously needs help.

      • lordelate permalink
        February 20, 2023 4:47 pm

        Sectioning more like.

    • February 20, 2023 12:13 pm

      He’s an unstable irresponsible utopian.
      Most normal people wouldn’t give him a moment’s attention, but thanks to the Guardian and the BBC et al he makes a living out of his narcissism and a career from being a focus for people who are similarly deluded.

      • that man permalink
        February 20, 2023 12:49 pm

        The Northern Irish have an apt phrase: “yer man’s wired-up to the moon.”

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 21, 2023 2:13 pm

        Very well put. And if Monbiot thinks hedsurvive a week without farming he’s in for a very rude awakening. I doubt if he can pick an apple.

      • lordelate permalink
        February 21, 2023 8:18 pm

        I imagine that if he was asked where food comes from he would reply “Waitrose of course”

  13. dearieme permalink
    February 20, 2023 1:19 pm

    “ABOUT 60 PERCENT of the world’s pasture land … is covered by grazing systems.” I don’t understand. I’d expect 100% of pastures to be used for grazing, that being what “pasture” means.

    Or have I missed some subtle implication in the word “systems”? Or is he hinting that some pasture isn’t grazed out of season? Or is he just talking bollocks as usual?

    • John Hultquist permalink
      February 20, 2023 4:46 pm

      I agree – it seems a bit fuzzy.
      On other subjects, I have spent too much time trying to determine the real story.
      This time I am passing on the issue.

    • lordelate permalink
      February 20, 2023 7:38 pm

      I think you have hit the nail on the head with the ‘bollocks’ word.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      February 20, 2023 7:39 pm

      I don’t think all pastures are used continuously. Some is left fallow, or as summer/winter grazing.
      Highland shielings for example, I understand they did something similar in the Alps.

  14. steve permalink
    February 20, 2023 1:24 pm

    I say let him carry on with this kind of stuff. he is doing his cause no end of harm with his increasingly bizarre and frankly plain idiotic ramblings. Even the CC nutters will see he is mad eventually.

  15. Sean Galbally permalink
    February 20, 2023 1:30 pm

    Monbiot either has a preconceived agenda, making him an alarmist, or he has nothing between his ears.

    • February 20, 2023 4:27 pm

      It’s the stop everything mentality.

  16. Mad Mike permalink
    February 20, 2023 2:03 pm

    This guy should view and understand this video

    He should be able to get through it as it’s a Ted Talk by another alarmist. The difference is the speaker has not followed the herd, no pun intended, but has questioned the accepted. He is now proving that grazing animals are essential in combatting desertification and the production of CO2 and methane if that’s your bag.

    Whatever you believe, lots of people who live, if thats what you call it, off the land are being given hope for their future instead of handouts.

    • February 20, 2023 4:40 pm

      How to green the dessert and “reverse climate change”????? In this age of cancel culture WHY are people not laughed out of the room who make such asinine statements? “Reverse climate change” indeed. Oh so this moron does not like the fact that during the latest interglacial warm ( which is part of a waning series), the climatic regions expand meaning there is more inhabitable land? Where are the normal voices to speak sense? The Enlightenment is not just endangered it is dead when physics also is controlled by lefties! Does he not know science is more than a mad program of planned failure (at your expense) dreamed up by worthless products of an arts “education” ( I use the term education in it’s loosest possible form).

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 20, 2023 5:47 pm

        We ARE greening the desert!

        Greening of the Earth and its drivers

        Global environmental change is rapidly altering the dynamics of terrestrial vegetation, with consequences for the functioning of the Earth system and provision of ecosystem services1,2. Yet how global vegetation is responding to the changing environment is not well established. Here we use three long-term satellite leaf area index (LAI) records and ten global ecosystem models to investigate four key drivers of LAI trends during 1982–2009. We show a persistent and widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area, whereas less than 4% of the globe shows decreasing LAI (browning). Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models suggest that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend, followed by nitrogen deposition (9%), climate change (8%) and land cover change (LCC) (4%). CO2 fertilization effects explain most of the greening trends in the tropics, whereas climate change resulted in greening of the high latitudes and the Tibetan Plateau. LCC contributed most to the regional greening observed in southeast China and the eastern United States. The regional effects of unexplained factors suggest that the next generation of ecosystem models will need to explore the impacts of forest demography, differences in regional management intensities for cropland and pastures, and other emerging productivity constraints such as phosphorus availability.

      • February 20, 2023 6:44 pm

        I know the extra CO2 is contributing to greening of the desert along with increased rainfall, but my point was “reversing climate change”…….dear god! 1. it is an impossibility and 2. WHY? Ice Age anyone?

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 20, 2023 9:42 pm

        According to the accepted AGW hoaxer wisdom, widespread increase of growing season integrated LAI (greening) over 25% to 50% of the global vegetated area SHOULD at least partially combat climate change, but I expect the average Watermelon is too thick to work that out!

    • Mad Mike permalink
      February 20, 2023 6:51 pm

      2 points to get from the talk. Taking grazing animals off the land only makes the land worse for ecology which is in direct contradiction of what our hero is saying. The second point is that the subsequent greening actually absorbs CO2 and methane. Regardless of how we view the actions of these 2 gases, it shows that somebody has challenged the ecology/green orthodoxy and can show practically that most orthodox thinking is wrong.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        February 20, 2023 9:45 pm

        It seems the Moonbat is unaware that before the White Man appeared in Africa and America there were far more ruminants of all shapes, sizes and varieties roaming on the great plains of those two continents than cows, sheep and goats today.

  17. johnbillscott permalink
    February 20, 2023 2:07 pm

    Off topic but it is nuce to see sanity rising, Pauls Notalotofpeopleknowthat is referenced. is a big read but worthwhile.

    Once you roll back the fiddled data you will see there is no climate emergency:

    And if you want to see the economics of Net Zero showing why it will never work see the reports by McKinsey, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan here:

    Worried about sea level rise ? – see how much Bill Gates mansion will face in 100 years:
    Hint – about 8 inches sea level rise in 100 years.

  18. Gamecock permalink
    February 20, 2023 2:54 pm

    At least Klaus Schwab isn’t going to talk us to death before he kills us.

  19. Gamecock permalink
    February 20, 2023 3:02 pm

    ‘The environmental challenge is thus to identify the policies, institutions and technologies which will enhance the positive and mitigate the negative effects of grazing.’

    And who best to handle it? The property OWNER.

    ‘Environmental challenges, issues and options differ significantly according to climate and land capabilities.’

    The GREATEST issue is the owner’s affluence. American farmers have the wherewithal to manage their land very well. They are gods compared to sub Saharan subsistence farmers.

    As usual, CAPITALISM is the answer. Moonbat’s veiled idea of a remote, central controlling agency – policies, institutions and technologies – would kill billions.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 21, 2023 2:18 pm

      Monbiot, like all Leftirs, simply assumes his values (in the economic sense) are indisputably correct and so must be enforced on everyone else. Personally not only do I like farmed food, I like farms. Watching the Clarkson’s Farm TV programme just showed how stupid these people are, calling an area that was wholly developed for use by humans an area of “natural beauty”. I’ve got a field here in SW France that’s too crap for arable crops so I can’t rent it out – it’s gone back to nature and it looks horrible!

  20. Ben Vorlich permalink
    February 20, 2023 3:38 pm

    A cautionary tale about wind generation of electricity, not just birds and bats that are at risk

  21. February 20, 2023 4:28 pm

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Moonbat was willing to see vast areas of arable and pasture farmland poisoned by nuclear fallout or industrial toxins in order to make it unusable for for producing human food. That would be a price worth paying. He’s probably watched the video of how wildlife in the Chernobyl hot zone has surprisingly bounced back, affected not so much by the radio-active contamination, but by the absence of interfering humans.

  22. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 20, 2023 4:38 pm

    It’s all getting a bit silly, isn’t it?

    The idea that farming is ruining nature is risible; it IS nature.

  23. February 20, 2023 4:46 pm

    The lefties hate people. They see humanity as an infestation and the part they want rid of first of all is that associated with Western Civilization. Third world squalor for everyone together with wars pestilence and starvation- The Leftie Nirvana……

  24. lordelate permalink
    February 20, 2023 5:05 pm

    Just listened to the video clip again, he suggests changing to a plant based diet, where pray tell are all the plants to be grown if not on a FARM?. Unless he means perhaps we should all have smashed avocardo and quinoa for breakfast. thats not farmed, is it?
    I mean I know its flown in from the otherside of the world on a jumbo jet but presumably the Avocados grow freely in the wild and are picked by the locals as they wander around the forest, no?

  25. Vatsmith permalink
    February 20, 2023 6:33 pm

    We should remember that civilization started when hunter-gatherers became farmers. however, as with many leftie idiocies, there’s a kernel of common sense at the centre once you’ve cut away the Marxism. A predominantly plant-based diet with good quality meat as an occasional treat would appear to be better for us than the modern western diet of junk food.

  26. Devoncamel permalink
    February 20, 2023 7:47 pm

    There’s a different take on rewinding that many of you will have noticed. Swathes of green pasture in Devon are being ‘planted’ with solar panels. The slogan ‘no farming no food’ is lost on the deluded fool.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      February 20, 2023 8:20 pm


      • cookers52 permalink
        February 21, 2023 7:31 am

        Same is going on in Warwickshire.

        Acres of the best most versatile agricultural land is being covered with solar panels. The landowner/farmer gets a better financial return for the solar farm than food production.

        Does it help save the planet, of course not.

        The same landowners get subsidy for doing nothing and have let large sections of the land return to unmanaged woodland, which is dark and devoid if wildlife

  27. Mr Robert Christopher permalink
    February 20, 2023 9:30 pm

    Here’s a very informative discussion on various health issues, including diet, with Richard Vobes and an extraordinary nurse, though much of the diet discussion is later on in the video:

  28. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    February 21, 2023 9:18 am

    From tasty dish to Petri dish.
    From a big farmer to Big Pharma.
    In order to make us weaker and less human.
    Why is Bill Gates buying up so much farm land ?
    Two legs good, four legs bad, another George once said …

  29. John Brown permalink
    February 21, 2023 11:44 am

    Note the body language. He had to touch his mouth twice during this short 2 minute interview, a sure sign of lying.

  30. dennisambler permalink
    February 21, 2023 2:20 pm

    He has always hated sheep. I think he had a bad experience when he lived in Wales.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      February 21, 2023 6:27 pm

      One probably rejected his advances!

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        February 21, 2023 9:26 pm

        Down here in Kent we have the world famous Romney sheep named after the Romney Marsh…”were men are men and sheep are worried” Best keep George away.

  31. February 21, 2023 5:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Unorthodox Truth.

  32. trevor collins permalink
    February 24, 2023 1:21 am

    Just like the Greenies in New Zealand! Never done a days work in there life. from Trevor in New Zealand.

  33. Hampshire McDougall permalink
    February 24, 2023 10:34 am

    We need to end our dependence on breathing. This process generates copious carbon dioxide which, as we all know, is bad for the climate. Politicians, who generate more than almost everyone else, need to show the way.


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