The Coffee House

Full Version: Convert half of UK farmland to nature?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.

Half of the nation’s farmland needs to be transformed into woodlands and natural habitat to fight the climate crisis and restore wildlife, according to a former chief scientific adviser to the UK government.

Prof Sir Ian Boyd said such a change could mean the amount of cattle and sheep would fall by 90%, with farmers instead being paid for storing carbon dioxide, helping prevent floods and providing beautiful landscapes where people could boost their health and wellbeing.

Boyd said the public were subsidising the livestock industry to produce huge environmental damage. The professor spent seven years at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before stepping down in August. Half of farmland, mostly uplands and pasture, produces just 20% of the UK’s food and would be better for used other public goods, he said.

Boyd, who became vegetarian during his time in Defra, said farmers were potentially “sitting on a goldmine” in terms of the payments they could receive for growing trees and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

While I like the idea of helping the environment, this honestly sounds too radical to me. We've got quite a high population density as it is, and we need that farmland to have anything resembling self-sufficiency for food. Sure, we can buy in food from foreign countries; however, if those trade links ever get severed for one reason or another, then we'd just be screwing ourselves over by doing something like this :-/ . (Not to mention, farms in those foreign countries may not be as eco-friendly as British farms, and shipping the food in has environmental costs in and of itself - so, if the goal here is to help the environment, then this seems to be a completely backwards way of going about it -_- )

Maybe it'll be viable in the future, if something like vertical farming takes off... but, for now, I honestly don't see this being workable :( .
Create more food insecurity (in terms of national defense and interest, if you relay on a good percentage of your food from trade you are vulnerable in war be it a trade war, actual war, and even in negotiations as your position is compromised.)
Cause food prices to get higher due to importing more
Use more fossil fuels to import more food (Because cargo ships,
Destroy the lively hoods of many many families
Create more food insecurity (in terms of making it more expensive for people to get food harming the poor and (close to) paycheck to paycheck people more)


This also is at odds with the "Farm to table", "shop local", and other catch phrases the "environmentalists" who try and push for this stuff also keep on spouting.
Eh yeah I don't agree with this idea. We lose enough farm and greenland through building homes and shops. And although we do need more trees to combat climate change, there's got to be a more efficient way of doing it.