Quit rice or dump climate change?

Commentary by Itthi CT Special to Thai Newsroom

WHEN Climate Change activists tell you to stop eating rice and ban rice cultivation, it is time Thailand quit the Paris Accord.

Singapore based Channel News Asia (CNA) on Tuesday March 23rd aired a programme calling people to halt consuming rice and meat because they cause deadly carbon emissions.

You would think CNA has the sense to question the validity of such a lofty idea but it swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Could it be they are brainwashed like so many Net addicts they are so easily fooled by yet another Malthusian Doomsday nonsense?

Two years back Climate Change zealots campaigned for banning cattle as cow farts were a source of deadly methane. The childish theory was endorsed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, then the world’s richest man with a powerful foundation backing such issues.

Because of Gates’ labs producing artificial meat was touted as the solution or alternative to beef, suspicion rose over whether this was a blatant ploy to monopolise food?

Now banning rice and livestock has emerged as yet another Trojan Horse to control the food chain.

The danger in disrupting food supply is the millions of lives and jobs Climate Change supporters are willing to sacrifice. Bearing the brunt are Asians whose staple is rice.

Agricultural economies like Thailand are bound to suffer most. In the Kingdom, more than 70 per cent of the populace live and depend on farms. The bulk will be jobless and destitute in Climate Change’s new order. Do we need another Killing Fields?

For seven hundred years or more, people on this land have never encountered hunger or depended on food imports. Should we cancel all that in favour of Lab Food, made and sold by people like Gates?

Climate Change has hijacked a noble revolt started by Greenpeace to clean up the environment, protect people from pollution, reduce dependency on expensive oil imports and the need to reforest degraded vegetation.

The hidden agenda of Climate Change has less to do with marine life preservation or saving wildlife from extinction. All its focus is changing consumer habits by switching them to products they monopolise.

It cannot be clearer despite claims they want to save the world.

And who will save us from them? As farms are banned it will mean the suffering of hundreds of millions from all over Asia.

CNA’s next rice programme should read up on rice history as it is part of Singapore’s regional heritage. It may be of interest to know that rice was found in the oldest Bronze Age archaeological site in Ban Chang, Thailand.

The human settlement dates back 6,500 years or more. Rice has been around a very long time and has never threatened the planet. Nor has livestock.

Perhaps a threat is actually Lab Food! Nobody knows its long term damage unlike rice or the meat we have been eating for thousands of years.

The much prized khao hom mali (jasmine rice) is grown mainly in the Northeastern provinces, some of the hardiest and poorest in the Kingdom.

For years global companies have tried to exploit and control the rice industry with marginal success. At first, they insisted small farmers should be phased out.

The hundreds of thousands of individual farms are hard to control while the big ones are easier to blackmail using tariffs and import bans.

Thankfully His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej championed small farmers and saw them as the backbone of the country. His Majesty’s Sufficiency Economy was based on sustainable farming of which two thirds of the land was devoted to rice farming. In doing so the farmers were self-sufficient in grain, meat from livestock and fish from ponds, protecting them from any upheaval whether political or commercial.

Telling thai farmers to migrate to cities is a terrible idea.

One rice farmer in Ubon Ratchathani who is also a single mother of two children, contemplated such a suggestion. “Currently I can manage my small 5-rai plot and raise the kids. The cost of living is low. I spend nothing on food as I have grain and livestock. We eat well, the food is always plenty and fresh

“If I sold the land and moved to the city, how long would the money from land sale last? A couple of years and I would face expensive lodgings and high school fees? And then I would have no assets once the farm is sold.

“If I find work, it will not be secure. What if I get laid off?” The lockdowns the last 16 months have shown labourers could easily be sacked sometimes with little or no compensation at all. In Thailand the small farmers are the safety net, not social security schemes. Whenever there is a crisis, a crash or economic shock, the farms feed and protect the poor.

Agricultural base countries like Thailand have everything to lose and nothing to gain by drinking their Kool Aid. We are no Jonestown.

There is nothing natural about eating only plant based foods. Not everyone can survive on that. Nor is it healthy for most people to omit red meat from their diets.

It is time to bluntly call a space a shovel and shove it.


Top: An agriculture official demonstrates the use of drones to monitor rice crops for disease and pests.

Home Page: A rice farmer who is also a single mother stands on her farm that supports her and her two children with food and income.



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