Through the Looking Glass


In Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published in 1871, Alice climbs through a mirror into a world in which, just like a reflection, everything is reversed – including logic.

Increasingly it feels like we have all climbed through the looking glass with Alice into a dark parallel universe in which reason is turned on its head. In this new world, to save the Planet we must first destroy it.

We saw Mad-Hatter examples of this earlier in the year.

Last March Cambridgeshire County councillors voted to chop down hundreds of magnificent trees in Coton Orchard for a busway to “tackle climate change”. The orchard had been designated as a habitat of principal importance for wildlife in England. No matter: The trees had to go to save the planet.

More recently, the people of Scotland received wonderful news. Unbeknown to them, they contributed greatly to tackling the “Climate Crisis”. Nearly 16 million trees were felled  on publicly owned land since the beginning of the Millennium – the equivalent of more than 1 700 trees per day – according to Mairi Gougeon, the current SNP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs. The motive was a “major drive to erect wind turbines”.

The fact that nothing the United Kingdom does with regard to energy policy makes a blind bit of difference, given our population size and our energy consumption, is totally irrelevant to our decision makers, corporations, or their Climate disciples. According to data from the Global Atmospheric Research Program, the United Kingdom is responsible for 1.03% of global CO2 emissions.

For their part, while comparatively inhospitable places, Burundi, Liberia and Somalia are much more climate friendly. They produce no CO2 emissions and thus are an example for us to follow.

Putting feelings before facts and infantilised emotions before responsible husbandry, the country, according to our “Through the Looking Glass” bosses, must lead the way in its own economic deconstruction to remain “influential” in the world of politicised experts. Self-righteousness and its imposition on the rest of us is more important than our general peace of mind or economic wellbeing.  

The moral high ground is what they seek to keep and, interestingly, a piece of real estate for which little can be spared. The costs their policies impose on the rest of us are irrelevant.

What is true for energy also holds for agriculture. Indeed, governments across Europe are working around the clock to fulfill their commitment to shift to a climate-neutral economy, whatever that may mean. Under the European Green Deal, the climate neutrality objective becomes a legal commitment for the 27 signed-up countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The implications are nothing short of revolutionary. In Holland, for instance, the government has spent considerable amounts of energy in an effort to forcibly expropriate its diligent farmers – to reduce emissions by 50% over the next seven years.

The most productive farmers in the world are in the process of being thrown under the bus to meet arbitrary targets.

European food supplies and security be damned.

In Ireland, the cow has also drifted into the crosshairs of Climate experts. Culls of hundreds of thousands of the placid ruminant have been mooted to meet Climate change targets. So extreme are the propositions that Elon Musk, the entrepreneur, intervened via Twitter, the social media platform, making the refreshingly commonsensical point that “killing some cows doesn’t matter for climate change” adding “this really needs to stop”.

If tearing down our forests, dismantling our farms, and culling our cows to “tackle the climate” are accepted as valid propositions, the alternatives themselves need to be closely examined. Whatever they are, these will necessarily be untested or misunderstood. Indeed, their effects on human beings, as comestibles, might have side effects that few today understand.

We are destroying farming, the rock on which our civilisation has been built, to experiment on a continental scale with foodstuffs with which we are much less familiar.

For example, if cows are out and soybeans are in, as an alternative for your cheeses, ice creams, and cappuccinos, it might be worth looking at what its cultivation and consumption might mean for the planet and, much more importantly, human beings. The soybean industry has grown over fifteen times since the 1950s, according to the World Wildlife fund. This has created its own set of environmental problems. The soybean industry is causing widespread deforestation and displacement of small farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe, widespread deforestation in Brazil, soil erosion, and a loss of biodiversity. Farming soy requires excessive use of pesticides and insecticides.

Soy consumption could also be making people depressed, nihilistic, and fatalistic, potentially explaining the explosion of Wokery and institutionalised insanity.  

Research seems to be suggesting that its consumption could contribute to very severe neurological diseases which are on the rise globally: Alzheimer’s, autism, anxiety and depression.   In a recent study by the University of California Riverside and published in Endocrinology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal which covers research on all aspects of endocrinology, including growth factors, steroids, the thyroid, and physiology, it was found that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice.

In a different research project, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.

“The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, a UCR associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study. 

Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology, added that “the dogma is that saturated fat is bad and unsaturated fat is good. Soybean oil is a polyunsaturated fat, but the idea that it’s good for you is just not proven.”

Poonamjot Deol, another scientist in the lab and first author of the study, added “if there’s one message I want people to take away, it’s this: reduce consumption of soybean oil.”

It is deeply ironic then that food products like soy oil and soy milk, which are so beloved by the supposedly more socially and ethically conscious among us, are potentially dangerous crops. The collateral environmental and mental harm caused by soy is broadly either overlooked or dismissed. 

The broader message is that we should not dismantle our agriculture or tear down our forests to appease supranational lobbies. Let us keep our forests, our farms and our herds safe from the depredation of centralised decision makers, the competence and the honesty of which daily come into question. We need to step back out of the parallel universe we have been forcibly pushed into and get back to the real world where logic, once again, rules.  

Alex Story is Head of Business Development at a City broker working with Hedge Funds and other financial institutions. He stood for parliament in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2016, he won the right to represent Yorkshire & the Humber in the European Parliament. He didn’t take the seat.