Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"Bitcoin, Carbon Credits And Regenerative Farming"

Now is the time we go all intersectional.
And maybe a bit transgressive.

From Bitcoin Magazine, July 19:

How can Bitcoiners accelerate a transition into regenerative farming and cattle management?

An article discussing a speculative attack on the carbon credit system to sustainably rebuild the U.S. food supply chain and redenominate fiat into bitcoin, cattle and topsoil.

There is a lot of interest and discussion among the Bitcoin community surrounding our food supply chain, its fragility and solutions to the problem. There is a general consensus on what needs to happen: resilient, independent genetic cattle stock need to be reintroduced en masse into the U.S. to provide a more robust meat supply. Regenerative ranching techniques need to be used with said cattle to rebuild the topsoils of the country and stop the desertification of the Midwest. Citadels with independent water and energy resources need to be built that will use those techniques to responsibly manage large tracts of land, producing a food supply chain that is not dependent on inputs to survive.

The debate, then, is not about the what but the how. I argue that the most potent play (and, really, the only realistic one) is a speculative attack on the corrupt system of carbon credits and environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. In short, Bitcoiners can use the cantillionaire system the cronies have established to beat them at their own game.

We fully understand and respect that many Bitcoiners may disagree with our position here, perhaps strongly. But a look back at the major civil and human rights struggles in modern history (India, South Africa, the United States) shows that success has often required both strong external resistance and internal destabilization.

Setting The Stage: The Problem

Profit margins in ranching are extremely slim.1 Traditional ranching requires knowledge and expertise in genetic testing, artificial insemination, calving and disease control. Throughout its lifetime, a cow will need regular vaccinations, antibiotics, antiparasitics, vet visits, pest treatments, etc., not to mention the significant annual investment in supplemental feed — anything from hay to brewer’s mash to reject skittles.2 The four mega-meat processors require arbitrary phenotypic traits (which amount to a bovine beauty contest) for a rancher to receive reasonable returns, and processors are known to engage in price fixing in order to force the ranchers to keep their rates low.3 The situation has produced a ranching monoculture, leading to less robust genetic stock, dependency on external inputs and a perilous fragility of the overall food system.

Meanwhile, heritage breeds of cattle exist that can live exclusively on scrubland, are naturally pest and parasite resistant and don’t need human assistance with reproduction or birth. Unfortunately, however, they are currently few and far between. Even if a rancher wanted to use these breeds, they command only a third of the price of the “popular” cow breeds, making it economically unfeasible for all but a few. Most ranchers simply do not have the profit margins to switch from current industrially accepted breeds to the heritage breeds, with the net revenue even for standard cows averaging less than $75 in profit per cow in a good year.4 There’s simply no way the average rancher can afford the transition costs and time.

Regenerative farming is a process of dense rotational grazing of the cattle to mimic the historic effects of bison grazing. Techniques developed by Allen Savory and Joel Salatin mimic natural patterns of how predation forces migration of native animals. The cows are kept in dense formation and continuously rotated across a ranch at high frequency, while allowing the grasses to fully recover before the animals revisit a particular location. The resulting trimming of the grass stimulates more growth and denser roots, aeration of the soil by dense hoof trampling and significant deposition of fertilizer (manure and urine) to rebuild topsoils.

In contrast, traditional ranching leaves the cows to roam on thousands of acres at a time. This leads them to eat only their preferred grasses, which in turn allows the undesirable grasses to go to seed and propagate, slowly taking over. The leftover grasses also cover the soil in the winter, blocking sun and water and causing a thinning out of the field. The cycle repeats until there isn’t enough nutrition to sustain the herd, the topsoil washes away and the land deteriorates in a downward spiral. Regenerative ranching ends this destructive and unsustainable pattern.

Yet regenerative farming has one significant drawback: it is extremely hard to make it profitable in the near term. It is already difficult for a rancher to make a living using traditional practices, especially after taking on the debt that most will find necessary to acquire land. Add in the fact that regenerative farming will require a much longer “runway” before it starts to generate appreciable revenue, and it just isn’t practical for the vast majority of people who don’t have significant resources to fall back on.

The Solution....