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Sri Lanka Goes Woke, Now Hundreds of Thousands May Starve

Sri Lanka Goes Woke, Now Hundreds of Thousands May Starve

In April 2021, Sri Lanka decided to ban the importation of chemical fertilizers, because pressure from green folks convinced them to attempt to become “organic.”

By the time this ban was reversed in November, they had lost 40-50% of their rice crop, a Sri Lanki staple, and substantial impact on others.

Now with massive inflation, the shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, both grains and fertilizers, Sri Lanka is running out of foreign reserves to pay for these more expensive goods. 6 million people are in danger of being short of food. Power cuts have lasted longer and lines at the (propane) refill station have become long.  

Public sector employees are being given time off to grow their own food. Families are reverting to wood stoves and food that does not require as much preparation.

Sri Lanka has lost any advances they have made in the last 100 years.

The charity Save the Children estimates that 12% of the poorest households are taking “crisis level” steps to survive the food shortage and the pending economic collapse.

Clearly, Sri Lanka has made a whole series of mistakes.  But convincing them to ban chemical fertilizers was a con they didn’t deserve.   

Fertilizer generally increases crop production by 30-40%.  In Sri Lanka, apparently a bit higher. Yes, it may be that chemical fertilizers have a small effect on the environment. But the impact is the subject of dueling research, and production per acre in the agricultural world has never been higher.

Could Sri Lanka afford to lose almost half of their production for even a season, just to meet an environmental standard that means very little and whose effects are controversial at best? 

Perhaps they could have made up the difference by planting more and importing more, if the rest of the world hadn’t gone haywire.

As it is, millions are at risk, and hundreds of thousands could die from starvation.

But environmentalists don’t care. I guess it doesn’t matter. They believe the earth’s population is too high anyway, have to start somewhere. Heartless bastards.

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  1. Kyle

    See what wokeness and liberals will do to a country? People in America have better wake up. We are in serious trouble because of the leftist stupidity

  2. frank stetson

    Joe goes full Alice doing a copy/paste of a blogosphere special with a special Joe extremist icing on top.

    Fact is this decision to stop using inorganic fertilizers, etc. was a unilateral decision of a crazy President who has fled the country and quit.

    Joe’s “Fertilizer generally increases crop production by 30-40%” buts up against organic yields about 25% less than inorganic; his number seems as inflated as his rhetoric. Everyone know that organic’s yield less, thus a stupid decision by this President.

    Then, he put no plan, no training, etc, into the implementation process doomed to failure.

    Oh yeah, he did a flash cut, no trials, no tests, no staggered rollout.

    Actually, they may have done better than anticipated given the decisions made.

    It was, and is, a stupid idea for any country unless they have an abundance of tillable lands.

    While organic may be considered green, I do not know many that advocate a complete argo business based on that. I really doubt it is in the AOC plan for example. Matter of fact, depending on how organic is achieved, it may not even be greener. Black plastic for example, bad on many levels. Weeding by tilling not exactly greener given erosion. Lots of potential downsides with just the notion of “organic.”

    But Joe has conflated one man’s terrible decision, unfortunately forced upon an entire country, to an entire movement. That’s shoddy logic. It’s like me saying all Republicans are burger tossing, steering wheel grabbing, insurrectionists. Hey, maybe Joe is on to something here :>)

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Frank you appear to know nothing about farming, and once again you are all over the place.

      My argument stands that Sri Lanka was influenced by stupid, single-minded environmentalists to make a decision that may cause hundreds of thousands to starve.

      You understand that is the point, right? People dying?

      • Kyle

        Frank thinks better woke than alive

        • Joe Gilbertson

          It’s true, he does.

      • frank stetson

        Larry: we agree this was a terrible tragic idea and people have and will die. We, and other journalists, do not agree it’s a green thing, much less woke. Not even sure what woke got to do with it except it’s a banner you can wave to rally the sheep. Beyond the decision, please show us how environmentalists influenced Sir Lanka’s President to make this unilateral decision in the dead of night, with a 100% immediate conversion on a flash cut? I really doubt they feel organics can do the entire job given the yields alone, much less that sustainability does not require it. But hey, you’re the farming expert, show us the source.

        The point is what caused the expected deaths and why. Joe deflects my post, but he has not looked further that the right-wing blogosphere where all minds think alike and plagiarize without added value — like Joe has here.


        Note green is not mentioned. Woke is not mentioned. Nor has Joe shown where any green advocacy group suggests immediate 100% conversion to organic much less what green has to do with woke. Nor has Joe shown this President as even mentioning green or woke.

        Definition of woke: “alert to injustice in society, especially racism. “we need to stay angry, and stay woke””

        Sri Lanka is going broke, foreign dollars have disappeared, and many think the President just wanted to avoid paying out the traditional fertilizer subsidies because the country was broke. Also, a potential land grab via bankruptcy.

        I suggest that folks read a bit outside the blogosphere on this one; not sure outside of that anyone conflates Sri Lanka’s obviously stupid decision implemented in the poorest possible fashion with the green movement.

        • frank stetson

          ooooops, JOE not Larry. power outage, gene woke me. Coffee not kicked in.

  3. Stephen Travers

    India has bought into this New Green Deal too. There are “nonprofits” paying farmers to try “Sustainable farming”. Cutting out “Chemical pesticides and fertilizers” from all farming. Replacing it with organic matter such as cow dung, cow urine and jaggery, to boost soil nutrients. All in the name of Climate change. Currently this nonprofit “has provided assistance to more than 60,000 farming families”. So as long as a nonprofit “provide assistance” farmers do well but when the farmers aren’t paid by the nonprofit it leads to what is happening in Sri Lanka.

    • frank stetson

      Could be, but it’s less than a 5% effect in India, in terms of tillable acres. And this is “sustainable,” which includes but not exclusively organic.

      In the US, 70% of all farms have sustainable elements, only abut 1% of land is organic farmed.