In 2022, Dutch farmers made worldwide news when they began protesting government plans to move them off their lands. Less known to the outside world is the fact that Dutch fishermen, too, are being driven out of their centuries-old fishing grounds, as wind farms and "protected natural areas" take their place. For the current political class at the local, national, and global levels, and for the uninformed public at large, farmers and fishermen stand accused of damaging nature—with officials claiming that policies to "restore" nature and keep it free from human activity are necessary.
How did this false dichotomy of "man versus nature" arise and come to the forefront of policymaking? To answer that question, one has to dive into the history of industrial agriculture and the rise of global agribusiness (see Some Post-WWII Historical Background).