While governments around the world have tried to coordinate their efforts to rein in the emissions causing climate change, critics rightfully argue that the targets they have agreed to are too modest. But structural obstacles to the kind of cooperation needed to address the problem make it unlikely that a solution will be reached.

Farmers’ protests over the Dutch government’s plan to cut ammonia pollution highlight the political challenges of bringing farming practices in line with environmental objectives. But the problems the new policy is meant to address also serve as a warning to food producers everywhere: Factory farming is a dead end.