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The Forum > Article Comments > Can the CFI survive > Comments

Can the CFI survive : Comments

By David Leyonhjelm, published 7/9/2011

The Carbon Farming Initiative looks set to survive regardless of the next election's outcome, which begs the question of how it could be changed to appeal to farmers.

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Carbon farming runs the risk of moral hazard whereby we convince ourselves that the amounts and permanence of CO2 capture are better than they really are. A strong hint to this is the fact that money made from carbon credits will not have to be repaid if something goes wrong like a tree plantation catching fire. I understand such cases remain in the too hard basket presumably until forgotten about.

It's also highly suss trying to change the carbon accounting rules at this late stage. The danger is taking our eye off the ball which is primarily replacing coal as an energy source. Our thoughts will be preoccupied with minuscule changes in methane from sheep. Meanwhile Hazelwood power station spews out 14 million tonnes of CO2 a year but we're too distracted to notice.

Note that the European emissions trading scheme shuns carbon sink credits as temporary and unreliable. They permit the dodgier 'clean development' offsets which are an accounting fiction. Therefore I suggest no carbon credits be allowed in the Australian ETS should it come to pass in 2015. That means no CFI. The focus must be on large point source emitters above a threshold. That would cut out most farms.
Posted by Taswegian, Wednesday, 7 September 2011 9:45:19 AM
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I'm gald you've started an even handed discussion on this improtant issue David.

There is a distinction between carbon REDUCTION ,which is reducing emissions and carbon OFFSET which is what arbon farming may do - take up C to offset C emitted. I agree with Taswegian that the most effective emission reduction schemes dont allow offset. I think a broad basede carbon tax is actually most effective, equitable and gives most certainty to industry.

I work in the carbon sequestration industry and I reckon yes David, permanent commercial tree crops on farms are the future. If the rules were to allow 'pre-sale' of carbon stored in their roots to offset companies , that would cover the cost of establishment. Therafter the crop stands on its own from sale of timber, fuel, pulp, fruit, nuts, stockfeed or whatever.

Covenants to attached to the landholdings should be relaxed to the extend that the same area of trees must remain in perpetuity somehwere on the title but not necessarily in the same place. With these changes I think a lot of landholders would take this up. It would also be rigorous enough from the carbon aspect because the trees are always there contributing to carbon by live and dead roots and leaf litter.

Trees are far greater carbon fixers than grasses or pastures or crops ever can be on nearly all Australian soils and climates
Posted by Roses1, Wednesday, 7 September 2011 11:23:49 AM
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David has a realistic assessment of the chances of other carbon trading schemes.. these just aren't going to happen, nor is there now going to be any effective, enforceable international agreement. Perhaps even now the activists are starting to accept this.

Given that, it is difficult to see just what use CFI would be. I strongly suspect that the scheme will not be improved, and so will be ignored but for a handful of die hards, until a later government gets around to repealing the legislation.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Wednesday, 7 September 2011 11:57:24 AM
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David, the advocates of policy action on global warming have been consistently thrashed because they can never:
• Prove significant global warming without reliance on vested interests. Significant is defined as bad enough to warrant concerns about the “the planet” for the sake of “our grandchildren”.
• Cite a peer-reviewed scientific paper providing *temperature* measurements proving the alleged tropospheric hot-spot, supposedly causing the alleged greenhouse effect, on which the whole belief system depends
• Prove that the negative aspects of alleged global arming outweigh the positive aspects, and how they know
• Prove that policy action will necessarily produce a better result, and how they know.

Every time they are challenged to answer these issues in here, after a diversionary tactic of ad hominem arguments and appeal to absent authority, they do not concede, but only go quiet, and pop up somewhere else re-running the same furphies.

When we hear boffins talking so confidently of carbon offset policies versus carbon reduction policies, we need to reflect thus. These people are talking about “balancing” all the oxidation and reduction reactions in the whole world, so as to “balance” the interests of all current and all future people, which just happens to require knowledge of the climatic, ecological, and economic quantities, costs and benefits in the whole world now and in the future.

Just to state what the belief system entails, is enough to see that it is conceited foolery of the worst kind.

But it is worse than that, as it also just happens to entail a massive attack against the productive class by the parasite class, intended to divert capital on a massive scale to uses explicitly *because* they are less economic, i.e. satisfy less rather than more urgent and important human needs. They are not mere lunatics, they are nasty sociopaths.

Mate, these oxygen thieves should be laughed to scorn and condemned as anti-human, not politely humoured. Don't forget it’s our freedoms that are disappearing under this slime tide of religious fascism. If they had their way, they would usher in the new dark ages.
Posted by Peter Hume, Wednesday, 7 September 2011 4:29:05 PM
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