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The Forum > Article Comments > Greg Huntís carbon illusion > Comments

Greg Huntís carbon illusion : Comments

By Ben Rose, published 18/9/2012

The Liberals' Direct Action plan is constructed on the premise of bogus soil carbon offsets.

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Carbon 'farming' is clearly intended as a cheap copout for big emitters and a form of rural welfare akin to corn ethanol in the US. If a carbon reduction scheme doesn't lead to the closure of older coal fired power stations then it must be be suspect. They say virtue is its own reward so I'm sure farmers can build soil carbon for their own on-farm benefit, not selling carbon credits.

A pointer that these schemes are a scam is the lack of a refund mechanism. If drought, fire, decay or disease converts the stored carbon back to CO2 and CH4 then the farmer should have to pay carbon tax, thereby cancelling out the proceeds of any earlier sale of carbon credits.

I don't think much of carbon tax either. The emissions reduction target for 2000-2020 should be at least 30% not a pathetic 5%. If our coal exports don't also go into reverse then from a global standpoint there is no point to the whole exercise.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 7:34:12 AM
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Imaginary problems lend themselves to imaginary solutions. Since rising CO2 levels will have no deleterious effects on anything, any ritualistic act will do to 'neutralise' them. Now we only need to neutralise the Greens, something which they appear to be working on assiduously themselves.
Posted by Jon J, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 7:47:11 AM
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This polemic needs to be taken in context that Labor's carbon tax will see emissions increase by about 8% by 2020, and will be made up by buying $3.5bn of phoney "carbon credits" from the EU.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 7:59:58 AM
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So Ben. Remind me again why we are going through this agony?

It appears that you may have some evidence/proof that anthropogenic CO2 emissions represent a serious threat to mankind. I think that most of us can accept that the physics shows some warming effect, but the controversial issue becomes the sensitivity of Global Mean Temperature to rising CO2 levels. It is becoming more and more clear that the strongly positive feedbacks assumed by some of the IPCC aligned climate scientists do not accord with actuality, and that feedbacks are likely neutral or negative.

Further, to worry about anthropogenic CO2 requires that we demonstrate that those effects are more substantial than either natural cycles, or land-use factors, both of which are recognised to have substantial effects.

Sorry Ben. Until you and your mates provide some compelling answers to these questions, I am not buying.
Posted by Herbert Stencil, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 8:15:05 AM
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The piece provokes two reactions. Surprise, in that I find myself in sympathy with Ben Rose. And irritation that any such kind of thoughtful analysis provokes a climate change outcry from the usual suspects. Letís ignore the latter and stick to soil carbon offsets. The whole business strikes me as bizarre. Offsets in principle are easy prey for racketeers. The notion of defining all the various forms of soil carbon present, monitoring them over time and soil depth for vast tracts of the countryside, with governments essentially paying up on the results, is mind boggling. I studied soil science, albeit a while ago, and probably did laboratory analysis of soil organic carbon (too far back to recall in detail), but cannot imagine that the science has progressed to the extent that this could ever be a cheap routine reliable process, subject to audit and payment.

On the other hand, solutions to climate change have consistently involved flights of various fervid imaginations on all sides of the argument, especially when it comes to replacing fossil fuels. I guess they will keep coming
Posted by Tombee, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 9:14:38 AM
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It is true that Tony Abbott nodded his head to the false prophets, the statistical manipulaters and the pseudo science brigade when he knows that most of it is c_ap. He pretended to believe while Gillard straight out lied, advised Rudd to dump the tax and then jumped into bed with the Greens in order to cling to power. Its a dirty dirty business politics.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 10:12:12 AM
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