Saturday, April 18, 2009

Attention: Carbon Fractions are not a trading issue

Science and Commerce are different fields with different needs. A scientist might find it hard to understand that a buyer is not interested in which particular carbon molecule is immoblised. They are interested in the raw number of molecules. We all know that Carbon cycles. We have caused that cycle to get out of whack and so we need to park as much of it as we can in a “holding bay”.”

Some of it will escape – we all know that. But it will be replaced and then added to. If the farm is tuned to sequestration, it will be cycling continuously. And within this cycling dynamic, the “Carbon Holding Value” – the actual carbon score – should be rising. The buyer of offsets is buying the difference between two points in time.

As the NSW DPI’s David Waters says in his most excellent “Carbon Myth Busters: Soil Carbon Seminar”, a Carbon Farmer should “aim to continually manage the flow of soil organic matter, not just hoard it.”

PS. Reciting the fractions and pointing out that the labile, volatile fractions are the largest is not making a point about trading. It simply reveals that you believe in the old Particular Molecule Theory of Soil Carbon Dynamics as opposed to the Molecule Value Theory.

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