Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soil Carbon spells H-O-P-E

Two conversations yesterday - an officer from a rural municipality who reported that optimism is in short supply in the bush. "We are overstocked with Doom and Gloom." Everything points to Bad. Even Soil Carbon. The Negativists have got to them. Would we come and talk to them. They need some hope. Second conversation was with a most senior soil scientist who is working on a measurement methodology and is including economists and statisticians in his development team. He is a Simplifier, not a Complicator. He gave me hope. We have a lot to be hopeful about. Tony Abbott is announcing his Great Soil Carbon Plan in a few days, after a media build-up akin to the Second Coming. The Government's National Carbon Offset Standard announced itself last December, with several pointed references to soil carbon and farmers' creating offsets. The Standard starts operation in July, which isn't much time. Slowly but surely soil carbon is breaking through to the media and their understanding will grow - and with it the community's understanding. Then we could see a shift in mood. The "stifling fear" of climate change that people carry in their hearts - and which sparks denial and other disorders of the spirit - can terrify them only while they feel that there is no hope. Ironically it is those in denial who rob them of hope by denying the source of the problem, giving humanity no action it can take to counter the threat. Once soil carbon is understood, truly understood in its every dimension, optimism will return. And once there is a price on soil carbon, then the innovators will deliver the solutions that currently remain hidden under a pile of old ideas and ideologies. "Let the dead bury their dead." (Luke 9:59-62) The future speaks a language that the past cannot understand. It is the language of hope.

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