Monday, May 23, 2011

An enlightened soil scientist in Australia

Dr Rich Conant is enlightened. He questions the conventional view of soil carbon sequestration. For instance, the 100 year rule. He thinks it sucks.

His Comment on CFI Consultation Document: “Even a generous interpretation of the treatment of permanence in this document seems very likely to exclude all sequestration practices." Richard Conant is currently a Smart Futures Fellow at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia and an ecosystem ecologist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. "The 100-yr time frame is long enough to create a system of multiplegeneration conservation easements. Unless the value of credits is high, the incentive to sign up seems likely to be small compared with the productive value of the land. Moreover, the 100-yr figure is still arbitrary and suggests that the issue of permanence has not been fully considered. The issue is that short-term storage of carbon in the biosphere is of little drawdown of atmospheric CO2. It seems to me that the goal of a sound biosequestration program is to maximize drawdown. In theory, this can be achieved with a series of short-term programs as well as it can be achieved with a long-term program. The most robust approach would be to recognize this limitation and address it directly rather than put off the day of reconciliation to future generations while minimizing drawdown in the near term.”

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