"Carbon storage has to be permanent if it is going to be treated as equivalent to carbon emissions from the industrial sectors." Sen. Joe Ludwig, the Minister for Agriculture, is a victim of the 100 Years Rule misconception that dogs the soil carbon solution. There is no science behind this statement. There can be no equivalence between biological cycles and industrial emissions. Offsets earned by avoiding emissions of CO2 by using renewable energy instead of digging up a tonne of coal and burning it are said to be permanent and offsets earned by converting CO2 into soil and rootmass are said to be volatile and unsafe. Yet who can guarantee that the tonne of coal won't be dug up and burned at some future time, say tomorrow. Given the world's appetite for coal, this is not unreasonable. Yet the humus colloid can remain stable for 1000 years. Coal emissions avoided are even more insecure than soil carbon, in this scenario. The 100 Year Rule was not chosen by scientists based on evidence, it was chosen by policy makers - aka. politicians - based on ignorance and prejudice. Scientists are unified in their objection to soil carbon offsets, according to the CSIRO's ECOS magazine.
Opportunities in the Carbon Farming Initiative will be revealed at the Carbon Farming Conference & Expo, 28-29 September, 2011