Thursday, November 30, 2006

Federal Government announces an enquiry into soil carbon

The Carbon Coalition sent Senator Ian Campbell (Environment Minister) the information below and the same day he announces an enquiry. (If Only it was that simple.) The Australian Newspaper announced that the Government had a budget of $100,000 for a "project" which will bring together US and Australian researchers to work on tools to measure the amount of carbon stored. (We can tell the Minister from bitter experience that a hundred grand doesn't get much methodology testing.)


The experts agree: only soils can sequester significant amounts of atmospheric Carbon in the next 30 years. Every other solution will take 30 years to start shifting meaningful volumes.

“It buys us time…”

“C Sequestration in soil and vegetation is a bridge to the future. It buys us time while alternatives to fossil fuel take effect.”

Dr Rattan Lal
Director, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Professor of Soil Science, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Resources
Ohio State University
Liebig Applied Soil Science Award, World Congress of Soil Science 2006

“Unlike others… it is immediate…”

"Unlike many other technologies to offset fossil fuel emissions, land management for soil C sequestration can be implemented immediately, provided there are incentives to do so. An immediate offset of CO2 emissions provides a significant delay in the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration. By the time that land management C sequestration begins to saturate the soil’s capacity to store additional C, other methods of reducing emissions or sequestering carbon may be available or already in use.”

Professor Bruce McCarl, Agricultural Economist and Economist, Climate Change, Texas A&M University
Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“Available… low cost…”

"Terrestrial C sequestration could have an immediate application in climate change mitigation due to its availability, relatively low cost, and associated environmental benefits."

R.W. Izaurrable and C.W.Rice, "Methods and Tools for Designing a Pilot Soil Carbon Sequestration Project", in Carbon Sequestration in Soils of Latin America, Lal et al. eds, 2006

“It’s here… now…”

“Terrestrial sequestration is here and now. It’s user friendly. It’s the Mom’s Apple Pie of sequestration.”

Dr. John Antle,
Professor of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University
Technical Leader, Economics, BigSky Carbon Sequestration Partnership

FACT: “Carbon scrubbing” at source does not reduce the existing CO2 burden in the atmosphere

FACT: “Geosequestation” (burial beneath deep cap rock formations and exhausted oil wells) does not reduce the existing CO2 burden and researchers say it will take 100 years to determine if it is effective

FACT: Forests can be net emitters in their early stages and take many years to reach their sequestration potential

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