Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who said this? "Australian soils can't store carbon"

"The bulk of Australian farms may not operate as carbon sinks, due to the age of the soils."

That was the Executive Director of a very significant independent research organisation.

Here's another one:

"Typically Australian soils have a poor capacity to store large quantities of carbon."

This one is from one of the most important government advisors on greenhouse issues.

These are the type of comments the Ministerial Enquiry into Soil Carbon Sequestration are going to hear from "expert witnesses".

Yet, when told of the first comment, the head of the department of soil science at a leading university laughed out loud: "What a curious thing to say." His colleagues agreed. Soil age is irrelevant.

When told of the second comment, the president of an important scientific association working in the field said: "There are many myths out there." One of his colleagues remarked: "The people who make these remarks don't get around enough to know what's going on."

These men then rattled off a long list of soils and regions that can sequester oodles of carbon. That such august bodies should harbour such ignorance is tragic. The damage they can do is immense.

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