Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Minister Ian MacDonald's Contribution to Soil Carbon Cause

There will be no statue erected to Ian MacDonald in the Hall of Heroes of the New Agricultural Revolution. While not celebrating his departure, the Carbon Coalition can reveal that former Minister for Primary Industries was not a supporter of farmers when it came to carbon sequestration. He dismissed soil carbon sequestration out of hand when we spoke to him, reciting as his reasons the standard Farm Institute line - can't measure it, Kyoto Rules, etc. Instead he was confidently looking forward to deep burial Carbon Capture and Storage - untried, uncosted, and potentially dangerous technology that lives only in the imagination of a dwindling number of devotees. Mr MacDonald's shrinking Department conducted the "Soil Carbon Myth Busters" propaganda tour of all states of Australia, with the CSIRO. More recently DPI researchers announced that they could find no carbon sequestered when Carbon Farming techniques, such as grazing management and pasture cropping, are applied. Here's hoping the Department can return to its former glory after this dark period is forgotten.

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