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Another Tax and More Politics: The ETS Proposed for Australia December 12, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in Carbon Trading.
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Another Tax and More Politics: The ETS Proposed for Australia

By Jennifer Marohasy, December 11, 2008

I am the Chair of The Australian Environment Foundation and we are planning an Internet campaign to oppose the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) proposed for Australia on the basis:

1.  An ETS will not change the global temperature;

2.  Will force many clean and green Australian industries overseas; and

3.  Will make Australians poorer; while it is generally richer, not poorer nations that are better able to protect their natural environment.

We have a fundraising target of A$30,000 and already we have already raised just over $11,000 from donations.  So we need another A$19,000.

The campaign website will be designed to help build a large online community; providing a place for action as well as information.  Those who log on will be able to source information quickly as well as find their local MP so they can send him/her a message.

The website will be designed so that more than one campaign can be running at a time – and old campaigns can be archived.  The campaign opposing the ETS will be just the first.  The Australian Environment Foundation wants to be able to take a stand, and importantly help its members and supporters be heard, when decisions are being made against the weight of evidence.

So far donations have ranged from $25 to $2,000.   Please make a contribution.

If you can make a financial contribution, please go to our website and donate through the PayPal facility using your credit card. http://www.aefweb.info/ .

If you prefer to use Internet banking: Australian Environment Foundation, BSB No:  013 308 Account No: 4978 00416.

Alternatively, send a cheque to the Australian Environment Foundation, PO Box 274, Deakin West, ACT 2600.

There is nothing honest or clever about the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme.  It is just another tax and more politics.



1. Jennifer Powys - March 16, 2009

There appears to some major factors left out of the equation which is used to calculate national and global C02 emissions,. This amount is said to blow up into the atmosphere. This total is calculated on the total purchase/use of transport fuels and coal for power stations; and the extent of deforestation each year. Apparently little consideration is given to the fact that some C02 must be assimilated before it ever heads towards outer space. What about all the grass and trees along the road side, in Australia which have a feast all day, every day? From my search of the internet, practically all of the green house gas emissions and calculations research relates to Northern Hemisphere outcomes most research done in USA, Europe and Japan.

From this, then, arises an anomly known as: “THE MISSING CARBON SINK” which is about 50% of the C02 in the atmosphere that “disappears” and is said to return back to earth. Scientists research allow that Tropical Forests may absorb more C02 than previously calculated. No official credit has yet to be given to tropical grasses. You will appreciate that the emissions figure for Australia is one big series of dys-estimates. crook methodology and basic model flaws.

Officially, Australia is said to emit slightly less than six hundred million tonnes of C02 a year into the atmosphere. This figure is based on the flawed format described above.

Now consider this:

The total land area of Australia is 769 million hectares. About 25% of this is “not used commercially” and is mostly desert.

. The total grassland for livestock in arid and semi arid areas covers 430 million hectares, add then the cultivated land which makes up to a total of 473 million hectares (62% of the continent).

. Minimal use area takes up a further 16% of the continent, namely 120.8 million hectares and 76% this area is reserved, vacant or institutional crown land. The remainder 23 million hectares being “native cover” on private land. (This sector must include forests and national parks)

See here:

Land Use – Australia
7 Dec 2007 … In total, the area of agricultural land is 473 million hectares or … The 1996/ 97Land Use of Australia, Version 2, is the source of the …

Next., using this site consider this:

Restoring soil carbon can reverse global warming, desertification …
21 Feb 2008 … LEFT: This river in Zimbabwe used to flow year-round. … of carbon dioxide in circulation for each 1 ppm of atmospheric CO2, … Consumption of CO2 per hectare. Onehectare is 10000 sq. metres. … The plant then commences to regrow but critically it regrows using carbon absorbed by photosynthesis, …
news.mongabay.com/2008/0221-soil_carbon_lovell_interview.html – 39k -Cached – Similar pages

Of course this whole issue needs to be checked. I am not counting in dense forests or national park land. I calculated that 1 hectare of vegetation could absorb through photosynthesis, 100 tonnes of C02 per hectare per year (of course this figure is vague, given the location of the hectare, the amount and type of vegetation, rainfall, and the soil moisture levels all of which fluctuate according to season). Apparently from news.mongabay.com, through photosynthesis, 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide is converted into 27 tonnes of Carbon. Generally, this means that Australia merely needs 6 million hectares to cope with six hundred million tons of C02 emissions each year. Just farmed and grazed land totals 430 million hectares. 6 million divided by 430 million = <1.4% of Australian vegetative farm land is needed to swallow up daily all Australian carbon dioxide emissions.

OUR NET C02 EMISSIONS into the atmosphere, from Australia, must be lower than ZERO.

I am well aware that much goes on in the plant and its roots, that some plants are annual and some perennial, much of the agricultural land is bare for half the years, much land is overgrazed, and some over grown, etc. But the grass is grazed and grows again. For various reasons, some carbon is converted back into C02 and returns to the atmosphere. What is the final outcome of this particular balance sheet, if given proper assistance and good management?

Basically what this email demonstrates is just how endemically and chronically wobbly the whole carbon emissions data scenario is. By comparison to the foregoing, Dr. Christine Jones work which demonstrates only needing 2% of Agricultural land to sequester our total output of carbon can be thought of as Hard Data. And we are not counting the photosynthetic and carbon sequestration benefits accruing through the efforts of trees and algae.

This raises a number of questions about many details pertaining to the figures bandied about by “experts” on the matter of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.

. What has been, and continues to be over looked, is that vegetative as well as soil micro flora and fauna, grass and the pastoral, savannah and the algae in ocean environments are so important to the web of life, at least as much as forests. Algae in oceans are said to provide at least half of the oxygen content in the air.

. Another unmentioned fact is that vegetation are biologically able, plus when well managed, can utilise and photosynthesise more carbon dioxide than they did before. Through agents like pulse grazing recommended by Dr. Christine Jones and others, and especially through increasing capacities like the C3 pathway, but probably all three pathways. In addition CAM pathway plants, when enjoying a wet season, are known to assimilate carbon dioxide during the day.

Furthermore, and at the same time that grass is growing and being grazed, even more carbon is being sequestered in cattle, sheep, horses, birds, Australian wild life, free range chickens, pigs, beetles, micro flora and fauna, even caterpillars and locusts, etc., etc. these are all growing and reproducing and “absorbing” as well as emitting C02 by eating the carbohydrates from the grass, roots, herbs, seeds, fruits and bush leaves. Again, with good management and proper assistance, what is the final outcome of this particular balance sheet?

Then much of this carbon eating flora and fauna feeds humans, so there is continued sequestration. Thus the total carbon sequestration on any hectare of NSF or Year Long Green Farming is far greater than the root and soil calculations. Thus grassland has as much, or maybe even more, importance than planted forests in this C02/carbon sequestration sense. Remember, all plants and animals reproduce and grow to expand to maturity over time.

How can this last fact be included in the equation? How do we measure it, in terms of grass fed stock numbers and weights of livestock sales and remaining livestock weight gains? I have come up with 1.44 – to 2 kg per beef steer per day and 0.25 kg to 0.4 kg per day for fat lamb.

Here we have yet another illustration how the land, its careful treatment and wise use is so important for creating a sustainable environment.

We also have an illustration as to the extent of the tangled web of uncertainty built into Carbon Trading. Apparently the Kyoto agreement fails to consider, or cannot consider, the photosynthetic process and the web of life in their calculations. I think this is done on the basis of convenience and to avoid the complexity. How deliberately dumb!

Best wishes, JJP

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