Napoleon once said: “Only a foolish horse fights with his nose bag”
by Viv Forbes, Science Writer
But today we have many foolish people fighting their nose bag. They are weakening Earth’s food chain with a war on carbon.
Carbon is the building block of life. “Organic” means “containing carbon” and every bit of plant and animal life is built around the carbon atom.
Carbon enters Earth’s cycle of life via plants, which extract it from the rare and precious carbon dioxide plant-food in the atmosphere. Living things use
this carbon, plus water, oxygen and minerals, to create the proteins, fats, carbohydrates and skeletons they need.
Plant growth responds quickly to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
See: CSIRO: Rising Carbon Dioxide causes greening of the deserts:
The Biosphere is booming: CO2 is the Cause:
However, today’s levels are far below those that sustained the abundant forests, grasslands, wetlands, herbivores and carnivores of past eras.
The biggest long term threat to abundant life on Earth is natural carbon sequestration, especially during the recurring cold dry eras when cooling oceans absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and growing ice sheets capture most of its water.
Nature is very efficient at carbon capture and burial. Enormous quantities of carbon and hydrogen have been removed from past atmospheres and buried under ancient sediments in extensive beds of coal, oil shale, limestone, marble, dolomite and magnesite, and in diffuse deposits of hydrocarbon liquids and gases.
The result is that the carbon dioxide level in today’s atmosphere is not far above the minimum needed to sustain plant life (which is why nurserymen pump more carbon dioxide into their green-houses).
However, in a rare piece of environmental serendipity, man’s extraction and use of coal, oil, gas, limestone and dolomite for power generation, transport, aviation, steel, cement and fertilisers is recycling a tiny part of this storehouse of buried carbon. For example, for every tonne of coal burned, 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide plant food plus one tonne of fresh water is added to the atmosphere; and producing one tonne of cement releases about one tonne of carbon dioxide.
See: The ins and outs of coal combustion:
Every tonne of wheat grown needs a tonne of carbon dioxide to get its carbon, and other foods have similar needs. Carbon industries thus help to feed all of Earth’s plants and animals.
See: Should we celebrate CO2: http://www.thegwpf.com/28155/
Industrial use of carbon-bearing mineral resources also recycles valuable trace elements like nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus which are present in variable amounts in coal, oil and carbonates. Any of these by-product gases can be toxic if concentrated in confined spaces, and all of man’s activities can pollute crowded cities, but in the open atmosphere, plant life often suffers because of a deficiency of these key nutrients.
Those waging a war on hydro-carbons and carbon dioxide are enemies of the biosphere. Their foolish policies like carbon taxes, emissions trading and “Carbon Capture and Burial” are denying essential nutrients to the food chain. The failed global warming forecasts show that these policies will have no effect on climate, but will reduce the atmospheric supply of food nutrients and fresh water for all life on Earth.
Life is a carbon cycle – don’t break the food chain.
Rosewood Qld Australia
Greens and Government do wheat deregulation deal
By Anna Vidot ABC – Wednesday, 31/10/2012
The Greens have done a deal with Labor that could see the last vestiges of wheat export regulation dismantled by the end of the year.
The Federal Government wants to shut down the wheat licensing authority, Wheat Exports Australia, in line with a Productivity Commission recommendation. The 22 cents per tonne grower levy that pays for WEA would also be abolished.
WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says her party and the Government have agreed on amendments that will make the port access code of conduct an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) mandatory code.
The code of conduct is currently being developed by an industry working group.
The Greens amendments, agreed to by Labor, also set up a taskforce to advise the minister on ways to address concerns around the availability of grain stocks information and wheat quality oversight, which have been two of the major concerns for eastern states growers.
“This process that the [Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig] will put in place, working with industry, will set up a process to look at [those stocks information and quality issues],” Senator Siewert said.
“Anything they come up with will be funded out of the special account, which is the left-over money from the levy that funded WEA, [which is between] $2 million and $4 million.
“We think this is a win for all farmers, particularly farmers in my home state of Western Australia, who have been pushing very strongly for deregulation.
“However, there are a number of farmers, particularly in the eastern states, who were worried about some of the aspects of deregulation and that some of the issues around information about grain stocks and wheat quality were still not [resolved].
“We reached the conclusion that WEA was not the appropriate body to be handling that information, so we are comfortable that WEA goes, but that these issues are still dealt with.”
The Agriculture Minister released a statement saying he “will consult with industry on members of the taskforce and its terms of reference.”
Senator Ludwig says the Fderal Government “reiterates its support for the industry code of conduct development committee who are currently developing the code”, and that “the committee will provide a draft code to Government in the near future.”
Mr Ludwig says the Government will consult with industry before the mandatory code on port access arrangements is finalised.
The Greens’ Senator Siewert says the amendments should be enough to ensure the passage of the Bill through the parliament, completing the deregulation of Australia’s wheat export marketing arrangements, which began in July 2008 when the single desk was abolished.
The issue has caused tensions in the Coalition party room, with West Australian Liberal senators coming under extreme pressure from grain growers in that state to support the Government’s Bill.
Meanwhile, the National Party in the east wanted to continue WEA for a further 12 months until the concerns identified by primarily eastern states growers could be resolved.
WA Nationals MP Tony Crook had previously expressed his intention to cross the floor to support the Government’s Bill, and NSW Liberal Alby Schultz had indicated he would abstain from voting rather than vote against deregulation.