So what’s the elephant in the room?

September 18, 2018 Louisa Kiely

And G’day to all the ‘Carbon Farming Artists’ out there.  
I had much furious agreement with that posture – and many great comments about the Carbon Farming Handbook – please feel free to ask for one by return email if you didn’t get your copy!

Coal-power-station-in-australia

 

Back to the future: What’s this ‘Elephant in the Room’?

Ever heard of the ‘legacy load’?

It is the characterisation of the CO2e forming the ‘blanket’ which is in the atmosphere now, causing the warmer/drying trend and causing the overall temperatures to increase.

Guess what? This ‘legacy load’ was released many years ago. AND no amount of ‘emissions reductions’ will reduce it.

The only known current mechanism to remove it safely is photosynthesis.

(Happy to have a chat about ‘clean coal’ and its ability to remove CO safely.)

Broadly speaking, the ‘Solar panels’ called leaves breathe in the CO2, using the carbon in their own structures and taking it down to roots and thence to microbes in the soils. Which can, under ‘carbon farming’ be stored down there. And that is the domain of the Land, Trees, Grasses, green Plants, animals and Farmers.

YES, and the ocean ‘green plants’ can do it too – this is now called ‘Blue Carbon’. This area is moving fast to understand what mangroves, seaweed and other species can do. And how to reward improvements in this mitigation effort. Love it.

But, it remains the point that Farmers must produce the food/fibre for all.

AND Farmers / Land holders control well over 50% of the Land Mass.
AND we must keep the Soil in place if we’d like to hang on this Planet a while longer – there are some great points made on this in this video.

So, it can be argued (best over a glass of wine or two) – that without Farmers, Land holders and those who look after other photosynthetic species – WE CAN’T KEEP THE TEMPERATURE INCREASE TO BELOW THE 1.5 to 2DEGREES AGREED IN THE PARIS AGREEMENT! 

Oops, am I shouting?

The point is you can’t reach that target with just emissions reduction – you must have mitigation – which is the taking of the carbon OUT of the atmosphere as described above.

And yet, how often do we hear about this?

As I said, it’s the Elephant in the Room. NOW is the time to raise the volume on this little ‘inconvenient truth’.

Luckily, the knowledge of this IS increasing. More and more are starting to understand and work on it.

The ‘4 per 1000’ Initiative is a good example – it’s international; it may be growing more slowly than we would like, but maintains “An annual growth rate of 0.4% in the soil carbon stocks, or 4% per year, would halt the increase in the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere related to human activities.” Visit the 4 per 1000 website for more information.

So, now we know that Carbon Farming for Regenerative Agriculture is an Art as well as a Science and a practice, and that those who practice it are doing a service for the changing climate that NO other sector can provide.

So, how to engage Farmers?

Here at Carbon Farmers of Australia, we have always asked one question: “What is the best way to get a message through to a Farmer?” And the answer? “On a cheque.”

Which is why we are passionate about engaging the Practice of Carbon Farming with the Reward of the Carbon Market. And expanding HOW farmers can do it. Not just the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)!

AND it’s happening…………

Stay tuned – for our next newsletter: “The best Environmentalist I know is a Cow”.

Onwards!

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