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The key to fighting climate change is in the land

Australia could lead the world in combating climate change. Wouldn’t you like to believe this was true? Actually though, Australia has a world-beating model to deal with climate change. But I’m not talking…

The path to climate change resilience is better land management. Flickr/jennifrog

Australia could lead the world in combating climate change. Wouldn’t you like to believe this was true? Actually though, Australia has a world-beating model to deal with climate change. But I’m not talking about energy efficiency programs. I’m not even talking about taxes or an emissions trading scheme. I’m talking about the land.

Climate abatement opportunities from the land are second only to abatement from the energy sector. What we might call the ecosystem sector could provide one third of the entire emissions reductions in Australia.

Here are just some examples of how: avoiding land clearing, changing grazing practises across the savannas, growing trees in salted soils, and managing crops by, say, reducing fertiliser use on sugar cane, and managing rice with less irrigation water. These are opportunities reasonably well known in that they have methods to measure changes.

But there are large emerging opportunities, including growing mangroves as sea levels rise and sequestering carbon through wetland restoration so the sediment doesn’t flow into the Great Barrier Reef.

Ecosystems are the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where they are front and centre. To avoid dangerous climate change, the convention says, the world needs to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations within a timeframe that allows ecosystems to adapt naturally.

Fundamentally this is about how land is managed. Land management is central to our existence; a fact we seem to forget. It is our air and nourishment, our fresh water and shelter. It heals us. And the biodiversity that underpins it all is the context in which we operate.

The thing with climate change is that, worldwide, its impacts are regionally specific. The problems of the Great Barrier Reef are the problems of land management in its river catchments. These are not the same impacts as those of the salt encrusted catchments running into the Murray Darling, nor the problems of the volatile and feral savanna catchments of the north, or the left-over forests in the catchments of the southeast.

The solutions, too, are regionally specific; which seems obvious. But it is a fact that only in Australia do we have a well developed framework that recognises this. It’s called, regional natural resource management a prosaic term that unfortunately works well at obscuring its great potential.

The regions are based sensibly on Australia’s bioregions, areas with similar ecological characteristics. Funding and grants are distributed to regional bodies which encompass a swathe of organisations, working together, and then on to innumerable projects on the ground. Importantly, under this framework, the priorities are determined by those at the front line of managing the land’s wicked problems.

Almost incidentally this framework is a good foundation for combating climate change. Landholders could be paid for the ecosystem services they provide.

It’s a simple idea, but the effects could be huge. A pilot study in the Wet Tropics of Queensland, one of the smallest regions in Australia, found the potential carbon dioxide abatement was 1.8 million tons per year. The pilot study (which incidentally was short-listed for the 2009 Eureka Science Prizes) showed this could be achieved by avoiding deforestation and logging, and reducing nitrogen fertiliser use on sugar cane - the main crop in the region. It didn’t include reforestation or sustainable grazing, so the estimated carbon abatement is conservative.

If that’s what a small region can do, imagine what the rest of Australia could achieve. There are 55 other regions, and many have much greater potential for carbon abatement than the Wet Tropics. Theoretically at least it may well be possible to meet Australia’s 5% emissions target by looking after our land and water alone.

But you would need a carbon price that pays landholders for their ecosystem services. The Carbon Farming Initiative is a good framework if it could be streamlined to allow for regional carbon pooling. Credits generated could ideally be traded within emissions trading schemes, like the one we currently have, or sold to the government under direct action if this action guaranteed an allocation to land management.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that ecosystems services of our terrestrial ecosystems are worth up to A$325 billion per year. There is a lot riding on this: you don’t just buy emissions, you buy resilient landscapes.

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138 Comments sorted by

  1. Marc Hendrickx

    Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

    Land use changes play an important role in our contribution to climate change, one underplayed by the IPCC whose emphasis has been on the role of co2. Land management has added long term environmental benefits over and above reducing emissions or sequestering co2. Perhaps a reason so called direct action will achieve much more practically than taxes will.

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Err, land use changes affect climate change through their net drawdown of atmospheric CO2 ie atmospheric CO2 is the primary driver of climate. As such, it is rightly the major issue for IPCC WG1.

      Expect to see a great deal more on land use changes in IPCC WG2.

      "Perhaps a reason so called direct action will achieve much more practically than taxes will." Err, what is required is
      1) complete cessation of fossil fuel use.
      2) drawdown of atmospheric CO2 to get atmospheric CO2 back to between ~300 and ~350 ppm.
      ie BOTH components are required, neither will suffice on its own.

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    2. In reply to Mike Stasse

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. In reply to Mike Hansen

      Comment removed by moderator.

    4. In reply to Alice Kelly

      Comment removed by moderator.

    5. Georgina Byrne

      Farmer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Indeed! What is it with geologists I wonde...all that looking back over almost immesurable time? Or just their relevance to continued mineral extraction? This article is to me a convenient, pretend way out especially for the denying pollies and their corporate croniest. Once the climate changes even slightly the trees simply can't survive to adulthood. On our farm the hundred or so year old eucalyptscarevalready turning up their toes on us. There is no easy way out. Fossil fuel use must cease and that's all there is to it.

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    6. Marc Hendrickx

      Geologist: The Con is a bad Monty Python sketch, for climate sense see: http://www.thegwpf.org/

      In reply to Georgina Byrne

      Georgina,
      A gentle question. What do you run your farm equipment on? How do you get to town?

      Ending fossil fuel use is easy to say, harder to do.

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    7. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Marc Hendrickx

      Let me tell you what I do on my farm..........

      All my equipment runs by hand, power tools by solar power.

      Get to town? We go to town because we can....... come the day Peak Oil makes it impossible, we will stop getting to town.... although I'm seriously contemplating converting the ute to electric drive http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/ive-bought-a-car/

      We do what we do because we can.

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  2. Jonathan Adamson

    Brain Surgeon

    Slowly slowly the real potential of Direct Action becomes manifest. Thanks Penny van Oosterzee for a great story.

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Jonathan Adamson

      Very funny. Confirmation bias at work.

      Here is Penny van Oosterzee's previous article from a few weeks ago.
      http://theconversation.com/coalitions-carbon-policy-based-on-failed-labor-scheme-17498

      "The Coalition has promised to tackle carbon emissions through Direct Action, and without a price on carbon or an emissions trading scheme. The plan hinges on reducing emissions at the lowest cost, which may include managing soils, forests and farming, energy efficiency, carbon sequestration or cleaning up power stations.

      "Direct Action will use and expand the current government’s Carbon Farming Initiative to achieve these emissions cuts, using the initiative as a platform to deliver an Emissions Reductions Fund.

      "Carbon farming has now been running for nearly two years. What has it delivered? The answer is astonishing: virtually nothing."

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  3. Paul Richards

    integral operating system

    Appreciate the article and principles highlighted.
    Penny van Oosterzee wrote; "Theoretically at least it may well be possible to meet Australia’s 5% emissions target by looking after our land and water alone"
    This integral approach needs to be encouraged and modeled in all our industries. It may be another opportunity for the rural sector to demonstrate economic leadership once again. It will depend on the level of thinking in areas of public policy, it certainly will not be done using the useless austerity theory.

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Paul Richards

      There is a problem with the resource management approach as put. Many of the proposed measures are one-offs, after which measurements of CO2 in the air will resume their present trend. Or whatever trend Nature determines.

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    2. Paul Richards

      integral operating system

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Any fiscal problems with the resource management approach can be overcome.
      Geoffrey Harold Sherrington wrote; "There is a problem with the resource management approach as put." There is always a problem with spreadsheet metrics while public policy fails to see this that integration with the natural world is crucial to human evolution. Our centre of gravity has some unevolved values that is the nature of the conservative mindset.
      There is a generational change coming and this is becoming increasingly apparent in articles like this. As an optimist I know innovation requires risking capital and the trend against it will die sooner than later.
      What is interesting is the growing awareness that a 'climate of fear' is being deliberately generated around risk management of global climate change.

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    3. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Indeed Paul.

      One might say that this article is a breath of fresh air.

      We should not overlook the fact that this sound method of land management is but a part of the changes we can implement in reducing pollution (of which CO2 & Methane are a part - for the terminally ignorant) and move to the use of renewable energy.

      'Austerity measure' have no place in saving our environment - Earth is the only one we have at present.

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    4. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Thank you too, Paul. It's not as if we lack the expertise, which is in fact world class.

      How about we all reform, finally, and just get back on with the job?

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    5. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Paul Richards

      Ha! Indeed so, a climate of fear, and with it a corrosive politics of fear where confidence to just get out there sleeves rolled up and on with the job is the order of the day.

      The generational change has emerged not from some vacuum, but has come about progressively over decades of hard work by very large numbers of people; of sustained field trials and steady acquisition of data, and not least a very great deal of undergraduate work producing as had been intended all along a whole new generation…

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  4. John Newlands

    tree changer

    This line of thinking opens up a rich vein of potential fraud as to the amounts and permanence of biosequestration. The no. 1 priority must be to burn less coal, a process which can be objectively measured and will not need revising a year or two later. If land owners are to be paid for carbon credits then they should also have to refund the money if there is some kind of reversal such as drought, fire or disease. My understanding is that won't happen which means obtaining money by deception.

    Already Hunt seems to hinting that in his opinion land use is bigger and better than we think, ergo coal burning is not so much of a problem. This could be a dangerous delusion.

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  5. Stephen Ralph

    carer

    Great article that provides an entree to serious thought about the future.

    I think one or two commenters have mentioned a project in the ME that is rejuvenating the desert.

    The ethos of continuous gouging minerals and gas out of our piece of earth is fine, but there is so much more to be done in terms of creating a future Australia.

    We could have sustainable tourist destinations in the middle of forests, or golden savannas, or thriving wetlands.

    So much better than a hole in the ground.

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    1. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Stephen,
      Do you not credit increasing fertilization from atmospheric CO2 as assisting greening of deserts world wide? Is it possibly the major cause of greening?

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    2. Georgina Byrne

      Farmer

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Utter rubbish Geoffrey. It doesn't work that way...and given the integration of ecosystems it has been shown that extra C02 means that plants can put more effort into toxins to protect themselves from grazing animals, hence fodder has been shown to become inedible at elevated levels...you'd better get used to eating jellyfish!

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Thanks David - I'm surprised that so learned a gentleman as the good Mr Sherrington wasn't thoroughly familiar with Liebig's Law of the Minimum - good of you to put it on the record though as it also nicely pricks the wider delusion that CO2 fertilises plant growth with the simple truth that it MIGHT to the extent that CO2 was the critical, limited element but it virtually never doe sin practice because CO2 was virtually never the limiting factor and certainly isn't anymore with atmospheric CO2 levels at around 400 ppm being the highest for so long a period that pretty much every current lifeform evolved and adapted to a world with CO2 levels below 300 ppm.

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  6. Fred Moore

    Builder

    Climate change is not global in nature due to the Earth atmospheric mixing with a spin of 1000miles per hour
    This article rightly pinpoints regional influences as causal. The bulk of climate impacts on communities are best described as RECCEs (Regional Ectopic Climate Catastrophe Events).
    Thermodynamic Endpoint analyses dictate that where you create great order (civilisation) you must expel greater than that amount of equivalent energy as disorder into coastal oceans. This driven dichotomy creates…

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    1. Michael Pulsford

      Lecturer, RMIT School Of Art

      In reply to Fred Moore

      We have food stamps in Australia now? First I've heard of it. Where should I direct people who want to apply for them?

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    2. Fred Moore

      Builder

      In reply to Michael Pulsford

      Yes. When spreading pearls before swine, the little blighters are always going to complain that they ( the pearls) are a bit too CRUNCHY!

      God help us all -- the brainpower on this forum is vitally underwhelming.

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  7. Ken Fabian

    Mr

    That should be "A key" not "The key". The climate problem is not expected (except perhaps within current Conservative Liberal/National thinking) to be all done and dusted by 2020 nor is a 5% target anywhere near good enough for the task. What is done achieving that anti-ambitious 5% ideally needs to lead smoothly into the means to achieve much more ambitious targets.

    Especially in a changing climate, land use is absolutely critical. But, especially in a changing climate, it is fraught with complications; drought, heat waves, flood and fire and their frequency and intensity are subject to change. Better land use practices have their own sound logic of necessity but they have to be as well as, not instead of fundamental changes in the way we make and use energy.

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Ken Fabian

      Agree, Ken.

      I'd refine your comment a bit further and suggest that we need two parallel processes: first and foremost, reducing further emissions then, secondarily but importantly, finding ways to sequester past/current emissions. The good news in this article is that really intelligent land and ecosystem management and development has real potential to do the sequestration part pretty effectively...but it won't last long if we don't stop the new emissions very aggressively.

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    2. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      We actually need to change the way we do EVERYTHING...... NOTHING we do is sustainable. All we're doing is fiddle while Rome burns, switching from one unsustainable practice to one that's somewhat less unsustainable.

      Limits to Growth will soon put an end to all this nonsense.....

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      I think you're almost certainly right there Mike (sadly) - the 'land' in Penny's article can help significantly but it's not the magic pudding we thought it was.

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  8. Colin Creighton

    Chair, Climate adaptation, Marine Biodiversity and Fisheries

    Hi all
    Penny does note the big opportunity here - coastal ecosystems - wetlands, mangroves, seagrasses and saltmarshes - about 1/3rd of all Australia's carbon sequestration [see Lawrence etc al on FRDC website].

    We must also recognise that part of the current failures is trying to make an economic market out of externalities to the economy like air pollution. Ecosystem services is close to that as well.....so what are the benefits of repairing Australia's high priority coastal ecosystems? See FRDC website again - a business case for Revitalising Australia's Estuaries. I suggest in this report that a $350M investment in high priority assets that can be repaired can break even through increased value of fisheries product in less than 5 years.....and that is a very selective and conservative break even analysis. Its probably even more profitable. Direct Action ould deliver us increased seafood, jobs and carbon sequestration...oh and ecosystem services as well.

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Colin Creighton

      Let's hope so....

      I sent an e-mail to Greg Hunt re climate change and got a nice reply.

      Nothing earth shattering, but perhaps we should remain hopeful and enthusiastic that Direct Action will achieve progress in the short term as well as the long term.

      You can find GHs email address at his website.

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    2. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Colin Creighton

      Greetings Colin. Firstly, I am opposed to "direct action." I see your "moniker" there, and think you might be interested in this: October 10, 2013 - Booming Southeast pink returns fuel Alaska's biggest salmon harvest ever http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131010/booming-southeast-pink-returns-fuel-alaskas-biggest-salmon-harvest-ever .As this was achieved with out "direct action", carbon(sic) sequestration or a carbon(sic) tax, http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131006/governor-should-renew-alaskas-leading-role-climate-change-response have you considered other options to fight ocean acidification and other global warming threats to our oceans?

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  9. Comment removed by moderator.

  10. Peter Lane

    Statistical Consultant

    This is a useful article, focusing on one of the many areas in which we need to take action to combat continuing climate change and coping with the change that is already underway. Of course, we have to take action in many other ways as well, as is clearly stated in the IPCC report: there is no either/or here, because the problem is simply too large and looming now. One point I would like to make about this article is that avoidance of land clearing should not be chalked up as a contributor to reduction of carbon emissions: any land clearing will result in losing carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere. We certainly need to avoid land clearing whenever possible, AND find all other possible ways of actually reducing carbon emissions.

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    1. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Peter Lane

      That is it in a nutshell Peter,
      The combination of a whole range of actions for a better future.
      Here a few links from my study tour in Europe during late August and all of September:

      1. A best practice community action example in Austria: www.oekoregion-kaindorf.at
      1a. http://www.greenlife.or.at/uploads/2/3/2/5/23252088/greenlife_folder_englisch.pdf

      2. The 1. International Terra-Preta Sanitation Conference in Hamburg - Germany : www.terra-preta-sanitation.net

      3. Ithaka Institute / Valais - Switzerland http://www.ithaka-institut.org/en/home

      And there are more thinks to explore - holistic forest and catchment management ...

      Thank you Penny for getting people into active exchange mode.
      Interesting times ahead.

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    2. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Frank Strie

      Any time you want to get the same thing happening here, Frank, I'm in.

      I live for the day Australians spend as much time and effort on study tours of Australia, on what we've done here for decades now and how we did it; what outcomes we achieved.

      What is interesting is the sheer numbers of overseas scholars doing that already.

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    3. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Great feedback Gil,

      You may like to check this link - Launceston - March 1994...
      http://prosilvaireland.wordpress.com/prosilva-quality-management-in-our-forests

      This was well before the big MIS monoculture plantation rush was on.
      But at the time the ENGOs were totally opposed against any suggestion that we could have responsible forest management in Tasmania.
      ProSilva thinking in Tasmania had to be stopped - soo deep was the mistrust and hate of people with chainsaws...
      Australia's forest…

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  11. mark gardner

    just a humble person

    This is a good article which points out the potential that exists in grasslands for carbon capture and storage. Through increased carbon capture and storage in grasslands, a lot of other environmental problems may well be reduced....such as nutrient run off. There is also a growing bank of science that supports this as a win:win approach to a major problem. The challenge is to develop policy that creates the right settings for this to occur.

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  12. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer

    Yes, this is a very important matter, but only one component of what should be a far wider-ranging approach to a complex problem. A major drawback is that it pays to clear land and cut down trees, but costs hugely to resuscitate degraded land and revegetate it with new trees.
    I speak from direct personal experience. Over the last six years, my wife and I have been fully occupied in restoring our beautiful 10 ha (25 acres) of very steep degraded pastureland, clearing masses of weeds and planting…

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  13. John Barker
    John Barker is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Adjunct Professor at Murdoch University

    As usual, this topic has seen a data-free discourse. Here is some numbers to set you thinking.: The average growth of Australin forests is about 1 tonne per hectare per year. Australia's carbon output is about 500 million tonnes/ year. Australia's total are is about 500 million hectares.

    These are rough figures- wood is not pure carbon, co2 and carbon are not synonymous, Australia's area is not exactly 500 million hectares, but they are in the right ball park. If someone can show me that Australia can meet any significant proportion of its long term emissions, then a lot of people would appreciate it.

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    1. mark gardner

      just a humble person

      In reply to John Barker

      I think the data is far more interesting on carbon capture and storage on grasslands rather than forests, which has been the focus on the discussion to date.The lack of focus on grasslands has been to the detriment to sound policy.

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    2. Georgina Byrne

      Farmer

      In reply to John Barker

      Thank you John. It is important to retain optimism but it is critical not to encourage people to look away from the central and inescapable problem of fossil fuel use. Nature is being skewed in extraordinary ways nobody can fully predict and not tackling the central problem head on is just fiddling while Rome burns. Direct Action is a farce which must continue to be exposed as such.

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    3. John Barker
      John Barker is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Adjunct Professor at Murdoch University

      In reply to mark gardner

      I'm all for re-afforestation, in principle (just look at a satellite picture of SW WA and weep), but we're talking about implementing strategies for CO2 sequestration that are significant. Where are the numbers to indicate that we can grow enough new stuff in Australia to offset a "significant" amount of our CO2?

      This article gives a few examples of local success, but can this success be multiplied sufficiently to do the job?

      Digressions into lifestyle comments won't provide the answer to this vital question.

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    4. mark gardner

      just a humble person

      In reply to John Barker

      Hi John

      Rather than "re afforestation" i'd think of it as "re grassing".

      There's a large body of information about how much CO2 could be removed through modest changes in the grasslands in Australia.

      The good thing about grasslands is that there are so many hectares, and you can create food at the same time....but the management approach needs to be different in order to promote healthy grass growth. A good starting point for info is a FAO report: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1880e/i1880e00.htm

      If you google it, theres a large body of information available on the importance of grasslands in carbon capture and storage.

      Theres a lot of good research on the techniques required and many commercial farmers doing this.

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    5. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to John Barker

      I seriously doubt that anyone has written more comprehensively on the impacts of colonisation and settlement on the WA southwest forests than myself, John; not only on what happened to them but how it happened and when, decade by decade for well over 100 years and then some.

      The difficulty in getting such a task completed over the many years it takes is not only the cost but that it is so fundamentally thankless. Nobody will pay for the work to be done; the funds just have to come out of one's own pocket. There are far too many interests with a stake in the matter, and they don't like it when their received truths are questioned and found wanting.

      Having said all that, I'm not a forest person. I grew up out on the open plains of southwestern NSW.

      I agree then that overemphasis on forests and trees can be a distraction, when grass and heath lands, range-lands, estuarine and coastal zones are of fundamental importance. Revegetation across the board is warranted.

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  14. Will Hunt

    Farmer

    'you don’t just buy emissions, you buy resilient landscapes."
    You buy resilient landscapes by paying farmers a decent price. Not by closing down vegetable procressing works which forces farmers to spend millions on food tonne miles, not by bringing in food from NZ, causing farmers to rip out fruit trees and not by paying farmers $1 per litre for milk.
    If the landscape is going to save the planet, then the it is people in the landscape- the farmers- who are going to have to implement the changes.
    Most of us are heading for 70 and should be playing bowls, not trying to save he flaming planet at the same time as getting screwed by the duopoly

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Good Will Hunt (ing)...I like the phrase "resilient landscapes.

      When you say "heading for 70', is there a hint that the younger generations are not wanting or willing to stay on in farming and agriculture?

      Irrespective of climate change, we need to sustain farmers and agriculture - we all eat three (or more) times a day, and to have the food produced and sold in Australia should be a priority.
      Needless to add, at a price beneficial to all - not just you know who.

      If it's price that determines Aussie grown and produced, then perhaps the Australian consumer needs to think about paying an extra ten or twenty cents per item to sustain our agri businesses.

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    2. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Will Hunt

      I'm heading for 70, and I grow all my own food and even milk goats to make cheese and ice cream, and....................................

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    3. Georgina Byrne

      Farmer

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Some of us are already over 70 and at the coalface, ha ha ,are close to despair.....where on earth do people think food is going to come from if draconian land use measures are put in place by well meaning city dwellers? ....Most of us who stay on and love the land engage in our own land and wildlife protecting measures but support and understanding of farming is precious little, amongst the chattering classes including the respondents to articles such as this, well written and thoughtful though it might be...Oh well, here are always the jellyfish I suppose....

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  15. Julie McNeill

    Writer

    At a recent Qld ALP branch meeting in the Somerset region our membership was sincerely fearful for the future with the LNP Government's a return to open slather on land clearing in the State e.g. legislation which permits vegetation clearing by self-assessment ("cutting red and green tape").
    Your article struck a chord with "Landholder's could be paid for the eco-system services they provide", which was suggested - like a reduction of rates perhaps?

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  16. Will Hunt

    Farmer

    "There is a lot riding on this: you don’t just buy emissions, you buy resilient landscapes."
    You don't buy resilient landscapes by screwing over the people in the landscapes- the farmers - who you are going to rely on to provide the resilience!
    Closing down processing plants because its cheaper to bring stuff in from overseas (in the short term), $1 milk and knee jerk foreign trade embargoes like on Live Export are do nothing to help farmers, so the landscape is going to suffer.
    Most of us are heading for 70 now and should be playing bowls, not trying to save the environment at the same time as we are getting screwed by the the duopoly

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    1. Georgina Byrne

      Farmer

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Indeed...although things have got a whole lot worse with Direct Action than with the carbon tax.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Will Hunt

      "Closing down processing plants because its cheaper to bring stuff in from overseas ..." also increases CO2 emissions from shipping the stuff to Australia from overseas.

      Indeed, it is farmers who are building resilience into the landscape - after all, the land is their asset, and they have a strong interest in not letting it degrade.

      So when the processing plants shut down, farmers can no longer manage the land, and it goes feral.

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  17. Henry Verberne

    Former IT Professional

    This article highlights to me that the reality and threat of climate change requires action on a multitude of fronts.

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  18. John Newlands

    tree changer

    I think carbonsink enthusiasts who align themselves with Direct Action are making a mistake. If other aspects of DA are shown to be dodgy they will go down with the ship. The Climate Commission got into some unsolicited advice to government now they have been cut loose. Official advisers to government have major misgivings
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/coalition-plan-falls-short-csiro/story-e6frg6xf-1226297555105
    Whether they will politically corrected remains to be seen.

    Another mistake carbonsink enthusiasts make is to mix the message eg forests are lovelier when not cut down. Sure but what is the net CO2 effect? For example the above article opposes fertiliser runoff to the GBR but doesn't quantify the CO2 effect.

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  19. Ben Marshall

    Writer

    The optimist in me hopes all these discussion points become actioned under this government, even though they don't believe in climate change and are hell-bent on avoiding doing anything about it.

    The pessimist points out that Ms van Oosterzee's article seems more about mitigating some aspects of climate change rather than fighting it. In no way do I dismiss her findings as irrelevant or unimportant, and I totally support increased funding for ag research as being a crucial part of our response to climate change. But it's only a part, so for me it was a misleading title.

    Finally, the morbid writer in me notes with dismay that the usual climate science trolls have clustered around this article like shark-denying remora. To the trolls I say if you don't believe in climate change, don't stifle an adult conversation about it by dropping smug, passive-aggressive or misleading factoids.

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    1. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Ben Marshall

      Agriculture as we know it needs a total reboot. There is NOTHING about it that is sustainable....... from using hydrocarbon based fertilisers (which WILL run out...) to reliance on diesel fuel (which will soon be unaffordable post Peak Oil - just ask Egyptian farmers) to grow thousands of acres of monoculture..... not even traditional organic farming can be sustained post Peak Oil.

      There is no need even for R&D in this....... Peter Andrews has demonstrated many times that Permaculture principles can be applied on large scale farms, one of the end results of which is a serious reduction in Carbon emissions. The other is employment growth. We do this very successfully here..... our footprint should be the envy of the entire farming community.......

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    2. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ben Marshall

      What if adapting and mitigating turns out to be better than totally stopping GW?

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    3. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      "Peter Andrews has demonstrated many times that Permaculture principles can be applied on large scale farms,"

      So why don't they?

      What's the catch?

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    4. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      So sole use of permaculture is incredible inefficient and unprofitable?

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    5. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to David Elson

      It's actually very efficient..... but "profits" won't figure in it, because the current monetary system is finished anyway. It's also not designed for monoculture. Current practices like harvesting a thousand acres of wheat with two humungous diesel powered machines don't figure in the plan.....

      Post Peak Everything......... it will be the ONLY way we can feed ourselves. But you, and me, and everybody else on this forum will have to be out in the field 9or in the kitchen!) for at least half the day to make it happen, and money won't even figure in the equation!

      Welcome to the brave new world....

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    6. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to David Elson

      Sure, and it was me in fact who introduced Peter Andrews to Western Australia, and to Western Australian Permaculture, until eventually then Member for Vasse Bernie Masters brought him over here for a week of field days.

      None of the Permies turned up, however, only working farmers.

      I too taught Permaculture Design as well as Organic conversion, but there too was screamed at and abused for arguing in favour of effective culling and control of livestock, of good flock and herd management and…

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    7. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      And if the "cure" is worse, and leaves us more impoverished and less able to deal with the ravages of climate change?

      Where's your time machine then?

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  20. David Elson

    logged in via Facebook

    How much of a carbon sink is our bush and farm land?

    Our nation's population is very small (relative) and our landmass extremely large.

    Does our terrestrial carbon sink soaks up all our emissions* anyway?

    * Excluding the emissions emitted by others burning the fuel we provide them.

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  21. Noel Kelly

    logged in via Twitter

    The key to fighting climate change is *stoping burning for fossil fuels for energy*. Fossil fuels are the source of almost all the problem carbon!

    Changing land use practices is important. Once we have stoppeng adding geological carbon to the biosphere, we need to move as much of this extra carbon from the atmosphere & oceans to biomass and particually the soil.

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    1. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      "Once we have ..."??
      Noel, I hope you can agree that we should do what we can do - a.s.a.p. - not at some later stage...
      There is no time to simply wait for other things to have happened, and for others to do something until we do what needs doing.
      There are many things that can be done now and at the same time as other things change.
      I think of my Grandchildren and their possible future children in this regard.
      But everyone will respond as they see it important or otherwise.
      There are many opportunities to do things better and that in itself is an improvement. So again, I thank the author for the article this morning, it has triggered some thinking ...
      Cheers from Tassie

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    2. Noel Kelly

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Frank Strie

      The Tragedy of the Commons dynamics is complex, what you do now is different to what you do after international agreement.

      Doing this stuff before international agreement just allows an equal amount of extra fossil fuels to be burnt before the pot get too hot. Once the pot is too hot, then the masses in the BRICS etc will finally insist (via riots or the fear of riots) that their governments act. Poverty still trumps climate for most of the world population.

      Now is the time to be building…

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    3. Fred Moore

      Builder

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      The Tragedy of the Commons dynamics is not complex. It comes down to 2 simple things Oestrogen an Testosterone.

      These two chemicals will make otherwise rational beings fight for THEIR right to breed beyond any intellectual capacity for reason.

      Some people say this is EVOLUTION. You say its a Tragedy. I say its just plain stupidity because the carrying capacity of Earth has already been exceeded.

      Even the moderators of this forum are "at it".

      They censor TRUTH as an attack on community…

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    4. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      There are ways to address the pressing issues:

      Here yet another article from a couple of month ago:

      Forest Fire Update and the Cost of Suppression

      By Kolby Hoagland | August 23, 2013

      Recent media coverage on the number and size of wildfires currently aflame in the Western U.S. has intensified concerns around the financial burden placed on the agencies that fight the blazes and, ultimately, the tax payers that foot the bill. This year’s fire season has already seen 32,733 blazes, scorching…

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    5. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      This is bound to be almost certainly impossible.

      I know that some nations have successfully transitioned some of their mains energy generating from coal to gas or nuclear, but even in these nations there is a heavy reliance on combustion powered cars, airplanes, trucks, burning of coal for refining steel etc..

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    6. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      Nope, now is the time to feed those hungry economies in the BRIC nations their fare share of food and coal via our exports.

      If the threat was as pressing as you claim, then there's no reason why Australia a geographically stable and tsunami free nation couldn't switch completely to nuclear, resulting in a massive drop in (relative by global standards) our emissions.

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    7. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Noel Kelly

      Noel,
      My G-Grandfather used to follow a policy of "building renewable energy assets, developing no fossil fuel farming," He rode out on his horse and drove stock into town, popped their heads off, let them hang for a while (no fridge), cut them up and distributed them around town in his horse drawn cart.
      No fossil fuels at all.
      Later on, he bred & sold horses. Drafthorses, racehorses, riding hacks and kids ponies. My other grandfather on my mothers side used to make commercial quantities of…

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    8. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      David, do take the trouble to do a little basic research in renewable energy systems and, just for example, countries like Germany.

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    9. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Will Hunt

      So I wish you luck with no fossil fuel farming Noel.

      Hah!! Very funny Will....... what makes you think the future holds anything BUT fossil fuel free farming? They won't last forever you know.... PEAK everything is due ~2017.

      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/peak-fossilsuranium-in-2017/

      Oh and in your G-Grandfather's days....... we didn't have 7 billion mouths to feed. We were only able to grow our population to such stupid numbers BECAUSE fossil fuels allowed us to do it.

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    10. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Mike Stasse,
      I am fully well aware that we are going to have to go back to fossil fuel free farming. My ancestors were pretty good at it.
      However, an army of people who knew that technology have become pretty much extinct. Blacksmiths, farriers, horse breeders, saddlers, wheelwrights etc, so we either have to re-learn the old technologies OR adapt the fossil fuel free part of todays technologies to the new stuff.
      I can run my tractor on canola oil, but on the other hand I have actually worked draft horses, so I don't really give a shit. Me and mine will eat. You, I am not so sure about.

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    11. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Will Hunt

      No need to worry about me Will.....

      My daughter's a blacksmith. I already grow all my own food, keep bees, goats, make cheese, I even built my own house which needs no heating an no cooling and runs 500% on solar power......
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/composting-the-permaculture-way/
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/back-on-the-cheesemaking-bandwagon/
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/powering-up-for-the-collapse/
      http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/making-an-incubator-2/

      Because I practice permaculture, I have no need for a tractor. Or a horse.

      We have to live more simply so we may simply live.....

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    12. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Terrific Mike,
      Thats you and I fixed, no worries

      What about the other 6,999,999,998 ?

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    13. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Will Hunt

      5,999,999,999 will perish in the dieoff..........

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    14. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      . . . and take you with them.

      We've been over all this before, Mike Stasse, and through it.

      It seems a timely reminder to all and sundry that last year was the 150th anniversary of the passing of Lincoln's Homestead Act, following the walkout of the Southern Confederacy leaving him with his majority in Congress sufficient to pass the bill.

      This year is the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War that ensured, in the aftermath of which the remnant peoples living capably…

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    15. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Is it not true, that after starting to shut down their nuclear power plants that Germany is now opening new coal plants? And that more than 50% of their electricity comes from coal?

      http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/london/analysis-german-4-gw-new-coal-plants-in-testing-26170384

      And while Germany is generally an exporter of electricity is it also not true that they do import power from various neighbours during peak times? And that this is being exacerbated by switching off the nukes?

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/impact-of-reactor-shutdown-germany-may-be-importing-nuclear-power-to-meet-energy-needs-a-754957.html

      Who can Australia import from once we cancel coal/natural gas? Or will we suffer brownouts as South Africa does?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_blackout#Country-wide_blackouts_2007.E2.80.932008

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    16. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      So we should supplement our existing coal and gas power plants with nuclear AND wood fired steam plants?

      Sounds good to me.

      Although wouldn't using steam engines or steam cars (capable of burning just about anything as fuel) create an ever increasing supply of fuel?

      I'd certainly like a Doble E steam car.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/0/21245426

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    17. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to David Elson

      CRAFTENGINE; ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

      Video: http://www.vdg.no/index.php?articleid=12
      Website: http://www.vdg.no/index.php?articleid=8

      RENEWABLE ENERGY HARNESSED BY CRAFTENGINE
      Viking Heat Engines AS presents CraftEngine, an engine that can convert heat from renewable low-temperature heat sources into electricity. The first CraftEngine prototype has already been tested (August 2011 – January 2012) with great success, and both the technical and commercial…

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  22. mark gardner

    just a humble person

    At the end of the day, we need to eat. Therefore any solution to this issue must regenerate the land, capture and store carbon, at the same time produce food in a way that allows farmers to achieve a modest return.

    There are ways to do this: http://cil.landcarensw.org.au/files/BM%20Combined%20Report%20Final%20Nov%2021.pdf

    However, change is at heart a social process. Asking people to change generational attitudes to land management is a big issue.

    In the process of photosynthesis, plants take in CO2...the only viable answer to climate change is to get more plants growing, taking in more CO2 and storing this in the soil as soil carbon....its the only economic solution. Grasslands are more effective at this, over time, than forests.

    Any policy that does this will likely to be successful.

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to mark gardner

      I get the impression that most farmers are more than willing to learn and change their generational attitudes.

      If you a hundred or ten thousand hectares, in one sense it's a finite resource that needs to be nurtured. Farmers and their produce is one of our most important assets.

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    2. mark gardner

      just a humble person

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Hi Stephen

      Yes, land is such an important resource, for both the produce it creates but also how it is managed can impact greatly on the bigger picture...such as climate.

      At the end of the day, enhancing the way land is managed, taking more C02 from the air by growing more plants on the grasslands will be the only economic, social and environmental solution viable.

      All other solutions will run out of money to prop them up pretty quickly.

      And a big yes, there are so many farmers that are innovators in this thinking, a real critical mass. I hope that city folks can understand that a key part to the solution is simply to reduce bare ground, and increase green plants...

      This is a very cost effective strategy. I suspect Direct Action in some way may be onto this...but I am not sure!

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    3. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to mark gardner

      At the end of the day, we need to eat. Therefore any solution to this issue must regenerate the land, capture and store carbon, at the same time produce food in a way that allows farmers to achieve a modest return.

      LIKE THIS............:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CxP0Thljr4

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    4. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      And then there is Costa in his own way of getting people to think and act as a community:
      Uploaded on Sep 17, 2011

      Costa Georgiadis grew up around food. His grandfather, a market gardener seeded his DNA with a love of soil. His first steps were on his godfathers property in the Bylong Valley NSW. His grandfathers seeds germinated and grew though a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree at UNSW, Permaculture Design Studies, Catchment management Courses and then International travel and work in Europe. Costa loves the language of communication and more recently has been spreading this passion...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wct3duda_xI

      Look at those smiles!!

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    5. mark gardner

      just a humble person

      In reply to Frank Strie

      In a big picture sense there will always be a diversification needed in the way in which out food is produced. Costa is a legend...so passionate! The work of Bill Mollison (permaculture), Peter Andrews (natural Sequence) and Allan Savory (Holistic Management) both have made significant contributions....

      The large broadacre grasslands areas outside the cities are the areas that need work, the potential to make a apositive change here is large...this is where the work of Allan Savory really comes to the fore.

      Good to be supporting all of these approaches. The best thing that city folks can do is to by food and produce from farmers producing in these regenerative ways....

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    6. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to mark gardner

      That is right Mark, it is the combination and the interaction that can bring about positive change.
      This conversation platform and so many other information sharing sites are part of the change, they are also keys o sustainability.
      Here the latest presentation at an TEDx event more recently than previous postings:

      Biochar -- Putting the carbon Genie back in the bottle: Rob Lerner
      at TEDxSanMiguelDeAllende

      Just 282 views so far - much less than would have been in the audience possibly…

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    7. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to Frank Strie

      I've met Costa........ great bloke, and my favourite Permie....

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  23. Gil Hardwick

    anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

    Yet another source of ongoing frustration among those of us who've been doing all this for the past 30 years and more, to find still today that it has to be spelled out over and over and over again.

    While to someone like me the situation is most indicative of the alienation of most people these days from the land, it has to be said that at the same time without all that work having been done things would already be much worse today.

    I wrote here fairly recently that a good indicator of the…

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  24. Yoron Hamber

    Thinking

    Interesting idea, reminds me of the arguments about how aborigines treated the land of Australia. But as long as there is a profit in cutting down forests etc, I expect it to misfire, in that the cheapest and fastest growing substitutions will be used, with little regard to plant diversity etc. At least this is the model for forest preservation in Sweden as I understands it, as long as there is one new tree planted for each cut down, the rest doesn't seem to matter that much. Well, except it should…

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    1. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Yoron,
      All growing plants take in CO2 and give off oxygen, not just trees.
      Lots of people forget that.
      Also need to remember, as a rule of thumb, the below ground biomass (root material) is in most cases approximately equal to the above-ground biomass.
      So grass is good

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    2. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Yes :)

      Grass is definitely good. But I like biodiversity, and as I gather this article seems to aim for preserving a ecosystem, and its biodiversity. Which I think is a goal worthy of doing. On the other hand you will see migrations as climate changes, so it should be a tricky business I guess, even if assuming you can regulate a weather locally by careful planning 'land planning'.

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    3. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Thank you Yoron,
      just pointing out the role of grass in biodiversity
      Too often forgotten.
      They can't see the grass for the trees

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    4. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Will Hunt

      This part of the argument is largely a matter of perception, combined with the simple and obvious fact that we are discussing the matter in English, and not Pashto or Uzbek or Sioux for example.

      Tim Flannery himself pointed out in his 'Future Eaters' that everyone coming to this country first sees wide open spaces. What he neglected to mention is that English speaking and Northern European peoples who come here not only expect to see trees but speak of trees, because that's what their landscape…

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    5. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Will Hunt

      http://www.mpg.de/5828932/cryptogamic_covers_earth_system?filter_order=LT&research_topic=UK-MB_UK-OE

      Wallflowers of the Earth system

      Algae, lichens, and mosses take up huge amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen from the atmosphere and thus also influences the climate

      June 01, 2012

      In cities, the presence of algae, lichens, and mosses is not considered desirable and they are often removed from roofs and walls. It is, however, totally unfair to consider these cryptogamic covers, as the…

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    6. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Good points Gil.
      I wish our ancestors had learnt to speak Aborigine and found out how the country worked before introducing Rabbits.

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    7. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Yoron Hamber

      Just to keep things in perspective, this is where I grew up:

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/BooroorbanNestOldManPlain.JPG.

      Yes, that's a wedge-tailed eagle's nest. There's your "biodiversity".

      And it's not just grass but bushes and shrubs. More grass I would like to see out there, very much so, but as I say biodiversity is more often what you get, not what you want.

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    8. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Nice photo with the wedgies nest Gil.
      Where was that? Somewhere out on the Hay Plain?
      I love the desert, there is something so pure and unpretentious about it.
      The dynamics of climatic variability (and hence Carbon) in Australia is like the whore's Drawers Gil,they don't understand that, they go up and down according to supply and demand .

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    9. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Thanks Will, though it's not so bad. It's not as if we don't know, or the knowledge is forgotten; its simply not being properly attended to.

      We did learn a lot, and many of us spend our lives carrying the knowledge forward and applying it.

      Here is a cousin of mine, Bill Gammage of ANU for example, on managing the estate:

      http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/08/01/3816338.htm

      More here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sko-YDIULKY

      Over more than 30 years the results we have achieved in land management on the same basis are remarkable.

      On this issue politically I sometimes agree with Bill, that we are educated and hard-working rural gentry not cockies or industrial working class, coming down from the station country after WWII and only later as adults shocked to find ourselves running into all this bullshit.

      At the same time, my first novel was on droving cattle up into Queensland, and it's still my favourite.

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    10. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Boorooban, Will. That's the old pub with its trees and garden I think in the background.

      There used to be an enormous swamp back behind where the photographer stood, that was drained around the time I was about 20 or so and turned into hard claypan. That was the first time in my life I remember being really very angry, about anything at all.

      Aside from the sheep and cattle and horses there were great flocks of ducks in those days, and huge clouds of galahs and cockatoos and budgerigars that would pass over and leave a shadow on the ground.

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    11. Will Hunt

      Farmer

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Thanks Gil
      I often think that Aborigines got full citizenship before they were ready for it.
      They were only a couple of years into their 'whitefeller' apprenticeship when the government said 'here you are boys, go for your life"
      There was so much to know.
      And for us too. We had so much to learn about Aborigine ways, they had so much to learn about us.
      So many white Australians assume that Rural white Australians have learnt bugger-all about this country in 200 years.
      I'll look out for your novels in the library. (note: typical Ikey Aussie farmer, won't buy a book

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    12. Rotha Jago

      concerned citizen

      In reply to Will Hunt

      The difficulty with 'Direct Action' on Climate Change is the action which is being taken as we speak by Governments all over Australia.
      Land Management is not confined to Farmers.
      Councils have millions of Hectares to oversee. The perception that 'weeds' are an environmental threat is driving an escalation in herbicide use which is destroying tropical North Queensland at an alarming rate. If planting Mangroves is part of a solution why is Government killing Mangroves?
      In fact Government financing of herbicide use is costing thousands of millions of dollars EVERY YEAR in Australia alone,
      Is it any wonder that there are world wide environmental problems?

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    13. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Rotha Jago

      Spot on Rotha Jago!
      Having began my initial 3 year forestry training program in Germany in Sept. 1975, I came into the industry when the chemical weapons / tools against weeds had just about peaked.
      The sprayers and even blowers, the powder, liquids and granular chemicals where eliminated within 3 years.
      It was like a logical revolution within forestry, or should I call it the paradigm shift?
      Now it would be great to compare natural resource management tools and practices in Germany, Switzerland…

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    14. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Frank Strie

      Yet it's a pity, Frank, that we don't have a lot more continuity in all this.

      I complain too often of people still coming out here from Europe with all "the latest", telling us what to do and how to do it, telling is we need "to realize" something or other, that we've been doing all along.

      I'm the last person willing to kill the spirit, but we "Australians" pioneered all these ideas and have practiced them since the year dot.

      What it takes here, is not faster and faster, more urgent and…

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    15. Rotha Jago

      concerned citizen

      In reply to Frank Strie

      Chemical rape of the land is not confined to Australia.
      Africa and North and South America are coping with the same scourge, released on the environment for the revenue it brings to agricultural chemical companies, drug companies and all the others which benefit from the disease and destruction which follows in the wake of chemical "solutions" to land management problems.
      Your remarks about Continental Europe are also true of Great Britain.
      There, public pressure and commonsense reject the chemical…

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    16. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Thank you for the many interesting leads and recommendations Gil Hardwick, I am happy to explore the positive things.
      "... Coming to this country, It's a very good idea to slow down just a tad, to be observant, to think, and sit around and yarn, and learn to listen."
      My first visit to discover Tasmania was in 1985, then again with my young family in 1987 to find a job opportunity in forestry training and so we moved under Down Under in late 1987.
      So since 26 years now I have watched, observed…

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    17. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Frank Strie

      Mate, problem is, your hysterical, finger pointing, blaming style of arguing has been done to death, over and over and over again, and it not only gets you nowhere it gets nowhere.

      You and your mate "Rotha Jago" carrying on about "chemical rape" of "our dear land", and "burning the book", and the rest of us who have been working in this area all our lives just switch off and walk away.

      That's what I'm doing, unsubscribing from this thread, OK.

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    18. Frank Strie

      Ecological Forester, Farmer, Biochar Consultant

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      You sound very frustrated Gil,
      I am not writing as a hysterical loner or looser at all.
      The negative stuff has taken our country to where it is now.
      I know "Rotha Jago" no more or less than you Gil.
      Be assured that you are not alone in your ability to read the landscape and to observe, read and listen to the voices of the bush and the rainforest.
      Relax Gil, I have no reason to be so angry - I am long over it, just stated the facts - if we like it or not.
      My/ our Children and Grandchildren…

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    19. Yoron Hamber

      Thinking

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Yeah, agree on that one, biodiversity is whatever a landscape can hold, interacting. although as man change it one then could apply such a principle on whatever one now will find, ad infinitum, defending a constantly poorer ecology by arguing that 'this is what it can hold'. And that one I don't like as much.

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  25. Nicholas Cameron

    logged in via Facebook

    Great story Penny.

    In between this story and your last story on the Conversation we added 72,000 ha to Australian carbon farming.

    It would be great to include wetlands and mangrove restoration to the CFI and it works.

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