SLIDES from Carbon Farming Expo & Conference now available LEFT HAND COLUMN

(Click on the slide to gain access to the slides via SlideShare)

Will The Government Steal $12 billion From Australian Farmers?

The Garnaut Inquiry Final Report estimates that Australian soils can sequester conservatively, 600 million tonnes of CO2e pa. At $20/tonne, that is a $12 billion incentive for Australian farmers to change their land management and adopt carbon farming. That money can save rural communities; it can save family farming; it can save rural landscapes and restore soils. And, as Garnaut sees it paid for between 25-50 years, it can help Agriculture prepare for and even prosper in the dryer, hotter future we are assured is coming. Or - as it did with the Native Vegetation Laws - will the Government 'nationalise' the soil carbon to pay its Kyoto bills? Who owns the carbon in the soil?

3 billion tonnes/year for 50 years, says world expert

3 billion tonnes/year for 50 years, says world expert
Agricultural Soil can sequester 3 billion mt of CO2e per year for the next 50 years, equivalent to a draw-down of 50 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 by 2100, according to Dr Rattan Lal, the world's most eminent soil carbon authority.

The Soil Carbon Mårket Is Open For Business

The Soil Carbon Mårket Is Open For Business
Prime Carbon's Ken Bellamy has walked the walk while others talked. He has combined his expertise in the environmental application of probiotics with soil enhancement and municipal waste management issues.

The Matrix: A Soil Carbon Solution

The Matrix: A Soil Carbon Solution
Brian Murphy, Senior Soil Scientist, Departmentof Environment & Climate Change, introduces the Matrix, a method for making soli carbon more easily mapped and measured.

The $20m Dollar Man

The $20m Dollar Man
Jeff Baldock, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO is in charge of the 13 soil carbon research projects funded earlier this year.

The Future of Soil Science Looks Like This

The Future of Soil Science Looks Like This
Sydney University's Ischani Wheeler reveals the progress of Prof. Alex. McBratney's 'secret soil carbon measurement machine'

How The Industry Bodies See The Future

How The Industry Bodies See The Future
Bryan Clark from the Grain Growers Association has been closely involved in negotiations leading up to the Copenhagen Round of Talks...

Water Needs Carbon, Carbon Needs Water

Water Needs Carbon, Carbon Needs Water
Controversial Peter Andrews is famous for 30 years of campaigning for a radica approach to water management that aims to rehydrate the landscape. There is a major initiative underway to have Peter's theories widely applied

Soil Biology's Evangelist

Soil Biology's Evangelist
Maarten Stapper was ahead of most of his contemporaries in identifying soil biology and the processes of nature as keys to a new view of soil management.

The Best Election Outcome for Soil Carbon

Congratulations to everyone who voted in the 2010 Federal Election. Your vote delivered the perfect outcome for the Soil Carbon Solution: a hung parliament with regional independents holding the balance of power in the House of Reps and the Greens holding the balance in the Senate. Sustainable, regenerative agriculture moves up from 'Nice To Have' to "Need To Have". The Carbon Coalition has links with two of the three original independents; The Greens have an understanding of the soil carbon issues; and both the major parties have a soil carbon policy. The intensity of the opportunity just increased 10-fold. So the stars are aligning. Congratulations, Voter. You always get it right.

Winning the Unwinnable CO2 Argument

The ‘grassroots’ backlash against the Government’scarbon trading legislation was inevitable, in hindsight, and the reason for it is clear: Those of us who feel that, on balance, Climate Change could possibly be – worst case scenario - the greatest threat to humanity in history and that urgent action must be taken to reduce the severity of its impact, are stunned by the groundswell of Denial that has carried populists like Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce to prominence in Australian politics.

Where did it come from? The conventional consensus view that Al Gore helped form with his slide show “Inconvenient Truth” and the unanimity of the 2500 IPCC Scientists gave us a sense of certainty about the problem we face. The only dissenters were fringe ‘professors for hire’ in the pay of Exxon Mobil whose influence was limited to small circles of far right activists. They had a clear strategy: create doubt. It played perfectly on the IPCC’s naïve honesty in publishing its degrees of uncertainty. The complexity of Climate Change science itself is also a fundamental weakness the scientists never sought to address.

It was illogical and contradictory: how could Global Warming involve periods of cooling? If it does, don’t call it ‘warming’. And don’t rely on “Trust me. I’m a scientist.” The conspiracy theories promoted by the Denialists found willing ears among older audiences, especially in the regions where – ironically – Climate Change was hurting most. The arrogance of the scientists fed their suspicions.

Now the Climate Change Conclave has been broken. While the Howard Government and the Opposition were both proposing a carbon trading scheme, and while the Rudd Government and both the Brendon Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull Oppositions concurred, dissenters were very much a minority.

Once the Denialists Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin gained control of the Opposition, the disbelievers found a legitimacy and a focus. PM Rudd & Co. now have a real problem. Their legislation has been blocked. Action stymied. And the Opposition has got traction with a line depicting the Emissions Trading Scheme as ‘a monster tax on everything’ – the Keating line that destroyed the GST Mk1. “If you can’t understand it, don’t vote for it,” he said. The ETS is even harder to understand than the GST. The Opposition feels it has the ammunition to fight an election.

The elation of the Unbelievers at the elevation of one of their own to the leadership role is understandable. These events have given the voiceless and the powerless a sense of justification. They had been dismissed as stupid by the elites – the winners in the long economic boom. Little wonder that they hiss when they hear the name of Macquarie Bank. Climate Change was just another chapter in the culture wars.

The underbrush was tinder dry, created by the attitude towards unbelievers. They could not tell the difference between sound and unsound science, peer-reviewed papers or propaganda. The ‘science’ they supported was dismissed as “rubbish” and scorned by the ‘new scientific establishment’s Dr Graeme Pearman. It was delivered by non-Climate Scientists such as geologist Dr Ian Pilmer whose delivery is as sarcastic and partisan as any politician’s could be. But the ordinary folk didn’t know that. It just made sense to them. Scientists like Pearman declaring that Pilmer & Co. don’t have peer-reviewed publications made no impression on them. The messages of the Climate Change activists have been pitched at the educated elites. Not the ordinary folk.

Now we know what we have to do. Al Gore is right: simply giving out more facts won’t work. More handwringing by scientists on TV won’t do it. More Chicken Little predictions won’t either. None of that reaches the ordinary folk where they live.

Take a leaf from the Denialists’ book: To neutralise the following they have gathered we must create doubt. They are not impressed with the downside they have been pitched – environmental degradation. It doesn’t out-point ‘a monster tax on everything’. They don’t care about the environment.

What do they care about? What works on them like a red rag to a bull? So effective that John Howard used it frequently to keep his followers following him… Boat people. Millions of them. “The Yellow Peril” their parents feared in the 1950’s. Invaders from the near north, landing in numbers that could easily be double or triple our population. More than a million Tampas. Would the military fire on women and children? Unthinkable. But how would we stop them?

Senator Bill Heffernan told the Bulletin magazine that rising sea levels could send many millions of people from Asia to find a new place to live, and Australia is wide open. Normally a lone voice, Senator Heffernan has significant support. The Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. The Head of the Australian Defence Forces. A panel of retired US Armed Forces generals. A Pentagon Report. A United Nations Report. The Centre for Strategic and International Studies, The Oxford Group….

So if Barnaby and the Denialists prevail and the soil carbon sequestration solution is not deployed in time to bring down CO2 levels equivalent to 50ppm for 50 years, your grandchildren will have some new neighbours.

2009 Carbon Farming Conference - a tasting platter

Former Governor General to speak at Official Dinner. Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC will deliver the First Annual “Farming For Planet Earth” Oration. He is known to be passionately aware of the urgency for effective action on issues such as the Murray Darling Basin and our disappearing rivers. The Major General is forming a civilian Task Force to make a last-ditch effort to stop the spiral of decline of farm landscapes. He says “the train is leaving the station.” All Aboard!

Scientists are so hot for Bioferts that they have abandoned their concurrent sessions so they can hear Rhonda Daly and Bart Stephenson take us through the A-B-C of Composting and Biofertilisers. These will be practical sessons: pitfalls, problems and solutions, for beginners. Rhonda pioneered On-Farm Composting and Bart has established broadacre biological farming as the norm in many districts, against the odds.

The drought-proof property: Disconnecting carrying capacity from rainfall is just one of the effects of his grazing management operation that carbon farmer Tim Wright can talk about. His operation near Uralla has been extremely well measured by scientists, with conventionally-grazed paddocks showing dramatic differences. But most dramatic of all was the way he managed through two droughts while maintaining stock numbers.
Can soil choose to sequester? Sydney U’s Professor John Crawford has discovered that soil can protect its carbon levels and even send microbes to areas that are losing carbon to help restore them. This amazing discovery could lead to a new way to measure soil C.

Heroes of the New Agricultural Revolution will be acknowledged at the Official Dinner. These are individuals who have made a significant contribution to the soil carbon movement at some significant personal cost. Their names will be entered into the Hall of Heroes.

Meet the Soil Carbon Mythbusters: CSIRO’s Clive Kirkby and the NSW DPI’s David Water - best known as the “Soil Carbon Mythbusters” – will be speaking at the Carbon Farming Conference.. Nohard feelings

Soil Carbon Open For Business: A new tradable product called an “Australian Removal Unit” is being offered through the Prime Carbon “Soil Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration (SECS) Program. SECS is a process of supported land management change resulting in carbon storage in soil. You can order a Soil Carbon Sequestration Baseline Survey now.
Call 02 6374 0329.
Or contact

Can you make water from air? Just tooling about with the formulae for the process of photosynthesis, as you do, Ken Bellamy noticed that there was a Hydrogen atom left over after the two distinct stages of capturing the CO2 and converting it. This led to a curious discovery which has the scientists racing to confirm it scientifically.. Ken Bellamy will speak at this year’s Soil Carbon Farming Conference in Orange 4th-5th November, 2009.

He degrades ecosystems on purpose and he calls it “Landsmanship”, a new term to describe an almost ‘hands off’ approach to farm landscape and soil health. Paul Newell, a longtime colleague of Peter Andrews, has developed his ideas over 40 years. They are outrageous, but they work. He breaks down and destroys ecological units in order to see what will remedy the situation. Paul Newell will speak at the Soil Carbon Farming Conference in Orange 4th-5th November, 2009.

Soil creates human health? Dr Carole Hungerford, author of “Good Health in the 21st Century” believes poorly managed soils fail to provide the food grown in it with sufficient minerals to help our bodies resist disease. Dr Hungerford will speak at this year’s Soil Carbon Farming Conference in Orange 4th-5th November, 2009.

The secret life of humus: Clive Kirkby is best known to Coaliton members as the author of the “Hidden Cost of Humus” article. He has a ‘revolutionary’ theory about humus and will speak at this year’s Soil Carbon Farming Conference in Orange 4th-5th November, 2009

Welcome to the Era of Soil Carbon

The signs are good for soil carbon trading in 2009. The year that the world community discovered food security and soil carbon. The year the Australian Government promised it would launch a voluntary market. The year we will discover if our leaders can lead.

Can you answer the following questions?

Will the coalition of the FAO, World Bank, the EU, the USA, the IFAP* and 14 other nations succeed in convincing the other nations meeting in Copenhagen this December to change the Kyoto Protocols to exploit Agriculture's massive capacity to sequester carbon in soils?
Why are Australia and New Zealand the only countries considering imposing penalties of agriculture for emissions arising from the production of food?
Why has the "Push Back" from government research bodies against soil carbon trading become so aggressive?
Why is there so much attention paid to the fractions of soil carbon when trading requires only the delta of Total Organic Carbon between two points of time?
Why are the many benefits of low input/low cost carbon farming - including improved water usage, reduced salination, better soil structure, less erosion, higher fertility, improved biodiversity, greater resilience - not enough to attract the support of government agencies (whose responsibilities cover these areas) for a polluter-funded soil credit incentive??
Are the standards for measuring soil carbon for scientific purposes sufficient for trading purposes? If not, why should standards for trading be higher than those considered sufficient for science?
*International Federation of Agricultural Producers - has 6 million members worldwide, including members of all organisations in Australia affiliated with the NFF.