Monday, June 30th 2008, 3:31 AM EDT
By Viv Forbes
The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused the big farming lobby groups, government departments, politicians and Ministers representing agriculture of ignoring science and abandoning farmers to unjustified carbon taxation.
The chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, claimed that there was no justification whatsoever for including emissions from farm animals in any carbon emissions tax scheme.
“Every intelligent farmer can understand the carbon food cycle whereby every bit of carbon dioxide released by farm animals or plants into the atmosphere has previously been removed from the same atmosphere.”
“This simple process is surely not beyond the understanding of all the lobbyists, bureaucrats, researchers and media living off farmers?”
“In the farm sector carbon balance, apart from any fossil fuel used, it is a zero sum game, and all farm animals have ZERO NET CARBON EMISSIONS.”
“Grazing animals have not yet learned to live on coal or diesel fuel, and they cannot create carbon out of rocks, soil or water. Therefore they must extract it, via grasses and grains, from that marvellous gas of life in our atmosphere, carbon dioxide. All foods and organic matter represent carbon that has been sequestered by life processes into living matter. The carbon is simply recycled at ZERO COST.”
“Farm plants and animals are every bit as green as forests. Both farms and forests extract carbon from the air and store it in organic life forms until that organic matter is burnt or decays in the open air, thus returning their borrowed carbon to the atmospheric storehouse.”
“Why then do those who grow forests attract a carbon credit and but those who grow cattle and sheep cop a carbon tax?”
“Australia and New Zealand lead the world in harvesting solar energy and carbon dioxide to produce an abundance of clean green food. Why then are both the New Zealand and the Australian governments proposing to force farm animals into their emissions trading quagmire? And why are they subsidising the conversion of farmland producing food into forests producing nothing but carbon credits or crops producing ethanol motor fuel? What are future generations going to eat?”
Forbes claimed that farmers need to start agitating now or they risk being the only bunnies still paying carbon taxes.
“Motorists who vote and use petrol will escape the carbon tax by sleight of hand – petrol excise will in future be called “carbon tax”. Exporters will get an exemption to enable them to compete with more sensible regimes with no carbon taxes. Other protected species like working families in marginal electorates will get subsidies to cover carbon taxes on electricity bills. Truckies will blockade the roads if politicians add carbon tax to diesel prices. That leaves farmers as the only big group with so few votes and such incompetent leadership that they will pay the carbon tax.”
“Farmers have been abandoned by Ag Force, the Meat and Livestock Authority, CSIRO, the National Party, our “working families” Government and most of the similar organisations in New Zealand. It is not clear whether this is because of a lack of scientific logic or cowardice in the face of electoral hysteria on global warming.”
“But the politicians representing the treasured “working families” in the battling suburbs had better start taking notice of rising food prices or a more soundly based hysteria about the growing shortage of food will sweep emissions trading nonsense from the political landscape.”
Viv Forbes, Chairman,The Carbon Sense Coalition, has spent his life working in exploration, mining, farming, infrastructure, financial analysis and political commentary. He has worked for government departments, private companies and now works as a private contractor and farmer.
Viv has also been a guest writer for the Asian Wall Street Journal, Business Queensland and mining newspapers. He was awarded the “Australian Adam Smith Award for Services to the Free Society” in 1988, and has written widely on political, technical and economic subjects.
Viv can be reached at: email@example.com