Cartoon: By Bill Leak.
By: Viv Forbes, Chairman,
CO2Australia boasts of planting three million carbon credit trees. This is "just the beginning" of a new bubble industry, the CO2.con.
This bubble is set to inflate rapidly. To offset just one day of Qantas operations, CO2 promoters must plant more than 200,000 trees in permanent forests covering 130 hectares. How much land is required to offset all Australian power stations, industry and transport?
Yes these trees will consume carbon dioxide. However CO2 levels today are well below what is ideal for plant growth. While they are growing strongly, these trees will suck the gas of life from the atmosphere, competing strongly with nearby crops and plant life for the traces of carbon dioxide remaining.
Then as the trees mature, growth stops. The aging forest just sits there, some trees growing, some dying and net carbon sequestration ceases. It becomes a sterile shrine to the green religion whose main impact on the biosphere is providing a haven for feral animals and noxious weeds.
Green spruikers claim that they only use land not suitable for anything else. Wrong! Every bit of Australia not covered by road, cities, parks or deserts can support crops, timber-getting or grazing animals. Carbon-credit forests gnaw away at this national land asset every year.
Moreover, CO2.con investors, like all speculators, want quick returns. Their quick return demands rapidly growing trees in arable country - deserts and salt pans are uneconomical. Thus the wheat/sheep belt is shrinking.
No one can demonstrate any climate or environmental benefit from the CO2.con.
Forcing consumers and taxpayers to fund this large scale permanent land sterilisation is clearly unsustainable. All Australians fund this destruction via increased prices for electricity, cement, steel, air tickets and rail fares, and reduced land for food production. The carbon tax will increase their burden.
Like all bubble industries, the CO2.con industry must end in tears, and the sooner it ends the better.