Australia has a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, greenhouse gas-emitting livestock, and heavy industry.
Combined with the transport of livestock, food, and mined products over long distances to cities and ports and the export of ores, coal, metals, and food for 80 million people, there is a high per capita emission of carbon dioxide. If for some perverse perceived moral reason we reduce our emissions of plant food, then we let millions in Asia starve. Our food exports contribute to increasing the standard of living, longevity, and health of billions of people in Asia.
The forestry, mining, and smelting industries have been under constant attack by green activists who are happy to put hundreds of thousands out of work and destroy the economy. They train their sights on the cheapest and most reliable form of electricity and want to replace it with unreliable subsidised wind and solar power simply because the burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide which they fraudulently deem is a dangerous pollutant. The next target will be food-producing farmers. They, like the forestry and mining industries, have nowhere to go if destroyed by green activists. Australia cannot import food if there is no export revenue generated to pay for imports.
With inflation and debt on the rise, Australia has far greater economic priorities than to shift the whole economy into uncharted waters, increase energy costs, destroy a successful efficient primary industry, decrease employment, and decrease international competitiveness because its emission of the plant food carbon dioxide is deemed sinful. It is a very long bow to argue that Australia’s emission of one molecule of plant food in 6.6 million other atmospheric molecules has any measurable effect whatsoever on global climate.
Ice core shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide rises follow natural temperature rises and, in past times when atmospheric carbon dioxide was up to 100 times higher than now, there were ice ages and no runaway global warmings. Furthermore, it has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. Why even bother about the minuscule Australian carbon dioxide emissions when the big emitters don’t?
Annual Australian per capita carbon dioxide emissions are in the order of 20 tonnes per person. There are 30 hectares of forest and 74 hectares of grassland for every Australian and each hectare annually sequesters about one tonne of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Australia has 4 per cent of the world’s global forest estate, the world’s sixth largest forested area, and the fourth largest area of forest in nature conservation reserves. On the continental landmass, grasslands and forests remove by natural sequestration more than three times the amount of Australia’s domestic and industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The expansion of woody weeds, crops, reduction in regular burning, and vegetation clearing restrictions further increases natural sequestration.
Australian forests adsorb 940 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum compared to our domestic and industrial emissions of 417 million tonnes. Add to that the absorption of carbon dioxide in continental Australia to the carbon dioxide adsorption of 2,500,000 square kilometres of continental shelf waters and Australia sequesters some five times as much carbon dioxide as it emits. Australia does more than its share of the heavy lifting for global sequestration of carbon dioxide.
Australia’s net contribution to global atmospheric carbon dioxide is negative. We are already at Net Zero. This is validated by the net carbon dioxide flux estimates from the IBUKI satellite carbon dioxide data set.
None of these calculations involve the fixing of biological carbon compounds and atmospheric carbon dioxide into soils. Soils contain two or three times as much carbon dioxide as the atmosphere, soil carbon increases fertility and water retention and reduces farming costs. Natural sequestration in Australia locks away carbon dioxide and to lock it away carbon dioxide by industrial sequestration in deep drill holes is a foolish fashionable way of wasting large amounts of taxpayer’s money.
Using the thinking of the IPCC, UN, and activist green groups, Australia should be very generously financially rewarded with money from poor, populous, desert, and landlocked countries for removing its own emissions from the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide emissions from many other nations. By this method, wealthy Australia can take money from poor countries.
Net Zero has nothing to the environment and climate change and is all about power and the transfer of hard-earned wealth.
Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer’s latest book ‘Green Murder’ is published by Connor Court Publishing.
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