CO2 by Hon. Peter J. Nixon AONews Weekly
and turf (letter)
, September 5, 2009
My agricultural science teacher taught me that CO2 is neither a pollutant nor a poison as is now often claimed, but nature's greatest fertiliser necessary for the growth of pasture and crops. Then through photosynthesis the same pastures and crops turn the CO2 into the oxygen that is so necessary to all life on earth.
I am grateful to the editor of Australian Better Gardens
for his article (Vol. 36, May 2009), where he points out: "Just 58 square metres of turf will produce enough oxygen for a person for an entire day. It will also absorb seven times more carbon [CO2] than the carbon [CO2] output of mowing. One acre of turf can absorb nearly a ton of carbon [CO2] per year."
Our forefathers when planning our cities provided areas for parks and gardens. They were described correctly as the "lungs of our cities". Yet today, because of a failure with water policy, the state governments have decreed that our lawns should die.
Despite their huge contribution by sequestration, turf, pasture and crops are excluded from consideration as offsets by the Kyoto Protocol and the forthcoming Copenhagen meeting. Think of the thousands of hectares of pastures and crops around Australia that are taking up tonnes of CO2 and through photosynthesis turning it into life-sustaining oxygen. At the same time, farmers are to be taxed on livestock and agricultural pursuits for any CO2 or methane produced when providing the food and fibre for people's welfare.
More and more evidence is emerging proving that the science on this whole question is suspect. But if the Government is to proceed, surely the take-up of CO2 and production of oxygen, if accounted for, proves that Australia is more than playing its part in the world.
Where is the CSIRO on this matter? I have searched Google and found supporting evidence about photosynthesis, but nothing from the once proud independent research body, the CSIRO, on this matter.Hon. Peter J. Nixon AO,
Former Minister for Primary Industry,