September 5th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

OBITUARY: Australia loses great champion of the unborn - Charles Hugh Francis AM QC RFD (1924-2009)

COVER STORY: Huge turn-out for Canberra marriage summit

CANBERRA OBSERVED: The Christian vote and Kevin Rudd

EDITORIAL: Bushfire Royal Commission ignores fuel-reduction burning

SCHOOLS: 'Historic leap forward' to shake up WA schools

ENERGY I: ETS will deter oil and gas exploration

ENERGY II: Renewable energy: what about the ethanol industry?

FINANCIAL CRISIS: World economy is still 'anaemic'

ASIA: Vulnerable Taiwan facing new trade challenges

QUEENSLAND: GP protests - we are doctors, not baby-killers

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Family the key to social inclusion and cohesion

OPINION: Patient ruling creates moral, ethical impasse

EDUCATION: ALP's 'education revolution' copies UK's failed policies

OPINION: Integration, the missing ingredient of immigration

CO2 and turf (letter)

Ian Plimer on Christianity (letter)

Treasury's role in OzCar affair (letter)

Governmental child abuse (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: UK Health gives child molester Viagra; Vic. council paid $620,000 to a 'white witch'; Women in combat

BOOK REVIEW: FAIR WORK: The New Workplace Laws and the Work Choices Legacy, eds. Anthony Forsyth and Andrew Stewart

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and turf (letter)

by Hon. Peter J. Nixon AO

News Weekly, 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,
Orbost, Vic.

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