Feast or Famine

By Viv Forbes

Food depends on land access, farmers, fertilisers, tractors, carbon dioxide and carbon fuels.

Famine always follows global cooling, drought and silly politicians.

This article looks at the recent history of the things that have driven world food production since the days of horse drawn ploughs. It examines the large increase in food production caused when tractors replaced horses, and the way the introduction of modern fertilisers saved many farms from bankruptcy. Drawing on his own childhood experience of farming using green (horse) power and other stories from this era, the author exposes the key factors supporting world food production today. And mentions the abuses of some modern farming aids.

Farmers depend on fertilisers to replace the soil minerals shipped off to cities in farm produce. They need machinery such as tractors and trucks, carbon fuel to power these machines, and freedom to find the best ways of producing healthy food while maintaining the productivity and value of their land.

But most of all, our food supply depends on the magic plant food of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide. It is a sad commentary on the state of science education and the strength of alarmist propaganda that carbon dioxide, the gas that supports all life, is now widely thought to be a pollutant in the atmosphere.

Finally it looks at the possible threats to our food supply.

The biggest threat is political – the plan to use taxation, rationing and legislation to force farmers back to the days of the horse and buggy when 40% of farm produce was used to fuel horses. Only now they want the farms to produce all the ethanol and biofuel to fuel our much larger vehicle fleet. The continual closure and restrictions on land use by carbon credit forestry, vegetation clearing bans, ethanol production and other land restrictions is already reducing food supply.

The weather is indeed a threat to farmers and food supplies. But the threat is not global warming – ice, snow and cold weather are the main climate threats to farmers everywhere. Every past warm era has been a time of prosperity and growing population. The current generation of politicians and their bureaucracy has not studied science or history.

And warmer climates must produce increased evaporation from seas and lakes. This aerial moisture must cool, condense into clouds and fall somewhere as rain or snow. No farms are ever threatened by a warm moist era – it is the cold periods and the drought eras we need to fear. The whole climate alarm industry is focussed in the wrong direction, for the wrong reason, and their wrong policy prescriptions can only worsen any food shortages we may encounter.

For the full article with pictures and diagrams in a print-ready state see: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/feast-or-famine.pdf [PDF, 426 KB]

Sustainable Farming

By Viv Forbes September 2012

To be truly ‘sustainable’, a farm must recycle everything – otherwise it is depleting its soil minerals. Therefore it cannot sell any of its produce. This means it cannot buy items from the outside world, such as machinery, to make labour less arduous, and to produce more food. It is thus an impossible dream.” – Bob Long

The man-made global warming crisis has gone cold, the “man-made extreme weather” scares are wearing thin, and people are waking up to the “tax war on carbon”, so a new theme is needed for handing control of our lives, businesses and property to the world bureaucracy. The theme for the next green alarm is “sustainability” and a favourite target is “sustainable farming”.

We need to recognise some realities. Modern cities are not sustainable without farms, and modern farms are not sustainable without modern machinery, mineral fertilisers and affordable energy. City people should thank the lord for the machinery and cheap energy that produce the surplus food and all the trucks, road trains, refrigerated vans and milk tankers that bring it to their supermarkets every day. The last thing they should advocate is “sustainable farming”.

Unlike most armchair experts on sustainable farming, my early life was spent on an almost-sustainable farm. The memorable lessons we learned are described below.

Cows were milked by hand, ploughing and planting was done with a team of draft horses. Here is how green power works:

Ploughing using Hay-burners
Ploughing using Hay-burners
Photo Credit: (c) Kapai / http://www.fotosearch.com

Lucerne was cut using a horse-drawn mower and rake. Haymaking on our “almost sustainable” farm was when everyone got a job with a pitchfork – mine had a special short handle. I still have it. Here is how it was done:

Making Bio-fuel for Hay Burners
Making Bio-fuel for Hay Burners
Photo credit: http://thekinnickproject.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/75-years-ago-eileens-diary-july-9-1937.html

For more descriptions on how a sustainable farm really works you can quickly download the full article in print-ready PDF at:

http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/sustainable-farming.pdf [PDF, 132KB]

Burning the Biosphere

When I was a kid, Mum did the washing in a copper of boiling water over an open fire in the back yard. We collected the wood from the back paddock with a horse and dray. It was all very “green” (but we thought it was just hard yakka).

Greens want us to return to this primitive method for generating heat, and even electricity.

It is sensible for industrial plants such as sugar mills to burn readily available organic waste such as bagasse to generate power. But to deliberately build power stations to run on wood chips is a step back to the BC (before coal) era when forests were clear-felled to produce fuel and charcoal to feed boilers and furnaces.

Coal is an energy-dense fuel, and often has huge deposits in a concentrated area. Long-life power stations can be built close to the coal deposits, thus minimising transport costs and land disturbance.

Wood, however, has very low energy density and biomass energy is always spread over large areas of land. The fuel gathering operation must move every day, with enormous waste of transport energy and displacement of plants and animals.

Burning coal or burning biomass produces exactly the same harmless combustion gases, and a switch of fuels will have no measurable effect on climate.

Even more stupid than wood power are Green dreams to feed power stations with low grade fuels such as wheat stubble or fowl manure. The collection and transport costs for such inferior fuels will exceed the value of electricity produced. It also robs the bio-sphere of valuable mulch, fertiliser and humus.

Burning biomass to generate electricity is Green madness. Speculators should be free to fritter their own funds on such nonsense but public subsidies, carbon credits and market mandates should not be used to support them.

Here is a new slogan for true environmentalists: “Don’t Burn the Bio-sphere”.

Read how one foolish island nation plans to burn its food (coconuts) in diesel generators:


  • Why Bury the Essentials of Life in Carbon Cemeteries?
  • Abolish the Two Big Climate Taxes
  • The Real Agenda: Agenda 21
  • Nothing New about Extreme Weather
  • Has the LNP forgotten the battlers?

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/burning-the-biosphere.pdf [PDF, 219 KB]

Keywords: Green Energy, biomass, wood power, biofuel, CCS (carbon capture & sequestration), climate taxes, electricity costs, carbon tax, renewable energy targets, Agenda 21, extreme weather.

Is Coal Dirty? Some Facts on Coal Combustion

We are winning the war about Man-made Global Warming.

But about half of the population still think that the carbon tax will do some good. Why? It is all about “cleaning up dirty coal energy”.

The seeds of public concern were sewn with Penny Wong’s Machiavellian linking of “carbon” and “pollution”. She was assisted by the gross stupidity of the coal industry leadership in promoting nonsense like carbon sequestration as a “clean coal” option. The public naturally assumed “if they need to spend billions to produce “clean coal”, obviously we are now using “dirty coal”. This generation of coal industry leaders is more culpable than the greens – they should have known better – they have betrayed their shareholders, their employees and the nation.

The whole “dirty coal” program was assisted by the continual portrayal by alarmist media and government propagandists of power station cooling towers belching “pollution”. As carbon dioxide is an invisible gas, this is clearly a lie. What is seen are clouds of water vapour with no more pollution potential than wispy white cumulus clouds or boiling dark nimbus thunderheads.

And of course coal is black, thus dirty and dangerous like “a black mark” which is a de-merit point, a “black act”, which is nasty behaviour, “black magic” which is evil sorcery and “the black death” which kills people. What a pity coal was not rare and pretty like that other form of carbon, diamond.

A local climax of this unrelenting black-guarding of coal was a letter published in the Queensland Times of Ipswich, a town founded on coal mining, describing carbon dioxide as “one of many lethal pollutants released by coal combustion”.

What are the facts on coal combustion?

Read on for more, including:

  • Taxing Termites, Wetlands, Volcanoes & Sacred Cows?
  • Four Steps to Cheaper Electricity
  • Solar Energy Dims and Wind Power Runs out of Puff
  • The Measure of our Stupidity
  • The Last Word – the Consensus is Destroyed

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/is-coal-dirty.pdf [PDF, 512 KB]

Letter to the Editor

Add more carbon dioxide to green the planet

In western Canada, a ‘BC Greenhouse Growers Association’ spokesperson said on a radio program to the effect, “most greenhouses consume the available CO2 within the first 1/2 hour of the daytime growing cycle, and thereafter the grower must add CO2 within the greenhouse”.

Therefor assuming a 12 hour daylight growing period, they would add 23 times the ambient (380 parts per million) amount of CO2 to make the plants grow stronger to the desired size, strength and health etc. These CO2 enhanced plants also use less water to grow. If we wanted to green the planet, we should be adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, not less.

Roland Seguin
Langley, BC Canada

Keywords: coal, combustion, pollution, SOX, NOX, mercury, termites, wetlands, volcanoes, sacred cows, electricity costs, solar, wind, carbon trading, consensus, sustainability, censorship.

Save the World with Carbon Sinks

By Allen Horrell

I read in the Sydney Morning Herald that Tony Abbott is running into opposition from the Nationals over plans to reduce CO2 by planting trees. Their objection is that subsidised tree planting will consume arable farms and threaten food security for Australia.

Whilst I don’t actually think the globe has been warming since 1997, or that it would necessarily be a bad thing if it were, my objection to the planting plan is that forests lock up carbon only until the inevitable bush fire releases it again.

If carbon dioxide is deemed bad and we are told to reduce it, we can either reduce our output or lock more carbon away in carbon sinks, where it cannot easily get back into the atmosphere.

If I can describe to you a plan that will lock vast amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere for hundreds of years and will consume no arable land or threaten food production and will create new jobs and exports for Australia, do you think that would be a good idea?

Carbon Sinks

Forests are very efficient at converting CO2 into wood in the first fast growing 20-40 years, after which growth and carbon capture tails off. “Old growth” mature forests are almost useless for this purpose.

The Soda Water Scare

With the failure of “Global Warming” the climatists have concocted a new alarm – the soda water scare.

Their computer models are forecasting that the oceans, which weigh 300 times more than all the gases in the atmosphere, are being turned acidic by the 0.0012% (12 parts per million) of man-made additions to the carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere.

CO2 is a natural gas that dissolves in water. The amount absorbed depends upon how much CO2 there is in the air, and the temperature of the water. CO2 dissolves best in cold water and is expelled as the water warms. And far more would be absorbed if there was 100% CO2 in the atmosphere above.

When concentrated CO2 gas is bubbled under high pressure into ice cold water much CO2 dissolves, producing acidic soda water whose pH (acidity) could be as low as 4. This is 1,000 times more acidic than pure water whose pH is a neutral 7.

But oceans are much warmer than that and atmospheric CO2 is at much lower pressure. Therefore in the open ocean, pH seldom gets below 8, ten times more alkaline than pure water.

This weak soda water could only be described as “acidic” by someone pushing an alarmist agenda. There are no measurements that show that the pH of the ocean is changing more now than in the past – only models. In historical terms, atmospheric CO2 levels are now close to record lows. Corals and other ocean life have flourished in atmospheric levels of CO2 far higher than today’s.

We are told that the tiny bit of natural soda water in still-alkaline sea water will dissolve corals and shells, kill fish and create oceanic mayhem?

If soda water is so dangerous, then how come people consume it in copious amounts in beer, scotch and fizzy drinks?

Read on for more, including:

  • The Impact of Carbon Dioxide on Climate Change and Earth’s Plant and Animal Kingdoms
  • Saving the Planet?
  • Lord Monckton on Agenda 21
  • Germany faces some painful Truths on Green Energy
  • The Wheels are coming off the Wind Energy Gravy Train
  • Green Companies Crash and Teeter
  • Rallies to “Smash the Carbon Tax”
  • The Last Word: Three Inconvenient Facts

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/soda-water-scare.pdf [PDF, 303 KB]

The Impact of Carbon dioxide on Climate Change and Earth’s Plant and Animal Kingdoms

This is a very useful presentation of simple graphs illustrating all aspects of the global warming and carbon demonization scams. Well worth printing in colour for close study:

By H. Leighton Steward:
http://www.nal-jsc.org/Climate_Change_Symposium_Leighton_Steward_Presentation.pdf [PDF, 7.4 MB]

Ocean Acidification – the Castle Ghost

Ocean acidification is like the Castle Ghost – everyone is scared of it but no one has seen it.

Dozens of learned articles and millions of media words tell us that ocean acidity has increased alarmingly since man started using carbon fuels. The worry is that the carbon dioxide being generated by man’s industry is dissolving in the ocean thus creating acidic water. And the computer models forecast that, by some future date, sea shells and corals will be dissolved or killed by the acidic ocean and/or the associated global warming.

However a close look at the chemistry of the oceans and the evidence provided by past records and present observations reveals that the open ocean is alkaline and never acidic, except locally near active submarine volcanic vents. It is deceptive to suggest that sea life is threatened by “the rising acidity of the oceans”. The oceans are still quite alkaline. Nothing unusual or abnormal has yet been detected. Other conclusions are:

  • The pH of the oceans varies naturally from place to place and time to time, depending on temperatures and the activities of plant and animal life. It is impossible to determine a meaningful figure for “average” ocean acidity (pH). It is also impossible to say with any certainty that average ocean pH has changed because of man’s use of carbon fuels. Such “measurements” are an exercise in guided guess-work. (“What would you like the answer to be?”)
  • It is a myth that acidic waters necessarily kill aquatic life. Rain water is slightly acidic and many fresh water lagoons, swamps and reed beds are also acidic. Nevertheless, aquatic life flourishes in these wetlands.
  • The oceans have a huge capacity resist being destabilised by changes in temperature or composition of the atmosphere. Whenever there is a change, the reactions of other chemicals or life in the sea act to moderate and even reverse those changes. Oceans cover about 71% of the Earth’s surface and the hydrosphere contains over 300 times the mass of gases in the atmosphere. The oceans thus have a huge capacity to buffer any variations in heat content or gas content emanating from the thin veil of atmospheric gases. The effect of man’s supposed 3% contribution to the tiny 0.039% of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s thin atmosphere would not register a long-term effect in the massive oceans.
  • Cold ocean currents from the deep ocean periodically up-well to the surface. These currents are rich in dissolved carbon dioxide and other chemicals and decayed organic matter. Where this cold nutrient-rich water surfaces, there is a staggering profusion of aquatic life.
  • Oceans have an unlimited ability to remove carbon dioxide from their waters and store it in thick beds of shells and corals, limestone, chalk, dolomite, magnesite, siderite, marls, methane hydrate and oil shales. Fresh water swamps and lakes on land have also laid down massive deposits of coal and lignite formed from carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere. Many of these deposits were laid down when the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was far higher than it is today.
  • Carbon dioxide present in the oceans is essential to plant life and current very low levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ocean are limiting plant growth. All animal life depends on these plants. Man’s mining and industrial activities are harmlessly recycling some of this valuable carbon dioxide from natural limestones and hydrocarbons buried in the dead lithosphere, back to the living biosphere.
  • Corals are hardy and adaptable and have survived for 500 million years. During that time they have had to cope with warm eras, ice ages, extinction events, eras of massive volcanic activity, dramatic rising and lowering in sea levels and eons of time when levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide were far higher than today.
  • A very recent extensive study of the Great Barrier Reef concluded that the changes forecast under the “business as usual greenhouse gas emissions” were unlikely to cause great harm to the reef.
  • Any change in global temperature or the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere will cause life on land and in the ocean to adjust and adapt. However, on balance, a warmer world with more plant food in the atmosphere and a more vigorous water cycle is very beneficial for the biosphere. The killer climates are associated with ice ages when the atmosphere is cold and dry, the sea levels are much lower and much of Earth’s fresh water is locked up in vast lifeless sheets of ice.
  • There is no justification to use the baseless fear of “acidification of the oceans” as an excuse for a massive dislocation of our transport, food and energy industries. We should instead be focussing on real pollution problems (such as man’s rubbish floating in the oceans) and/or on preparing to cope with real and likely natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, fires, cyclones and droughts).

To see a full report on “The Acid Ocean Bogey Man” by Viv Forbes with illustrations and explanations see: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/acid-ocean-bogeyman.pdf [PDF, 1.2 MB]

Further reading: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/25/ocean-acidification-natural-cycles-and-ubiquitous-uncertainties/

Carbon Credit Forests – the CO2.con

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.

Read on for more, including:

  1. Vested Interests in the Climate Debate
  2. Solving Three Problems
  3. The Rice Video: Carbon Dioxide in perspective
  4. Flogging a Dead Horse
  5. Two Green Prophets Recant

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/co2-dot-con.pdf [PDF, 171 KB]

Legless and Powerless in the Global Storms?

Some at the big end of town are worried that Mr Abbott may keep his solemn promise to repeal the carbon tax. No doubt they and their smart lawyers fear losing the clever green schemes that rely on ripping off tax payers, consumers and other businesses.

Australia’s wealth and jobs have always rested on three legs – mining and farming, making and processing things, and rich foreigners; in short, resources, manufacturing, and money from tourists and investors.

The Gillard carbon tax will white-ant all three legs.

Mining and farming rely on draglines, dozers, scrapers, trains, trucks, bulk carriers, tractors, generators, pumps and machines of all kinds. All need cheap reliable energy. Their energy comes from diesel fuel or coal powered electricity. A tax on carbon will sap their energy and reduce their ability to generate jobs and national wealth.

Our processing and manufacturing industries rely on cheap electricity produced from our marvellous deposits of coal and natural gas. Greens have demonised these national assets and their carbon tax will undermine all Australian industries. Investors always look ahead. Already the threat of a carbon tax has reduced the asset value of every base load power station in Australia. Already one of the biggest, running on Victorian brown coal, is reporting financial stress and may close. We cannot run steel works, refineries or big cities on sunbeams and sea breezes.

See: http://www.theage.com.au/national/carbon-tax-puts-heat-on-loy-yang-20111219-1p2kf.html

Australia is remote from most of the world, and tourists must travel vast distances to get here. They need planes, trains, ships, buses and cars, all powered by carbon energy from petrol, diesel or gas. The carbon tax will strike at the heart of this industry. Harassed by the carbon footprint harpies, tourists may choose to stay home and go camping in their own backyards.

Finally, Australia is leading the world with the most onerous and widely applied carbon tax. This is already deterring the foreign investors who for generations have risked their savings to create businesses and jobs in Australia. Even now, the threat of a carbon tax is increasing capital shortage and debt stress in Australia.

There is no good news in the carbon tax story – no climate benefits, no real jobs and more costs for consumers. And it is white-anting the three legs supporting the Australian economy. Unlike the big end of town, thinking Australians are worried that Mr Abbott may renege on his solemn promise to repeal the carbon tax.

That would really leave Australia powerless and legless in the global storms.


  • Saving the Suckers of the South Pacific
  • First Successful Low Emissions Economy
  • Wind Energy Lights Up
  • SWindle Power
  • Climatism failed in 2011, but the big battles are ahead in 2012
  • Europe’s Green Lobby Fighting For Survival
  • White Christmas 2012
  • Global Temperatures? – Flat for 13 Years
  • Have you checked your Carbon Footprint?
  • What Really Happened in Durban?
  • The Last Word for 2011

See: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/legless-in-storms.pdf [PDF, 546 KB]

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