Carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere just hit 400 parts per million for the first time in human evolution. Many climate experts are pointing fingers at the consumption of gas, oil and coal as the main culprit behind the rebounding numbers, not seen since our ancestors ascended from the African savanna. I comprehend the science of atmospheric carbon but really don’t know what to think about this news. I must admit to being a healthy skeptic these days about anything government or academia has to say about climate change. Their constant and consistent hustle for money, our money, in the form of carbon taxes and the dreadful U.N. REDD+, redistribution of wealth scheme, deters my acceptance of their impartiality.
I ask myself, is this really about reducing carbon in the atmosphere or is it an agenda to reign in and redistribute wealth with a new global carbon tax? If it were about reducing carbon there would be one simple way to prove that to a few of us who actually care about the world’s peatlands. The U.N, NGOs and governments of the world would garner a vocal convert to their cause if they saw fit to ban the international trade of peat and peat moss. Hell, they would gain a new evangelist if they even feigned interest in saving the planet’s peatlands. Hold on to your biscuits peat pushers, a ban on peat, or peatland killing palm oil plantation development in Southeast Asia, will never happen but amuse me for a moment or two.
Peatlands make up only 3% of the earth’s tertiary surface but sequester an unbelievable 30% of the planet’s carbon, far more than equatorial rainforest. These systems found all around the globe function as giant carbon vacuums year in and year out absorbing gigatons of carbon. When international U.N. meetings take place on the subject of atmospheric carbon it is always about the tax on coal, gas, and oil. Occasionally, I’m shocked to see the issue of peat included in those proceedings but it is a rare occurrence. What I find so ironic is that the ecological systems that captured all the carbon in coal, oil and natural gas are still very much functioning in the planet’s peatlands. Each spring the new seasonal growth of wetland plants and mosses pushes down the previous years growth below the water surface and the trapped carbon is sequestered from the atmosphere. The acidic waters of peatlands retards degradation as witnessed by the bog people found when European bogs are drained and mined for flowerpot filling. Doesn’t it make sense to keep these beneficial systems functioning 100% if you actually have concern about reducing carbon levels in the atmosphere?
It seems to me that protecting peatlands from exploitation is a priority if you actually have a goal to reduce carbon levels. The simplicity of the solution must not make sense to the governments, academics and NGOs pushing the climate change agenda, carbon tax or REDD+ plans because none of them seem to give a rat’s a$$ about carbon sequestering peatlands. In fact, I contend the exploited and degraded peatlands are only making the carbon problem worse and that’s something the climate change folks can actually use to scare the public into their tax schemes.
Think I’m a black helicopter guy, a bunker builder? Trust me, I’m not. I voted for Al Gore and Michael Dukakis for god’s sake, so consider the following facts if you don’t believe me. Millions of acres of carbon and methane rich peatland have burned in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries in the past few decades since the global warming issue arose in the late 1980s. And why are these peatlands on fire and habitat species like the Orangutan quickly becoming extinct? It is all happening to make way for palm oil plantations to supply “environmentally beneficial” biofuels and fat-free donut fryer grease. The U.N., NGOs, Governments and the venerable corporate Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) taking charge have essentially turned a blind eye to the abject destruction and draining of tropical peatland rainforest swamps.
To add further to the absurdity and my skepticism, Indonesia will be exempt from the carbon tax schemes like REDD+, while they have become the third highest carbon polluting country on the planet behind China and the U.S. That new rank has been achieved, not through use of gas, oil and coal, but by burning and draining their peatlands for a non-essential commodity that had very limited market potential thirty years ago. Yep, that’s right, palm-oil production is being nurtured and propelled up by European Bio-Fuel projects supported by many of the same NGOs, Governments and Academics pushing the carbon tax schemes. Am I skeptical? Yes and you should be too unless the same organizations rallying for a new carbon tax save the peatlands of the planet first, or as I said earlier, at least fake an effort for me.