Earth's Long Carbon Story

Thanks to the magic of photosynthesis the Earth's green plants have been collecting vast quantities of carbon every sunlit minute of every day for the last 100 million years (probably more). A healthy forest collects about 3 tons of CO2 each year whilst a green field collects 4 tons. Almost all of this carbon is incorporated into the soil – broken down into humus (and topsoil) by the action of billions of bugs and fungi. The same is happening all over our oceans as the plankton also photosynthesise sunlight to capture carbon – all of which falls eventually to create deep sediments on the ocean floor.

Modern farming breaks this crucial cycle of carbon capture because the requirement for cheap food (always a consequence of urban based populist governments) makes it uneconomic to return organic material to the soils. Animals are no longer bedded on straw as they used to be, and cereal varieties are deliberately bred with very short straw. Fertility is, of course, replaced by chemical fertilisers based on fossil fuels. As humus in Earth's topsoils disappears so the soil becomes less able to resist the erosion caused by rain and wind – more and more flooding is inevitable. Soil loss is a MUCH more serious issue than climate change but it's rather less sexy and a little too complicated. The prospect of more expensive food is out of the question for all modern politicians (our governance is NOT fit for purpose!).


It's a good idea to get straight on some of the facts – the ones we do know rather than the output of (yet again) models produced by unthinking computer algorithms. The internet tells me that humans are currently releasing about 37 billion tons (gigatons) of CO2 each year by burning Earth's stored carbon. This adds just a small percentage to the total of 3000 billion tons of CO2 held by Earth's atmosphere.

This is the big plus side, but it is not easy to find accurate estimates of the negative side: the quantities of CO2 absorbed by plants and plankton. The total quantity of CO2 collected globally by photosynthesis on land is (we think) about 30 gigatons annually (there are big uncertainties in this figure). Most scientists think that the plankton in our oceans collect even more than this – say 40 gigatons (again there are wide variations of the figures quoted).

So, one way or another, it is clear that we are dealing with a complicated dynamic where there are many large and (seemingly) uncertain inflows and outflows. Worse still we do not have a good understanding of the complex (and perhaps powerful) feedback processes. Will warmer seas take in more or less carbon? Will icecaps melting increase the rate of global warming? Will higher levels of CO2 increase rates of photosynthesis? And so the argument goes on.

The Covid “End-game”

It's unravelling now. Here's an extract from the letter written recently by a leading Israeli Professor of epidemiology to his government. The narrative is certainly changing!

Two years late, you finally realise that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.

‘You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda “you overcame the plague”. And again you defeated it, and again and again and again.

‘You refused to admit that mass testing is ineffective, despite your own contingency plans explicitly stating so (“Pandemic Influenza Health System Preparedness Plan, 2007”, p. 26).

‘You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination – and you failed in that as well.

‘You slandered colleagues who did not surrender to you, you turned the people against each other, divided society and polarised the discourse. You branded, without any scientific basis, people who chose not to get vaccinated as enemies of the public and as spreaders of disease. You promote, in an unprecedented way, a draconian policy of discrimination, denial of rights and selection of people, including children, for their medical choice. A selection that lacks any epidemiological justification.

‘When you compare the destructive policies you are pursuing with the sane policies of some other countries, you can clearly see that the destruction you have caused has only added victims beyond the vulnerable to the virus. The economy you ruined, the unemployment you caused, and the children whose education you destroyed are the surplus victims as a result of your own actions only.’

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