Great Australian land clearing Hoax
Compiled by David Paull [Sept 2007]
· Land clearing laws have not stopped Australian land clearing as all efforts at compliance have been ineffective.
· Official satellite monitoring figures are suspect, as monitoring systems underestimate all vegetation clearing.
· Official clearing approvals continue at rates similar to that before the introduction of new Native Vegetation legislation
· Any real decrease in deforestation are more likely due to the fact that natural vegetation systems are fast disappearing and are becoming more endangered
· This is all in the context of global warming.
Every year since 2002, the Federal Environment Minister has put out a press release to accompany the publication of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory stating that Australia is “on track” to meet the target set under the Kyoto Protocol of an average of 108 per cent of 1990 emission levels over the period 2008-12.
Because of good agricultural conditions, the late 1980s and early 1990s happened to be bumper years for land clearing, particularly in Queensland. This raised Australia’s emissions in the Kyoto base year of 1990 by about 30 per cent, making the 108 per cent target far cheaper and easier to achieve. Due to the Australia clause, any reduction in land clearing could offset emission increases from burning fossil fuels.
This is precisely what has occurred. Between 1990 and 2004, emissions from most sectors have sky-rocketed. For example, stationary energy and transport emissions increased by 43 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. However, these increases have been offset by a 73 per cent decline in emissions from land use change, providing an apparently respectable 2.3 per cent increase in overall emissions.
But has land clearing really stopped?