Biodiversity summit and Artworlds symposium

August 15th, 2009  |  Published in field research

A day of talks about biodiversity for climate protection: nature as climate solution, not casualty.
carbon and the terrestrial biosphere, our earth is a closed carbon system. The increase in the carbon circulating between air and ocean so ocean is degassing more than it is storing as sediment. After 100 years, 60% of a pulse of co2 is taken into sediment and after 700 years the last 20% is still very slowly being removed. The carbon debt due to land clearing is enormous. Clearing in developing worlds for soybean and palm oil production is currently rapid, and logging persists in developed nations like Australia who still have some virgin forest left. For a stable carbon sink, trees need to be permanent – old growth, a plantation is not a stable carbon sink (monoculture feast/famine), and what about biodiversity, habitat, ecosystems!!
50% of the world’s forests are gone, 25% are in primary condition, less than 20% are old growth, the rest are degraded due to human impact, such as selective logging.
For the temperature to be capped at approx 2degrees increase due to global warming, the co2 emissions must peak now, and be reduced as quickly as possible to shorten the very long recovery as temperatures come down very slowly. If nothing is done our temperature will be approx 6 degrees warmer by 2100.
Current carbon accounting systems used for Kyoto flawed, only deals with landuse change and so allows virgin forest to be replaced by plantation without accounting for carbon loss, yet the new planting is counted as a carbon credit, so logging industry lobbying has corrupted the carbon accounting system. The carbon credit system used to deal with fossil fuel emissions, allows developed nations to continue polluting by paying developing nations toward reducing forest clearing for industry development. Logging needs to be included as a carbon debt.
The rich get richer, the poor get the picture, and meanwhile, the 6th mass extinction of species on the planet rapidly continues, and it has been caused by humanity. Certainly cancels out the idea that human animals have achieved anything good since deciding to ‘transcend’ the hunter/gatherer nomadic and seasonal lifestyle.

I had the opportunity to present a paper at the Artworlds symposium at ANU called ‘Sharing Culture in a Global Market Economy: a case study from Western Arnhem Land’ which responded to Luke Taylor’s text Seeing the Inside: Bark Paintings in Western Arnhem Land 1996 an my experience in Gunbalanya for the Rock Art Field School.

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