Sunday, June 12, 2022

Danny Simms: The Carbon Cycle, livestock emissions and carbon influence on crop growth

It is widely accepted that around 50% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock, mostly in the form of methane and carbon dioxide.

I will show below that this in fact, is false.

I am hugely frustrated that organisations purporting to represent farmers have bought into this narrative and likewise the politicians who are supposedly in “Opposition”.

Instead of standing on the truth and categorically rejecting the premise they have meekly acquiesced and followed the government line, suggesting modifications and slowdowns.

Jacinda Adern promised that a Labour government under her leadership will make farmers pay their fair share.

However, she fails to define this share. When defining that fair share the figure that needs to be used is not the quantum of the emissions, rather the net emissions after accounting for uptake.

Ask the critical question, where do cattle get their emissions from, and a totally different picture arises.

Before anyone challenges my premise, they must find the answer to that question: Where do the cattle get their emissions from?

When looking at that question an overriding fact must be considered. The law of thermodynamics states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Modified, yes, created or destroyed, no.

Livestock do not create gasses.

Pasture growing rapidly draws large quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the same way as a forest does and yet those proposing a tax on farmers for livestock emissions do not take this into account.

Ruminant livestock get the emitted gasses from what they eat, they don’t create them.

In New Zealand in the main that is pasture.  CO2 is drawn from the atmosphere by growing pasture through photosynthesis. The same applies to any plant-based fodder.

Photosynthesis which uses carbon dioxide, water and sunlight to generate plant growth is part of what is known as the carbon cycle and it is closed.

What is drawn from the atmosphere is returned to the atmosphere, modified, and reduced by that which is sequestered. Some directly by the passing of gas from the ruminant, some indirectly from the by-products of the energy produced by consumers of the food.

The three events that occur during the process of photosynthesis are: (i) Absorption of light energy by chlorophyll. (ii) Conversion of light energy to chemical energy and splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. (iii) Reduction of carbon dioxide to carbohydrates.

Livestock consume those carbohydrates and convert them into energy represented by growth, activity, meat and milk production and reproduction. In that process surplus CO2 and methane gasses are emitted and returned to where they came from, the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide returned becomes available for entering the carbon cycle immediately, methane over a period is converted back to water and carbon dioxide and is reused.

However not all the CO2 is returned. Some is sequestered in the soil from absorbed livestock droppings, some is sequestered in the soil from absorbed pasture residue. Some is retained long term in the bones and hides that are not converted into gasses. A lot is retained in the food that we eat and in our bodies.

So the net effect of livestock on the level of gasses containing carbon in the atmosphere is zero, although in fact it is less than zero.

 No gasses containing carbon returning to the atmosphere have not first come from there.

The burning of fossil fuels is a different and separate issue. But when comparing them with the  volume of gasses emitted by volcanic eruptions that occur around the world every year the fossil fuel emissions are miniscule.

However, no plant could grow without carbon dioxide so no life could exist without carbon dioxide. Far from being the poison it is being promoted as; Carbon Dioxide is the basis of all life.

The quantum of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is in the order of 0.04 of one percent of total gasses or 350 to 400 parts per million, varying by season and region.

Greenhouse operators dose the atmosphere in the green house with carbon dioxide to enhance plant growth. Incremental increases in growth rates have been measured up to 1000 parts per million of CO2. Scientists in New Zealand have identified increased pasture growth up to 475 parts per million. Higher levels were not included but we could expect a similar effect as in the greenhouses.

Scientists quoted below:

Applied Plant Research: “The ideal C02 value is approximately 1000 ppm. In spring and summer, it is beneficial for the plant to have as high a level as possible (but not above 1000 ppm). “

NZ ag research study over 15 years: “In terms of the direct effects of CO2 elevated to 475 ppm, increases in primary production occurred.”

From the above we see that scientists have identified that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere results in an increase in all plant growth. Significantly this includes all plants linked to the production of food.

Set aside pre-programmed (mis) conceptions and we can understand that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is helping to feed the world’s burgeoning population. However, as I have shown those increases do NOT come from livestock

Finally consider the composition of the atmosphere. Nitrogen accounts for 78% of the atmosphere, oxygen 21% and argon 0.9%. (total 99.9%)

Gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides methane, and ozone are trace gases that in combination account for about a tenth of one percent of the atmosphere.

The carbon cycle must be taken into account before applying utterly unjustified punitive taxes on farmers. When properly calculated this will show that the nett effect of livestock on greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is in fact less than zero.

Therefore, any tax on emissions from livestock has no basis in science.

No Gas emitted by livestock has not first come directly from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.

Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw must be made to recognise these facts and stop the utterly unjustified tax on livestock. And our farming organisations must stop following the false narrative and come together and demand this.

Danny Simms has a background in farming and business, and is an active member of his Northland community.


DeeM said...

Well and clearly explained Danny.

However, you are dealing with fanatical ideologues who only accept information from their "pulpit of truth" which is the UNIPCC - a political organisation masquerading as a scientific body, whose aim has little to do with climate change but plenty to do with gaining power and influence above national government level.

Most of our politicians don't have a background in science and/or can't be bothered to do their own due diligence on this massively important topic.
Some, like Ardern and the Greens are zealots who truly believe they are doing us all a favour by trashing the economy. Like a bunch of zombies they carry out the UNs directives to supposedly "save the planet" when all their actions combined make absolutely no difference because they don't understand the basic science and are trying to solve a non-problem.

I regret to say that reasoning and logic just don't work.

Terry Morrissey said...

Thank you Danny.
Even I can understand and believe your explanation and reasoning, but then I am not a politician.
To run a profitable scam like the greens, socialist labour cult, and the corrupt UN you must be able to recruit dodgey scientists who will produce results to fit the desired plan of scaremongering. To do this you need money. Lots and lots of taxpayers money. Billions of dollars. That is why they invented climte change.
There is no way that this totalitarian labour cult will allow truth and facts to get in the way of a perfectly successful rort.

Doug Longmire said...

Well said.
The Carbon Cycle that used to be taught in science classes back in the 60's !!
Also - New Zealand's "CO2 emissions" are only 0.17% of total global human emissions.
Nothing NZ does can possibly have any effect.
It's all virtue signaling to pretend otherwise.

Doug Longmire said...

Well said, Dee and Danny:-
The IPCC is consistently wrong in it's predictions of doom.
None of their predictions have come true:-

1/ No 50 million climate refugees by 2010, as they forecast in 2005.
2/ No increase in rate of sea level rising.
3/ Artic Ice is still there, and not melting away
3/ Antarctic Ice is actually growing.
4/ Extreme weather events, world-wide are NOT increasing.
5/ Forest fires, world-wide, are not increasing.
6/ Yes - the planet is slowly warming, in fits and starts, as it emerges from the Little Ice Age of 300 years ago, when the river Thames and the English Channel froze over.

Added to this, the increase in CO2 levels from 280 to 400 ppm, is a major benefit to the world, because (food) crops are more productive, and previous arid areas in the world are greening up.

It is worth pointing out that for most of the 500 million years or so of planet Earth' history, CO2 levels have been between 2000 and 7000 parts per million. Our current levels are literally CO2 starvation.
If CO2 levels drop below 160 ppm, all plants stop growing, and die. Which means ALL LIFE on Earth dies.
Is this what the Green Lunatics want?

Anonymous said...

Good on you Danny.
I always thought this, why has photosynthesis never been mentioned and added into the equation. .. I learnt it in science in the 70s.also why do our trees on our privately owned farms that we choose to leave not register in the landowners equation and why do the govt claim these credits not us... They stole them in the late 90s

Anonymous said...

Good work Danny you should demand a meeting with the heads of farming govt representatives and present this scientific evidence and confront the government with it to get this rort stopped

Anonymous said...

Your concise explanation Danny, I have been propounding for years, even a Pulpit article in the Farmers Weekly.
The current CO2. Level is 417ppm or 0.0.0417 %. Photosynthesis ceases at 200ppm so halve the current level and we cease to exist!
It is a political scam and it's time our farming leaders start acting like leaders instead of acquiescing.

Empathic said...

Concern about CO2 is based on accepting the 'greenhouse gas' theory as the only or main explanation for human-caused global warming. Many scientists strongly believe this explanation but I have never seen convincing evidence. Admittedly, when I read the scientific papers I have difficulty understanding their maths, research and conclusions, but surely if 'emissions' are the only or main cause then some reasonably convincing evidence would be able to be conveyed in a manner understood by intelligent laypersons. Instead, most people simply buy into conflation of the concepts: "climate is increasing faster than seen in geological history, therefore we must reduce emissions".

A thinned ozone layer continues to allow increased solar energy at various wavelengths into our atmosphere, resulting in increased rates of melanoma especially towards the poles where the layer is thinnest. This energy is likely also to damage other life forms including surface sea algae that form the planet's greatest carbon sink. Although the ozone layer has 'healed' somewhat it still remains much depleted compared with that prior to the use of human-made chemicals such as Freon gas that caused ozone depletion. The additional solar energy coming into our planet actually seems to approximate the increase in global temperatures. Yet the climate scientists dismiss ozone depletion as a cause of global warming and incredibly define ozone as a greenhouse gas that presumably needs to be depleted further. (They point to ozone lower in the atmosphere as being problematic while the upper atmospheric ozone is seen as the good layer that stops excessive solar energy coming in, but surely ozone at any layer will stop excessive solar energy coming in?).

Regardless of whether greenhouse gas theory is the best explanation, Danny Simms' expose shows that fart taxes are unjustified. They were always silly but, as is the case with carbon credits, no doubt will make a few people very wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

Ron Melville said...

Good post Danny. Often wondered why grass was never accepted as a carbon absorber!

Allan said...

Interesting information at Lies, damned lies and stastics.

Unknown said...

Nobody seems to talk abut the amount of water in the atmosphere.A US astro-physicist(Dr Singer) reminds us it constitutes up to 97% of our atmosphere.Further,all the models being used to explain climate change do not fact in clouds.Its clear that whatever farmers do to reduce methane emission will achieve nothing substantial in terms of GHG levels,