The following information is bonus material from Top Producer. It corresponds with the article, "Inside the Carbon Market” by Jeanne Bernick on page 42 in the September 2008 issue.
Top Producer Radio: Interview with Jeanne Bernick, author of "Inside the Carbon Market"
The following are additional questions farmers asked about the market for selling carbon credits.
Q. Given the fact that global temperatures have been stable and declining over the past years with scientists now predicting global cooling for the next 10 to 15 years, does this nullify the program that has been based on a global warming theory?
A. Chuck Rice, director of the Soil Carbon Center, Kansas State University: I have not seen any credible report of cooling at present time. There was a short period of cooling due to volcanic activity in the 1960s, but in recent times, temperatures have increased. There is variation in yearly temperatures, so one has to be careful looking at temperatures over a few years. The trend over the past 100 years is warming and the science supports this observation today.
A. Laura Sands, coordinator of the Ag Carbon Market Working Group: There is overwhelming consensus on warming issues in the scientific community. However, we also know that we will have more periods of weather instability as well—extreme rainfall, droughts and other weather events.
Q. Will agriculture be regulated for its carbon some day?
A. Rice: You should never say never, but most of the discussion has not included regulating agriculture. It becomes too difficult to regulate diffuse sources.
A. Sands: Agriculture is an "uncapped sector” that is not subject to regulation, but is instead viewed as a solution to emission reductions.
For more information regarding agriculture's involvement in carbon markets visit the following sites:
Duke University, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Standard for Measuring, Monitoring and Verifying Ag-Forest GHG Reductions