Up until the mid-1900s that was thought totally impossible by the vast majority of educated people on the planet. It has been a daunting realization for a lot of people to realise that you farmers can fix it. It’s slowly becoming obvious to most that it’s simply the way it now is. We listened too long, and all too readily we accepted the fictions of the wrong people. And in doing so we’ve stuffed up our atmosphere.
We have a small window of opportunity to fix the mess we allowed to happen. Then it’s “unfixable”, even in dozens of our lifespans.
Two gasses in the atmosphere produce a greenhouse effect which controls the temperature of the whole biosphere.
Those greenhouse gasses are carbon dioxide and methane.
In round terms, the major gasses in the air and their approximate quantities are nitrogen at 80% and oxygen at 20%. Both are effectively totally transparent to sunlight.
Water in the air has a very large effect on the atmosphere’s optical characteristics. The oceans cover about 70 % of our planet’s surface. Clouds form, and rains come, and the wind blows, and the whole water complex exists as a wabbling equilibrium. But it’s an equilibrium cantered, almost entirely, around the two wildcards, methane and carbon dioxide, and now methane is galloping ahead, and has become the wildest of all wildcards.
Today, humanity controls the quantities of those gasses in the atmosphere and has turned them into the vicious wildcards they have become.
We were like children playing cowboys and Indians and not knowing our guns are not toys.
They are real and they are loaded and us kids keep pulling the triggers. Just because it’s close and convenient.
Suddenly humanity finds itself saddled with the responsible for unloading the bullets and controlling those guns.
And it’s all because the agrochemical and the fossil fuel companies make too much money selling those deadly bullets and don’t want to give up their market.
But it’s got to happen.
You farmers out there can remove the excess carbon dioxide by creating soil humus and being paid for it . Creating the humus on your own farm is your problem. All farms are a little different. But the creation of humus is “part and parcel” of every farm on Earth.
My own problem was in creating a system of easily and accurately and economically measuring how much humus you, on the land, have created with sufficient accuracy to satisfy the people in the government departments that will be doling out the money. And sadly, all to commonly, their main concern is not the planet, it’s keeping their own highly paid jobs.
The problem most regularly sighted when considering soil carbon sequestration is how to accurately measure the changes in soil organic carbon levels. In the Yeomans system measuring “soil organic carbon” changes are is considered pointless because of “soil organic carbon” all embracing meaning. Lawn clippings are – saw dust from a timber are also “soil organic carbon”. “Soil organic carbon” is therefore a wild variability and sometimes over very short time spans – i.e. weeks, or as little a time span, as days.
In the Yeomans methodology the quantity to be monitored is humus.
Humus is naturally stable. As previously mentioned, humus – in excellent condition was found in the Egyptian pyramids.
And also for practical purposes we do include – in our working definition of humus – soil organic materials that, without any grinding, will pass through 2 mm aperture laboratory sieves. And to do that it has to be well on the way to becoming true humus. Its fibrous structure is all but gone. So it’s already almost pure humus.
Additionally, in this systems humus as collected using a common screw type post hole digger, and modified only to more tidily and more specifically and more accurately enclose the soil collected with the “Tigger Tooth” collecting auger and then screened through a 2mm aperture sieve is the material we test in the Carbon Still.
The Carbon Still easily tests individual soil samples weighing up to 2,000 grams.
For practical considerations single sample sizes weighing between approximately 600 grams and 1,600 grams work fine so that’s what the Yeomans system collects and tests.
It should be noted that it is not at all a requirement d that individual test samples to be the same weight.
The test depth is the only control measurement to be rigidly adhered to. That requirement is that Base Round sampling depths always exceed, by a specific nominated depth (at least 100mm, or 4 inches) all Credit Round sampling depths.
The Complete On-Farm Process Within the Yeomans-Australian Methodology — The Sequence
. 1 The Farmer (Grazier, Rancher, Orchardist, Market Gardener, or whatever) contacts Yeomans Plow Co after having decided they would like to increase substantially the humus content of their agricultural soils, both to improve the fertility of their farm soils and also to be part of the exclusive team tasked with the job of removing the carbon dioxide overload from the atmosphere on a “contract” basis.
. 2 The farmer obtains a Google map on which the specific area to be developed is delineated. If we receive a Google map of the area plus a rough freehand sketch outlining the task area, that will be sufficient to start.
. 3 The services of a commercial surveyor are not required (provided only that Google mapping on the area is available). If it is not available the farmer should contact our office by phone or email to see if some alternative can be worked out.
. 4 When we have the above information the farmer should then contact our office – phone, email or letter – to discuss feasibility and costs for their project. And comparatively the costs are extremely small.
. 5 We would require a fee to be paid up front of $480. This fee is to cover a single area, project sized up to around one hundred hectares or two hundred and fifty acres. It covers the process of dividing the nominated area into a minimum of nine individual areas of equal size. These are called “Strata”.
In Australia, the whole project area is called a CEA. (a Carbon Estimate Area).
Individual strata can vary in shape to suit the local topography. The strata should be shaped to, as much as possible, delineate areas of similar characteristics. For example some could be the side of a hill. Others might be alongside a valley formation.
Strata are to be bounded by a maximum of five straight sides. The generally average length of any strata should not exceed the average width by more than around four times. (as long thin strata are to be avoided).
. 6 To ensure confirmation of the on-farm testing procedures an “observer” has to be present at all times. The observer may be a neighbour, a friend, anybody with a reasonable degree of respect in the local community is acceptable.
To eliminate any shenanigans an observer can only be used once in any three consecutive soil testing rounds, or once every three years.
The contact details of the observer are to be forwarded to our office.
People are usually willing to give you a hand. Especially when they are famers themselves and know you will in turn give them a hand when they too “get on the band wagon” of saving the world and simultaneously creating considerable additional income.
. 7 We will then send the famer an accurate copy of the strata boundaries including a rough freehand sketch of the layout of the Strata within the selected CEA for their approval. In it we will show a rough layout of the individual strata. The farmer may want to alter this a little to suit ideas they might have for small individual experiments.
This done we then translate these sketches into a map containing all the strata with points located accurately. Each strata area is given a code number. If nine strata then they would be numbered from 1 through to 9 a clockwise system preferably starting at 1 for the most northly Strata.
We again divide each individual Strata into three exactly equal areas. We call these “Plots”. Each of the Plots itself is given one of three colour codes. Y for yellow, R for red, and B for blue. The most northerly plot is always coded “Y”. Then clockwise to R for Red and B for blue.
Meanwhile back at our office we have generated a series of computer generated random locations. These will cover the whole Carbon Estimation Area (CEA). If there are 9 Srata then there are 9×3=27 individual areas in which a soil sample has to be taken.
In each of the 27 locations a location point where a sample is to be collected is marked on a map showing up on an ordinary mobile phone. The farmer, in his car and towing the field testing rig, drives to where the car is seen to be located at the first sampling point. It’s all Standard Google navigation.
He gets out, swings the “Tiger Tooth sampling auger (it’s a modified farm post hole digger) out over the area. He brushes away any vegetation. Starts the engine on the auger and spins it down to the nominated depth. First time probably 500 mm (20 inches) and collects the soil sample in the “Wally Balloon” soil catcher.
The entire auger assembly is then raised up off the ground and over a small sampling bucket sat on the ground under the auger. You release a catch and all the collected soil material spills out into the bucket. That’s then the complete sample from that site. No waste – no spill – no broom required.
Label the bucket such as “9Y” and we all know where it came from. Next lift the auger on its winch and swing it over the box trailer ready to drive the short distance to the next location.
All going well the 27 samples can be collected in a day.
Then, if you start the day with all of yesterday buckets re-filled, then each test hole today can in turn be refilled using yesterday’s test hole’s waste. So a horse won’t put his foot down a hole and break his leg.
. 8 Back at the farm shed, the requirement is to reduce each group of colour coded samples so as to finally produce a sample weighing somewhere between 600 grams and 1,600 grams. This is the sample to be sent back to the laboratory to be tested in a Carbon Still.
So, let’s consider just the yellow samples and how they’re handled.
The tool used to do this is called a “splitter”. It’s like a funnel with two outlets. Pour something in and half comes out the right funnel and half comes out the left funnel.
It would work but would not be very accurate. Now instead of one outlet each way a real splitter has many and then the split is very accurate. Splitters are a standard mining assaying tool used often where millions of dollars are involved. They can be trusted.
The sample fed to the splitter can contain a little moisture. That’s OK but the sample can’t be wet. If it is it’s best dried on a flat table ( a smooth clean floor is OK) with a warm, but not hot fan drifting warm air over the spread out sample overnight.
In our operations we will be combining – say – all the left side splits and then combining all those and re-splitting again – maybe four times or more until a sample weighing somewhere in that 600 to 1,600 gram range is obtained.
In the “kit” you will get a set of scales with sufficient accuracy for the requirements.
It is also necessary that after each split both sides should weigh the same. They usually differ by a few grams. To be theoretically correct we could remove the overweight from the “heavy” side and split in a set of very tiny splitters to correct the imbalance.
However, it is easier to simply take a teaspoon from the heavy side and pour a little in each side to get an accurate balance. The theoretical error is infinitesimal and for all practical purposes can be ignored. So we usually do, and you can.
They are then to be placed in airtight and opaque walled bags and labelled with the farmer’s name, the date, and also with a Y for yellow, and an R for red, and an O for orange. And with what else is called for.
And as soon as possible sent to Yeomans Plow Co. (or who ever else is conducting the actual carbon content tests.)
From these results is calculated what’s to be paid to the farmer – the grazier – the rancher – the orchardist – the cotton grower – the vegetable grower and whoever else is taking carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into soil humus.
Simultaneously We rapidly phase out natural gas mining, or harvesting or what ever way it’s collected and that’s from initial collection right through until it’s safely in a sealed container.
Fugitive gas losses can be deemed to approach zero at that stage.
If losses to the atmosphere exceed 1% of the collected methane the harvesting process must cease, and the mine owners must be charged at least $15 dollars a tonne carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). for all losses exceeding that !% That probably should be charged at least double that after an initial one year’s grace.
I believe those charges are us being very tolerant.
As at 23/1/23 and as requested I’m assembling for you a “what to hammer list” of the basic ideas and concepts in my assembled solution to our biosphere’s rapid overheating.
Nutshell reminder list of what we need people to know and understand – especially people who construct the laws we have to live by.
1 Per unit of power produced, coal, oil and natural gas kill over 500 times more people than die from either wind or nuclear or solar. And that’s with the two nuclear bombs that ended WW2 included.
2 Cease all government subsidies to the fossil fuels and agrochemical industries.
3 Convert the air’s carbon overload (existing as carbon dioxide) into soil humus and doing so by any means selected or invented by the farmer. And pay them at least US$10 per ton – carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) for that removal. It’s the cheapest way to remove it. The quantity removed, however has to be easily and accurately measured. Or nothing happens. The Yeomans Methodology solves that problem. Read it. One farmer’s comment was – “It’s simply unfettered common sense“.
The existing carbon dioxide overload is enough to keep the biosphere heating for decades. Its therefore imperative that we in Australia demand that our federal government use the existing “Carbon Farming Initiative Act 2011” to approve the Yeomans Methodology to create Australian Carbon Credits. Businesses, organisations and governments around the world could use the Methodology to create their own carbon credits and so demonstrate to all, the methodology’s enate practicality.
4 To be clear we are defining “humus” as those molecules that are created from the final breakdown of soil life in the presence of air and water. Humus molecules are also huge – they can have molecular weights in the millions. They have long life-spans – up to thousands of years. In soil they are almost chemically inert. We also include as “humus” soil organic matter that will pass through a 2 mm sieve without any prior grinding. That means the material must have decomposed to the point where it is no longer a fibrous material.
5 In the air, methane gas is 225 to 350 time worse a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
6 Fracking is the process of forcing high-pressure liquids deep into the earth to fracture the rock structures and so release trapped oil and gas. That is oil and gas that’s been safely trapped, usually for millions of years.
7 Apply continuous and enormous monitory penalties to “Fugitive Gas” (methane) discharges that mining companies are constantly releasing into the atmosphere.
8 Ammonia liquid will be, and must be the primary fuel for all our portable energy requirements. It’s the only sane choice we have that we don’t have to grow on farm land, such as ethanol.
9 Ammonia is easy and cheap to produce from air and water and electricity. And now possibly from air and water and strong blue light. Also, ammonia is safer to handle than either gas, or oil, or coal.
( My mother always had a bottle of ammonia in the kitchen to clean the bench top. It’s safe stuff)