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 Colin Austin 10 May 2011

Some thirty five years ago Australia suffered tremendous dust storms losing millions of tonnes of top soil.  I realized at some time in the future top soil would be critical for feeding the world and set up a series of experiments to find out how to regenerate top soil (soil_regeneration).  I learned that the key was microbiological action which required keeping the ground moist at all times and continuously growing plants.

We now know that the mycorrhizal fungi take energy from the plants and form aggregates the soil so it can better hold water and nutrients. I searched for better ways of keeping the soil moist (but not saturated) which lead to the development of the wicking bed system.  This has proved very popular with environmentally sensitive and water conscious growers. wicking_bed_technology.pdf

However the threat of global warming made me realize that this system has the potential to mitigate climate change by absorbing large amounts of atmospheric carbon.  I therefore had to develop a way for using wicking beds on a large scale.  This was achieved by linking wicking beds together, (adoption).  However for the wide scale usage necessary to absorb the tens of billions of tones needed to offset man made emissions meant that farmer had to receive revenues from carbon trading. innovation_in soil_carbon.pdf

This requires convincing Governemnts, at the various United Nations conference on climate change to recognize that by changing our agricultural system we can both absorb carbon and also safeguard our future food supply.  We are already seeing how the flood and drought cycles of climate change are damaging agriculture and leading to rising food prices.

queensland floods and climate change  (qfldfloods.html)

safeguarding_future_food _supply.pdf


I felt that an international consortium of research institutions could provide the hard evidence to convince Governments and also provide a simple mechanism for soil carbon trading.



preface about a sustainable world.

In a few days I leave for China to discuss this consortium. china,flood.pdf

Over the years I have written many papers which at first sight could be overpowering, however they are easily accessed by going to index where the files can be accessed in either data or subject order. Index