Carbon Credits: Irish Farmers Being Paid to Destroy Their Fields

Cuilcagh MountainCuilcagh MountainCuilcagh Mountain
View from the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain. By Carl Meehan – link, CC BY 2.0, link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Centuries of efforts to drain swamps to extend arable land in Ireland are being reversed, in an effort to trap more carbon.

Cuilcagh Mountain: Coconut logs form dams to fight climate change

By Conor Macauley
BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent

On a County Fermanagh mountain, a helicopter has flown in logs made of coconut fibres to help with the fight against climate change. 

They will be used to build dams on Cuilcagh, which will help restore large areas of degraded blanket bog that are currently emitting carbon.

The dams will facilitate the re-wetting of areas which can then be colonised by sphagnum mosses.

That vegetation, layers of which build the peat, will help to trap carbon.

“Peatlands, even though they don’t cover the same area as forests do, they actually contain way more carbon even than the rainforests do across the globe.

Around 18% of the landscape in Northern Ireland – more than 200,000 hectares – is covered by upland blanket bogs, lowland raised bogs and similar wetland habitat.

But for now, much of it is in a degraded state due to things like drainage, wildfires and historic overgrazing.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-54831302

I guess the land belongs to the farmers, so if they want to tear up their farms its their land. And I certainly have no problem with a bit of wetland being preserved in a pristine state for wildlife habitat. But it seems a terrible shame for today’s Irish to suddenly decide to undo centuries of progress to appease the carbon god.

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November 6, 2020 at 12:52PM

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