The greenhouse regulators approve burning trees and plant trash in power stations because that recycles the life-supporting natural gases – water vapour and carbon dioxide.

But if buried and given time, trees and plant trash can form peat, lignite or coal. If these are burned in power stations the carbon watchdogs condemn them for producing those terrible greenhouse gases – water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Similarly, herds of protected African antelope are allowed to consume native grasses and emit “good” natural gases-of-life – water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane.

But mobs of unloved Australian cattle grazing native grasses are vilified because they emit those dreadful greenhouse gases – water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane.

If we burn coal in a power station to transport commuters in electric trains or cars, it produces greenhouse gases – but that is OK.

But burning diesel in a road train hauling food to those commuters produces the same greenhouse gases – but now they are bad.

That should clarify the flexible principles of greenhouse accounting.

Viv Forbes is a geologist/pastoralist who has walked along or been flooded by many rivers of Qld and NT. He and his wife have fed starving stock in the droughts and carted water for them. They have built, deepened or repaired at least 23 farm and station dams and managed construction and operation of mine dams. When Viv was employed by the Queensland State Government as a field mapping geologist they inspected the Nathan Gorge Dam site in 1964, 60 years ago. This dam was first proposed in 1922. It is still undeveloped over 100 years later.