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by Scott Smith
Friday, Nov. 11, 2005 at 12:59 AM
The time is now to rally around hemp for energy independence and reduction of global warming.
Time to rally around hemp
* Hemp has been used in cultures around the world for millennia.
* Hemp seeds have provided a healthy protein, nutritious oil and a clean fuel.
* The stalk has been used for clothing, canvas and rope.
* Clipper ships sailed with hemp sails and rigging.
* Pioneers heading west in hemp canvas-covered wagons.
* 49ers wore sturdy hemp Levi's pants.
* U.S. 1850 Census reported 8,327 hemp plantations.
* In 1937, hemp outlawed in America.
* "Hemp for Victory" campaign by the U.S. government opened up hemp temporarily encouraging farmers to grow it for help with WWII.
* According to the Vote Hemp report, "over the past ten years, hemp fabric has gained market share because of superior qualities such as UV resistance, distinctive feel, antibacterial properties, breathability, strength and endurance. In addition, hemp is one of the most ecologically sustainable crops to grow,
requiring littel to no pesticides and herbicides".
Difference between hemp and marijuana.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are distinct varieties of the same plant species. You can't get high from industrial hemp. A recent LA Times article stated that "industrial hemp, a genetic cousin of marijuana, packs the same psychoactive wallup as zucchini". Industrial hemp plants are 8 - 20 feet in height and have slender stalks as they are mainly grown for the fiber and pulp. Marijuana plants are much shorter and bushier. Technology even exists to distinguish the plants from the air. Just as the Chihuahua and Bulldog are different breeds of the species canis familiaris, industrial hemp and marijuana are two distinctly different varieties of the cannabis sativa plant species. The rest of the industrialized world recognizes the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana, we should too.
When you purchase hemp products, you are exercising your freedom to vote for hemp with your dollars.
Did you know that Sir David King, the British Government's chief scientist, warned in the journal Science that global warming is a more serious threat than global terrorism? How about the fact that the Pentagon recently stated that global warming "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern." The Natural Resources Defense Council reports, "Scientists say that unless global warming emissions are reduced, average U.S. temperatures could rise another 3 to 9 degrees by the end of the century -- with far reaching effects. Sea levels will rise, flooding coastal areas. Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense. Drought and wildfires will occur more often." Many of these things are already happening. Now is the time to reduce global warming emissions by capitalizing on sustainable hemp solutions.
According to Jack Herer, the freedom to grow industrial hemp could reverse the greenhouse effect and provide a clean renewable energy source. Farming 6% of land in America with hemp for bio-mass could supply America with all of our energy needs. In The Hemp Revolution DVD, ethanol is argued as the best hemp fuel for an overall significant reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. The Solar Energy Research Center and PACE research notes that ethanol can economically competitive at the local level.
Hemp will help pave the way to American energy independence. If the United States does not legalize hemp for commercial use, a significant economic opportunity will be lost to our competitors. George Soros, in his recent book on globalization, stresses the importance of making international systems fairer. Europe's Green Globalization is a step in that direction. If we don't "green up", we will be left behind in progressive economics. Warren Buffet, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., speaking at the Forum for Corporate Conscience to some 120 CEOs said, "Imagine that it is 24 hours before you are to be born. God comes to you and says, "I am going to give you a special gift. I am going to let you design the world that you are going to be living in. It can work any way that you wish; you make up the rules. But after you have finished your design, you will be asked to put your hand in the barrel and pull out a ticket that will indicate the form you will take on earth - black, white or brown; male or female; born in America or born in Bangladesh." Writing on the impact of this speech in the Charlotte Business Journal, Jill Flynn and Kathryn Heath, stated, "The CEOs got his point, and by their participation in the forum, signaled a desire to rewrite the rules governing our corporations and communities, to embrace the triple bottom line." The triple bottom line is financial, social, and environmental.
We are at a time when the task of winning the hearts and minds of the rest of the world is paramount to our national security interests. In, The Hemp Revolution DVD, a high elevation Nepal community cultivating industrial hemp is shown as a great model for sustainable economic prosperity throughout the developing world. Their traditional cultivation of hemp, using the highly nutritious seeds for food and the strong fibers for long lasting clothing, provides the people with valuable resources. Harvesting is filled with song and joy. Seems like a good way win hearts and minds. Just as Benjamin Franklin was an impressive example of what is possible when self-reliance and liberty team up together, self-reliant hemp economies impress us now.
UCLA geography professor and Pulitzer prize winning author Jared Diamond recognized factors that either singly or combined have caused collapse of societies: 1) destruction of the environment / depletion of resources (deforestation, over-fishing, etc.); 2) climate change and the failure to adapt to it; 3) enemies capitalizing on a society's weakness; 4) loss of trade partners and, hence, certain resources; and 5) a society's political, economic, and social responses to these problems. During a talk at Caltech, he said "we don't need new technology. We just need the political will to face up to our problems of population and the environment."
Dr. Weil praises the multiple ways hemp provides for human needs. It really is the superstar of the plant kingdom. Let us respect the will of civil society and step up to the plate to end the legislative eclipse of industrial hemp. Raise awareness about hemp, wear the clothes, and Be the change. Help pave the way as we transition to a moral economy.
Bono recently stated, "this is our moment, and let's see what we can do."
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