Can Hemp Save Mother Earth Before Leo’s Flood?
On October 21, “Before the Flood” was released to help spread awareness of the ‘dangers of climate change’ and was spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio who is the United Nation’s “Messenger of Peace” in relation to Climate Change.
The documentary follows the actor around the world illustrating how climate change is already showing symptoms on coastal cities and how certain industries are responsible for the accelerated pace of the destruction of our environment.
While you might believe in climate change or not, is besides the point. One thing that everyone can agree on is that our model of consumption and our habits of disposal requires a gigantic makeover because in laymen’s terms; “We’re fucking up the environment”.
If we reach the pinnacle of our environmental-fuckery, there will be severe consequences for all of us, regardless of race, religion, and geographical location.
While the documentary did outline a few things we could do to prevent an environmental death scenario,it failed (in my opinion) to address some of the most viable ways we could combat the erosion of our ecosystem.
Causing Factors of Environmental Decline
Depending on who you talk to, there are many people to “blame” for the current state of our environment. However, one of the clear culprits of this change falls heavily on the “Oil industry” who have been responsible for countless spills and emission of carbon around the world for nearly a century.
Secondly, the average consumer also takes up a portion of the “blame” what with driving their cars, consuming plastic products and discarding their waste without consideration on where it ends up.
However, one of the major causing factors of environmental damages that was NOT mentioned in the documentary is war. War and maintaining the war machine has long been a plague on our earth. The United States, with the biggest military force on the planet is largely ignored by climate activists despite the fact that the US military is one of the biggest polluters in the world.
At the outset of the Iraq war in March 2003, the Army estimated it would need more than 40 million gallons of gasoline for three weeks of combat, exceeding the total quantity used by all Allied forces in the four years of World War 1.
Not to mention that nearly half of the entire US budget goes to…you guessed it…WAR! And what are we fighting for? While the US government would like to convince the people that they are fighting for “peace, security and freedom”, following the money reveals another truth.
The US is largely fighting in the Middle East for Oil, Heroin and expanding their strategic military holdings on the world. The War on Terror is merely a smokescreen to maintain the illusion of military actions in the Middle East. And all of these actions cause an unmeasurable negative effect on our environment.
Other contributing factors to the decline of the environment include, mass production of livestock, the burning of forests for “palm oil” and of course the use of outdated energy methods.
So while I’m painting a dismal picture here, is there anything we can do about it?
Hemp the Fucking World!
I have said for a long time now that “Hemp is the Medical Cannabis for Earth”. It alarms me that climate activists aren’t jumping on the Hemp Train as a viable solution for cutting down our carbon emissions, stopping deforestation and creating environmentally sound industry that could reverse the damage we have already done.
Here’s a snippet of what hemp can achieve if we simply allowed it be utilized to its full potential. This is from HempBenefits.org:
Hemp is so Much Better for the Environment:
It replaces trees as the source of raw material for wood and paper, thereby conserving forests. Trees take years to grow, while a crop of hemp can be grown in a few months. Only one acre of hemp can produce as much paper annually as 4 acres of trees.
When burning hemp as a fuel, carbon dioxide is released into the air, but this is absorbed by the next crop, which can be harvested 120 days after planting. This quick growth avoids the build-up of carbon dioxide. Also, hemp is a very leafy plant and thus contributes a high level of oxygen to the atmosphere during its growth; between 20 and 40%. This makes up for the loss of oxygen when it is burnt as a fuel, which in turn, reduces unwanted effects of global warming, acid rain and the depletion in the ozone layer on the environment.
Air pollution is reduced since hemp is naturally resistant to pests and does not need pesticides and herbicides to be sprayed. Very little fertilizers are required, since it’s abundant leaves fall into the soil and release the required nutrients and minerals, thereby creating better soil tilth. Cotton and flax are known to consume 50% of all pesticides; hemp replaces cotton as a raw material in the manufacturing of paper and cloth, and flax fiber or seed for animal feed, animal bedding and paper.
Soil enrichment: The hemp crop grows dense and vigorously. Sunlight cannot penetrate the plants to reach the ground, and this means the crop is normally free of weeds. Its deep roots use ground water and reduce its salinity. Also, erosion of topsoil is limited, thereby reducing water pollution. The roots give nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. After the harvest, this soil makes excellent compost amendments for other plants, and hemp cultivation can follow the rotation of agriculture with wheat or soybean. In fact, the same soil can be used to grow hemp for many years, without losing its high quality. The hemp plant absorbs toxic metals emitted by nuclear plants into the soil, such as copper, cadmium, lead and mercury.
Fabrics made of hemp do not have any chemical residue, and is therefore safer for consumers. Even if the fabric contains only 50% hemp, it can keep the UV rays of the sun from harming the skin underneath.
If you’re truly serious about climate change and environmental protection, you should be a staunch advocate of hemp. Along with moving towards renewable energy sources and reducing the war machine, we do stand a chance to reduce the emission of carbon into the environment and could reverse a lot of the damage we have already done.
In fact, Tesla predicts that we only need 100 Gigawatt factories (solar factories) to supply energy to the entire world. Therefore, instead of building that Pipeline in North Dakota, we could simply create solar farms and completely step out of the Oil game forever.
The point is, we have solutions…but waiting for the government to EVER do anything significant about it is like waiting for Gary Coleman to grow to six feet in length…it ain’t gonna happen.
Take charge, make change…stop waiting and force the hand of the government. It’s time we realize that to fix these problems will come down to us. So start advocating Hemp and push for reforms and STOP buying from brands that proliferate the current system of destruction.
In otherwords; #HempTheWorld
This story originally appeared on Cannabis.net