What do Barack Obama, Willie
Merle Haggard, Woody Harrelson
and a field of hemp have in common?
Watch and find out.
1. WELCOME TO THE HEMP ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS ROOM.
The environmental benefits of the plant Cannabis
sativa L., hemp, will be found in the many rooms of the U.S.A. Hemp
Museum, but the importance of these benefits suggest we give them a
room of their own. We live on a small planet, shared by more than six
billion humans and more than two million other species. What we do as
humans profoundly affects the quality of life for all these living
beings. From the start of agriculture, the village and
civilization maybe only 15,000 years ago, people have learned to
control their environment and were able to reproduce far beyond the
natural order that had existed for millions, maybe billions of years.
Anyone who believes that the human population can not lay waste
the planet earth has not taken a serious look at our handiwork,
or at the billions of people in need of food and
resources. We need to buy time to turn the situation
around. The heroes of today and tomorrow on the earth will
be those who forgo being parents for the good of the planet, our
Hemp will help. Hemp can bring us back
closer to the renewable and sustainable resources we started
with as humans. Hemp helps the soil. Field hemp,
sown close, sends a strong tap root into the subsoil where it
finds and feeds on new deposits of minerals and pulls them up
into the topsoil roots and plant.
...BY THIS TIME TOMORROW, 260,000
more people on Earth. We need to get a grip on the
reality of the situation. Every man and woman in the
world who might choose birth control should have it available.
We live in a time of enormous environmental problems:
overpopulation by humans, habitat destruction for other species,
global warming, deterioration of the ozone layer surrounding the
earth, destruction of the rainforests and forests in general, famine,
air and water pollution, pollution and over-fishing of the oceans,
topsoil loss and pesticide pollution of farmland, reliance on
non-renewable resources, storage of nuclear wastes, and many others.
Using hemp for paper could slow the
cutting of forests for paper. Hemp is four times as
efficient at producing pulp as trees. Homegrown paper with
Hemp hurds or sticks after the
fiber has been removed. These hurds are reported to be 77%
cellulose, whose atomic structure is shown below. The
carbon (C) in cellulose is from carbon dioxide (CO2) which
plants breath in from the atmospheric gases that make up the
air. The plant breathes out oxygen.
The cellulose of plants can be
turned into the simplest alcohols, methanol (CH3OH) and
ethanol (C2H5OH) both of which are clean burning fuels that
can be used in internal combustion engines. See
Cotton bale. Cotton is
the dominant fiber produced today by American agriculture, and
its environmental price is high.
John Muir stated in a quote on one of my tee-shirts sporting a
picture of a carrot embedded in the earth, "When you tug a
one thing in nature, you find it connected to the rest of the
earth." And so we
have it with hemp, tugged out of nature by forces clearly acting in
their own self interests--fossil fuel development, timber and
wood-pulp industry, synthetic medical-chemical industry, and the
government anti-drug bureaucracies. Thomas Jefferson made a
profound statement in the Declaration of Independence:
"...all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to
suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed."
Environmental talk can be depressing, if you are not depressed it's
because you haven't thought about the world situation lately. Or
maybe you're working hard trying to fix the earth and haven't time to
be depressed. I hope the latter. Each of us is
involved. Tell your children there is hope for another few
generations with hemp energy and paper and plastics, all reducing the
greenhouse effect. We can lead the world in coming global
summits on the warming of the earth, or we can lag behind and risk our
These boards show how present
greenhouse carbon can be tied up out of the atmosphere by the use
of hemp in ways where it is not burned as in fuel - paper, boards,
plastics, paints. There are tens of thousands of paper
products alone that could be made of hemp.
The right three balls are hemp, the
left is Styrofoam, which could be replaced by lightweight
hemp. The far left ball is hemp cement, a mix of fine hurd
pulp and quicklime and water, which was formed by hand. It
is very hard and very light.
"The task facing a
legitimate politics of ecology is twofold. Firstly, it must engender
in each of us a sense of personal responsibility for the fate of the
planet - an awareness that our personal choices, no matter how
apparently trivial, when aggregated together are what determine that
The second task is that of developing and
articulating a political vision that will shape the individual choices
of millions upon millions of individuals so that the sum of all their
individual choices is the voluntary choice of an ecologically
It is the task of the politics of ecology to affirm
positively the mutual interdependence of the ecology and the economy,
of people and nature."
-author unknown. (Let us know)
2. GLOBAL WARMINGCOMMENTARY:
COMMENTARY SUBMITTED TO THE LOS ANGELES
TIMES: NOVEMBER 10, 1999.
Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed Commentary.
ATTN: Robert Berger
RE: GLOBAL WARMING: FACING UP...
In a recent editorial, the Times stated: "In recent
months climatologists have come to agree that global warming is a
certainty and that government should take economical steps to prepare
for it." Nowhere in the editorial was mention made of
the cause of the global warming, also known as the greenhouse effect,
or steps that should be taken to mitigate and reverse global
warming. While the earth shows natural periods of cooling
and warming over the eons, what we are faced with at the present is a
people-made problem, that may well have people-made solutions.
First, let's look at the problem. Picture the earth like a
giant greenhouse, the sun shines in and warms the earth. A portion of
the light bounces back toward space, but is reflected back by the roof
of the greenhouse, adding to the warming effect. In our picture,
greenhouse gasses trapped in the atmosphere act as the roof of the
earth greenhouse. The people part of the problem is that we put these
gasses into the atmosphere as a result of our industry and lifestyle
over the past two hundred years.
The most important greenhouse gas, because of its volume in
the atmosphere, is carbon dioxide or CO2. This natural gas we animals
breath out as a result of our metabolism is breathed in by plants,
which use the carbon in leaves, roots, flowers, or wood and give off
oxygen or O2, which animals breath in. This is called a natural cycle
of life. Teach your kids about this cycle, and learn about this
yourself. It is not too strong to say the future of the planet earth
depends on how fast we learn this lesson. The problem is with fossil
fuels, petroleum oil, coal, and natural gas from these fuels. Removed
from the atmosphere by plants during the age of dinosaurs and huge
amounts of vegetation, excess carbon formed pools of oil, fields of
coal, and pockets of gas beneath the surface of the earth. The end
results of burning any carbon substance, if burned cleanly, are carbon
dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). The more fossil fuel we burn, the more
CO2 goes into the atmosphere. Couple this with the rapid destruction
of forest and rainforest acreage, which would naturally remove and
store CO2 as wood, and we see the concentration of CO2 has
doubled in the last 50 years. With the many other volatile
people-produced chemicals (methane and remember CFC's?) that act as
greenhouse gasses we have the makings of an ecological disaster.
Carbon dioxide from which plants
make cellulose is the dominant greenhouse gas due to the heavy
fossil fuel burning of the past two centuries. When
cellulose is made into building materials, paper, plastics, or
textiles, greenhouse carbon is removed from the atmosphere and
recycled into these items. Hemp does this best.
I want to propose a solution, because doing nothing or trying
to adapt to a climate shift could mean missed opportunity now. I
prefer to think of this as an opportunity to recycle some of the 80%
of the oil reserves of the U.S. burned in the last decades. How do we
recycle CO2 out of the atmosphere? Grow green plants.
Better still grow the agricultural crop that pulls CO2 out of
the atmosphere better than any other. Our lives may depend on it. Use
the plant in place of trees for paper and building materials, in place
of fossil fuels as fuel for cars and trucks and as feed stocks for
plastics, in place of cotton for fabrics, in place of corn for animal
and people food, and for thousands of other products we use daily.
There is an old saying: "Anything that can be made from
hydrocarbons (coal, oil, natural gas) can be made from carbohydrates
(plant material)." We
even know how to make synthetic gasoline from plants. What I'm
trying to show here is that there are solutions. One of these is hemp.
Richard M. Davis, Curator
U. S. A. HEMP MUSEUM
3. TOPSOIL IS LIFE
LETTER SUBMITTED TO THE LOS
ANGELES TIMES: MAY 11, 2000.
Los Angeles Times: Letter to the Editor.
RE: Farms: LA Sludge Dispute.
What do we do with our wastes? While there are
no easy answers, the telling sentence came from an EPA microbiologist
who said, "The science behind this is poor." Pay the
bill, do the science. If we can find the gene for a specific disease,
we can certainly tell if heavy metals are taken up by a green crop.
And while the science is being done, a little planning might help.
What if we make the farmers in Kern County our
partners in maintaining one of the largest urban centers in the world.
Farmers get 85% of the useable water in California, water in which all
Californians have an interest, by amendment to the State
Constitution in 1928. Los Angeles needs clean air and a place to
safely dispose of sludge wastes. Farmers need markets for
non-edible crops grown with composted sludge wastes.
The crop that stands out as one solution to this
dispute is hemp. Industrial hemp is by far the number one
producer of biomass, 10 tons per acre in four months. Exactly the kind
of biomass needed to compost sludge. Reduction of nitrogen
levels by composting prevents nitrate contamination of groundwater and
facilitates the destruction of harmful bacteria and objectionable
odor. This same hemp biomass can be converted into alcohol
fuels, including ethanol, which can be sold back to Los Angeles to
fuel our transportation needs and help clean the air. The Air
Resources Board should demand variable fuel technology on all cars
starting next year. The CA Energy Commission has researched
alcohol fuels and variable fuel technology since the 1980's. That
science is not poor.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v.
Butler, 1936, that Congress was "prohibited" and
"forbidden" from regulating farm production, because that
right is reserved to the states and the people by the Tenth Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution. It is time for our state government to act.
Pass the bill to allow hemp farming in California. Where do we get the
notion that all power is invested in the Federal Government? There is
no interstate commerce in this plan. Read the Tenth Amendment,
Governor Davis, so we can get on with real planning.
Richard M. Davis, Curator. U.S.A.
4. RECYCLING AND HEMP.
Hemp paper can be recycled seven
times, as opposed to 3 times for wood-pulp paper. The
demand for paper continues to skyrocket! Hemp saves trees.
Recycling fossil fuels. As was noted above, much of the
carbon of burned fossil fuels remains in the atmosphere, causing
a problem called the greenhouse effect or global warming.
What if we could recycle these gasses back out of the air and
into environmentally sound products like paper, fuel, building
materials, and food? We can do this with hemp better
than any other crop.
Other rooms in the museum contain
letters that relate to hemp and the environment, from saving
topsoil in the agriculture room to replacing cotton as a fabric
in the textile room. Learn about all aspects of hemp
and the environment.
18. READINGS ON THE ENVIRONMENT.
GLOBAL WARMING: The
Greenpeace Report. Edited by Jeremy Leggett.
"Forty-nine Nobel-prizewinning scientists
have appealed to President Bush (Sr.) to curb greenhouse-gas
emissions, professing that 'global warming has emerged as the
most serious environmental threat of the 21st
A decade later another Bush President refuses
to cooperate with global concern on global warming.
Good old wood alcohol is the
simplest of alcohols with only one carbon atom.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. September,
1989. "The Case for Methanol."
If you would like to join the USA Hemp Museum
or communicate with the curator, send an