I had to chuckle at Bush’s attempt at a good will mission in South America. With Chavez trailing him and no doubt drawing larger crowds, all administrations worry about the people of South America gaining control over their countries resources. While the prospect of globalization moves ahead, the lofty ideals of globalization gave way to old profit hegemony that has existed throughout time. While the Bush administration pushes for promotion of alternate fuels across the hemisphere, we do little to assist the already booming sugar cane ethanol production of Brazil. If the issue of globalization was real, the .54 cent a gallon import tariff on Brazilian ethanol would be dropped, allowing them to play on an even field here in America. Of course the competition would probably reduce the cost of fuel at the pump!
Here is an interesting little quote for you from Sen. Richard Lugar, "All possibilities for growth in biofuel production must be explored to decrease our oil addiction." Also something to take note of is the fact the Hillary Clinton when in Iowa took a tour of the Pioneer’s research facility, where she viewed a project designed to increase the growth rate of corn. This is her comment in regards to the future of biofuel in America. "This is the beginning of a revolution in our country. Most of it in the history books will be traced back to Iowa, because you were ahead of the curve."
Mercy, like white washing a picket fence this shinola gets old, at least twice a month I manage to catch the farm reports on public television on Sunday mornings. There is no way we as nation we can supply our fuel needs for ethanol, based on corn. As by 2017 fuel standards are to require 132.5 billion liters of alternative fuel, or five times over the 2012 projections, which if memory serves me, means an additional 10 million acres of corn planted a year from now to 2012 just to maintain that increase. The ripple effects are currently being felt and we need progressive expansion over the next ten years to just catch up with the demand. Number one, we have a narrow time frame of around ten years to get this issue of CO2 emissions under control. Number two, while only a small portion of the corn crop is for food consumption, the yield demand will effect production of other crops such as wheat and soybeans, disrupting the food chain balance and consequently driving up the cost of living, via expense from the livestock arena, to the bakery, to the grocery store, and beyond our shores.
We have a historical crop in America, that meets so many of the needs of our nation. While previewing a fact sheet on research material I was unable to find my primary information. So before we get to the fact sheet another little tidbit from memory. From corn we derive, I believe, 60 gallons of ethanol per acre, from hemp we could obtain 600 gallons of methanol per acre. Hemp can grown on marginal land, the yield per acre of hemp over corn is astronomical. Here is a statement from The Jamaica Observer, ‘Addressing climate change through real results,’ by Brenda LaGrange Johnson. "The sources will be diverse. They will include ethanol form corn, plant waste, and wood chips, as well as biodiesel, methanol, and other alternative fuels." This quote is a paraphrase from the Bush administrations plan to reduce America’s need on foreign oil. Did you notice that methanol was included. The best source for methanol from plants, hemp.
The oldest known records of hemp farming goes back 5000 years in China, although it is believed to have started in ancient Egypt. From records in 1916, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that by the 1940's all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees would need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs.
According to the LA Times Aug. 12. 1981: It was legal to pay taxes with hemp from 1631 until the early 1800's. From 'Hemp in Colonial Virginia,' by: G.M. Herdon we find, "refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th century was against the law! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769. From Sherman Williams Paint Co. testimony before Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act we find this. "Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937. In 1935, 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products.
‘The most profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be Grown,’ an article from the Feb. 1938 issue of Mechanical Engineering Magazine. "If hemp was cultivated using 20th century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the U.S." Back in 38 as well, Popular Mechanics ran an article in Feb. claiming that hemp could for the first time create a billion dollar crop in America, ladies and gentlemen think of its potential now?
From the U.S. Government Archives we find Betsy Ross’s flag was made on hemp canvas, that the early drafts of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were printed on hemp as well. How about this one, Rembrants’, Van Goughs’, the first bibles, and for eons the vast majority of sailing life relied upon the supplies of hemp production around the globe. In the diaries of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson we find many of the founding fathers grew hemp. In fact Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China via France to America. Ben Franklin had one of the first paper mills in America, it processed hemp.
While I was aware of most of these stats years ago, here is one I found of extreme interest that I never knew about. "Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on Hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp. On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941."
Think of the trees that could be saved if we once again were to return to hemp production for our paper usage alone, not to mention it is more productive for alternative fuel usage. Hemp has a higher crop yield per acre than anything currently raised in America for biofuel. Everything about the plant can be processed into useful materials, isn’t it about time we address the needs of the planet, not the needs of special interest that are protected from this bio diverse rich ecological bounty that can help us to save our global climatic balance: One last little note, hemp is excellent at sequestering carbon dioxide.
News Hawk- User http://www.420magazine.com/
Author: Anthony J. Gerst
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Website: PlanetSave - Sequestering Carbon Dioxide