Anything Petroleum Can Do, Hemp Can Do Better.

We are in an economic crisis. But don’t panic, there are always good things that come out of crises. It’s all a matter of being aware, being ready, and being educated.

Our economy, put simply, really sucks right now. But the United States is not alone. Other countries are facing the same plight. There are several factors that have had a hand in the decline.

Here is a simplified example:

A country has good currency and a strong economy. It sees a population growth and economic growth. More programs are implemented (public works, healthcare, public housing assistance, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Workman’s Comp., etc.), aiding in influence in economic issues and politics…and then the money and influence gets channeled into a huge military fund/presence. The military is then utilized, and enormous expenditures occur (funding wars). This transfer of money, or wealth, is the cause of economic pain for most of the population, and results in inflation and the declining value of the dollar.

rickety-us-defense_spending_by_country_2010-570x2881

Here are the main reasons for our economic state today:

1. Housing Bubble

2. Record amounts of debt

3. Oil

If you look at history about 100 years ago, when the big oil boom started, that is when the economy surged and the population started seeing an increase. And, when you think about it, almost everything you have is the result of oil. Clothing, food, homes, vehicles, transportation, electronics, household goods – all are/were dependent on oil, either in the manufacturing of those goods or the transportation used in getting those goods to you.

The United States uses 25% of the world’s daily oil supply, and imports 70% of that. (forestecologynetwork.org)

Oil is not a renewable resource, and it is a DECLINING resource. Easy, cheap oil is on the decline. Countries are seeing a decline in oil extraction, and there is a rush to find either new oil fields or alternate sources of energy. Again, at this point, it is the EASY, CHEAP oil that is on the decline.

oil-decline

Global oil production is declining at 8-10% per  year. And what will this mean? Higher prices. For EVERYTHING.

Now, this is not the end of the world as we know it. There IS a solution, and that solution is HEMP.

Hemp does everything that petroleum does, AND BETTER!

Extracting fossil fuels are harmful to the environment and to human health. Petroleum extracting and processing is a chemical-intensive, expensive process.  Hemp oil for fuel is simply a matter of growing, harvesting, and processing.

One of the greatest boons to legalizing industrial hemp, the non-hallucinatory version of Cannabis, is that it can completely replace our oil habit. Even if we all stopped driving our cars today, we would still be married to Middle Eastern oil, Keystone Pipelines and the wars that are waged in order to keep this resource at our fingertips.

Why? Americans use 1500 plastic water bottles every second and that’s just one plastic product. In 2010, about 191 million barrels of liquid petroleum gases (LPG) and natural gas liquids (NGL) were used in the U.S. to make plastic products in the plastic materials and resins industry. Furthermore, natural gas is used to manufacture oil-based plastic materials and resins. In 2010, about 412 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas were used to make plastic materials and resins. Not only are we addicted to oil-based cars, due to the suppression of alternative fuels and even a hemp-based car created by Henry Ford himself, we are addicted to plastic products. Oil and its extraction doesn’t just cause costly wars, it also makes our environment and everything in it, toxicFracking damages ground water and yet our governments continue to drill away.

Conversely, industrial hemp is grown for its long stalks and low THC constituents (less than .5 percent which makes it anything but a drug) is one of the strongest, most sustainable fibers on the planet. In Ford’s car, it ran on bio-diesel fuel and even had hemp-plastic panels that were ten times stronger than steel. Hemp is so resilient it can even be used to substitute oil-based plastics. One hundred percent hemp plastics are varied and entirely recyclable and biodegradable. Hemp is grown with less water and polluting pesticides than cotton, the crop that took it over due to the suppression of a machine, which could separate hemp fibers from its stalks more than 100 years ago. Industry competitors bought out the patent rights.

NOTE: Petroleum-based plastics are not biodegradable. Hemp-based plastics on the other-hand are not only recyclable but also biodegradable.

Hemp plastics are also five times stiffer and more than twice as strong as polypropylene plastics (PP). This type of plastic is full of BPAs, which are a known carcinogen, but even without BPAs, PPs are still not safe. Hemp is not toxic because it is a plant and nothing more. The fibers of hemp are used to create hard plastics, or pliable ones for everything from yogurt lids to CD cases. It is even fire-retardant under some specifications. We don’t have to fill our oceans and landfills with plastic bottles and bags. Hemp can replace them all. Its also a great replacement for Styrofoam and can be manufactured at very low cost.

In Terry Tamminen’s Lives Per Gallon, the true cost of oil has been measured with every barrel. The U.S. and China are both consumptive with our SUV’s and wasteful driving habits, but we also use way too many plastics. With spills, blow-outs and petroleum lines plowing through sacred lands and crude oil spilling like black blood, it’s time to pick a better option. Hemp is looking like a good one.

Fuel for transportation can be replaced with hemp-based biofuels. Hemp fuel is clean, efficient, and…if it spills it is far less harmful to the environment, being that it is more like a fertilizer.

Everything, EVERYTHING, that petroleum does, hemp does. So, why are we feeling this pain from fossil fuels?

Why are we not allowing our farmers to grow hemp?  Well, we know the reasons – big oil, pharma, timber, and chemical companies do not want to lose their investment dollars; the military – using OUR dollars to fund wars, some of which have to do with…yes, you guessed it…OIL.

What would happen if in the next few years we, in the U.S., farmed hemp on a large scale? We would have no more dependence on foreign oil, we certainly wouldn’t need so much money spent on the military, we would have a clean, safe alternative, and every single factor in our lives when it comes to food, clothing, health, transportation, housing, etc. – it would all be thanks to HEMP. Our economy would start to heal. The government wouldn’t need to print new money, causing more debt (which, by the way, is NOT the answer to reviving a sucky economy).

So, what do we do now? We keep speaking, we keep educating, we work toward legalizing industrial hemp farming in the U.S. We put our energy into doing everything we can to rid ourselves of dependence on foreign and domestic fossil fuels. Will this happen overnight? No. Of course not. But we can begin taking steps NOW to take us in that direction.

SOURCES: [1] [2]

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