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Jul 3, 2017



Could Ireland Use Hemp As Biomass? – Dublin Hemp Museum – Medium — Cannabis News World

California to list herbicide as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight | Reuters — GLOBAL MEDIA  SENTRY


This is the World Organic News for the week ending 3rd of July 2017.

Jon Moore reporting!

We begin this week with piece on the revival of an old plant: Hemp. Not the wacky tobaccy type but the “Grow Hemp for Victory” type from World War Two. A little background. Hemp has been grown for millennia as a fibre. It makes good, hard wearing cloth, Henry Ford used it to build a prototype vehicle, that is as the panels for said prototype vehicle and the navies of the world used it to create lines and ropes. A further aside, any rope under one inch in diameter is called a line or sheet and any line or sheet greater than one inch in diameter is called a rope. Hence the “Grow Hemp for Victory” push by the US government as they built huge numbers of naval vessels needing said, lines, sheets and ropes, the same government which napalmed the more mind altering cultivars of hemp in the second half of the twentieth century.

Anyway, DuPont invented nylon, nylon could replace hemp ropes on battleships and by coincidence all varieties and cultivars of hemp were banned not that long afterwards. Purely coincidental, nothing to see here.

Hemp has really deep root, is great for stabilising loose soils, produces much more that timber per acre and can be used as part of a crop rotation to clean soils and stabilise them. Now to the post entitled: Could Ireland Use Hemp As Biomass? From the blog Cannabis News World.

GlaxoSmithKline, the well known pharmaceutical company is commissioning a biomass generator in Co Waterford. It plans to use pelletised wood chips to fire the plant. Idea being these wood chips are carbon neutral as the trees are regrowing as the wood is being combusted and the CO2 is recycled back into timber. The blog article asks:


So could hemp be used instead of, or in tandem with, other fuels?

Hemp is much quicker to grow than trees and other crops used in biomass. Farmers also might be more inclined to partake in such projects due to the shorter term commitments as opposed to growing trees. Growing hemp is better for the land that the use of forests. Hemp has multiple uses and any material not used for biomass can be used for other practical purposes.

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Given the collapse of the US mandated war on hemp if not on all drugs, does this not make sense? I would suggest it does. Not all the hemp need be combusted, much of it would make useful other products as does the timber not used to create pellets. The problem with using wood is the demand for the pellets. In much the same way good, useable timber here in Australia has been chipped to supply the Japanese woodchip market, it seems not unreasonable to expect similar behaviours to meet contractual obligations for wood pellets to feed the biomass plant.

Hemp usage would allow these trees to stay in the environment where they do much good while substituting the hemp would bring economic return to farmers on an annual basis rather than say a 15 year cycle of tree growth. The irish agriculture and food development authority even conducted trials between 2008 and 2012 to assess the potential of hemp as a fuel. It appears to not only out produce wood but also benefit cereal crops grown on the same land after the hemp is harvested.

This is the sort of stop gap measure needed to move from fossil fuel to renewable energies. Burning anything will have unintended effects. The smoke, the air pollution etc. We have, though, developed technologies to mitigate these and this form of energy production is of a more renewable essence than burning coal or natural gas.

When we consider organic hemp, the benefits become even greater. The massive root systems of hemp would, with each harvest be adding carbon to the soil, feeding my much beloved soil biota and allow forestry to be more nuanced, mixed and permanent.

Hemp is also so old an agricultural product that cultivars for different climatic zones already exist even allowing for the lack of selection and plant breeding as a result of the war on drugs/non tariff support for DuPont and other plastics manufacturers. Hemp is, naturally, biodegradable, pun intended and so would not contribute the growing piles of plastic waste on both land and sea.

All in all, I see the use of hemp as a win/win for farmers, energy producers and the environment.

A second post this week also points to a win for the environment and its health.

The blog GLOBAL MEDIA  SENTRY reports: California to list herbicide as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight.

That herbicide is, of course, the ubiquitous glyphosate, better known to many as Roundup.


Glyphosate, an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday.

Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight against the designation, required under a state law known as Proposition 65, and called the decision "unwarranted on the basis of science and the law."

The listing is the latest legal setback for the seeds and chemicals company, which has faced increasing litigation over glyphosate since the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that it is "probably carcinogenic" in a controversial ruling in 2015.

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This looks not dissimilar to the anti tobacco fight from last century. It would seem the only way to end the use of this particular product and the others produced by the agricultural poisons industry will be through legal action. This needs to be done in conjunction with education programs. There is a charming, if deadly, naivety regarding these chemicals. It seems as if they must be safe because why would the government allow a company to sell dangerous products? Especially in a democracy. Profit, unfortunately has its own drivers and quarterly profit statement will quite often trump long term damage to people, the environment and alternative methods. See above, hemp vs Dupont, for another example of corporate market manipulation benefits.

We need to support these counter measures wherever they appear. The listing by California’s  Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is a small step in the right direction.

We live in a time of great flux, many things thought impossible are now coming to pass. We can but apply ourselves in the hope the changes coming and already started are the benefit of all the biome, not just for the benefit of shareholders. I recall a cartoon on Facebook where a father is sitting in a post apocalyptic scene around a campfire and telling his children: Yes, we destroyed the environment but for one glorious moment we provided exquisite shareholder value.

Let’s not take the world in that direction!

And on that happy note we will end this week’s episode.

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Thank you for listening and I'll be back in a week.




Could Ireland Use Hemp As Biomass? – Dublin Hemp Museum – Medium — Cannabis News World

California to list herbicide as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight | Reuters — GLOBAL MEDIA  SENTRY