PurplePenquin wrote: show me how/where they are wrong in their claim
claim? What's the $100,000 for (the page doesn't say - do I have to disprove all
his claims, or just one? What, exactly, is the challenge? Seriously, what are the specifics?)
Anyway, since I don't deny that hemp has a myriad of uses, and you know this, I obviously am not in a position to debunk everything
your link had to say. However, if all I need to do is poke holes in the idea that hemp fuel could power the world then someone owes me $100,000. To be honest, the burden of proof is on you
- as you are the one making the outlandish claim. The "facts" cited by the pro-hempers are usually little more than statistical gymnastics and wishful thinking.
Thanks for the link, though. This webpage is kinda a hoot - it's exactly the kind of outlandish, overstated, doom-and-gloom environmental BS that turns otherwise caring individuals off of the whole damn movement. Just look at this early paragraph:
If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the greenhouse effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time... and that substance is the same one that has done it before . . . CANNABIS/HEMP/MARIJUANA!
OK there are so many assumptions and pieces of misinformation in this single paragraph that it turns me off from the facts he will be presenting later before I even get a chance to see them.
1) "The greenhouse effect" is not something that can be "reversed" - it's a phenomenon. I assume he means, "reverse the emission of greenhouse gases that are causing global warming." Of course, by no means has "the greenhouse effect" been pinpointed as the cause (sole or otherwise) of global warming, nor has it been proven that global warming is caused by humans or that its effects will be disastrous (since the beginning of the industrial revolution, average temperatures have gone up by over one degree Fahrenheit and with that increase has come the largest improvement in overall quality of life - food, clothing, shelter, y'know, the basics - in the entire history of humankind. Just sayin'...)
2) Hemp would do nothing
(nada, zilch, zip) to "stop deforestation" since the only places that are actually losing
forest (i.e. have less trees now than say 100 years ago) are in some of the poorest areas on the planet. The folks cutting down the rain forests in South America aren't doing it to make paper, they're doing it because they have nowhere to live and no food to eat. In the U.S., of course, there is as much forest today as there was 100 years ago.
3) Stop using lumber for construction? We can build houses out of hemp now, too? Come on! As Patrick Moore, the founder
of Greenpeace no less, explained on an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit
(which I highly recommend everyone check out), "when you go to the lumber yard, you're not ordering a tree to be cut down, you're ordering a new tree to be planted."
Check out his website and see what a non-doomsaying, scientifically minded environmentalist has to say. It may surprise you. (It is worth noting that Moore left Greenpeace because he saw that the movement he'd created had little to do with environmentalism anymore and had been co-opted and corrupted by politicos, socialists, and anti-government and anti-corporate interests, all of which are fine positions, but have nothing whatsoever to do with most environmental issues.)http://www.greenspirit.com/index.cfm
4) "...in order to save the planet" - I was unaware the planet needed saving. Last time I checked, Nature was awfully gorgeous. Are there specific problems? Of course, many of which are being addressed. Trying to sell the need for legalization of hemp on the basis that the planet will "die" if we don't is simply ridiculous.
5) "the overall majority of the world's paper and textiles" - what minority of the world's population do you think is going to volunteer to go without paper or textiles? Your man plainly states that hemp cannot replace all
of the needed supply. I guess he owes himself $100,000!
6) "meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs" - I really don't see how, unless you want to convert a significant portion of cropland currently used for growing food into hemp lands (sure, you can eat hemp, but wouldn't you rather eat hemp and
wheat?) And isn't it a saner argument to just say, "let's switch to biomass?" Why does it have to be exclusively hemp? Kelp and seaweed seem like more obvious choices to me, since they leave existing farmlands intact for growth of other crops. Regardless, at this stage, experiments with biomass as fuel have tended to produce little bang for their buck (this would undoubtedly improve with funding for improved technology, I admit.) This is why we don't burn garbage for fuel - it's only economically feasible on small scales. Look, if you really want to provide cheap, efficient, clean-burning fuel for the world, I should think you'd back nuclear power, but I'm guessing you think that's worse than fossil fuels. Especially since if industry and homes got their power from nuclear, that would make your dream of cars all running on hemp a bit more achievable.
After his initial burst of enthusiastic overstatement, Jack goes on to make such scientific claims as hemp is "the most perfect plant for the planet" before launching into misstatements about the prevalence of hemp in the past. To give but one particularly ridiculous example:
75 to 90 percent of all paper used from at least 100 AD to 1883 was made of CANNABIS/HEMP. Books, (including Bibles), money and newspapers all over the world have been mainly printed on CANNABIS/HEMP for as long as these things have existed in human history.
Paper was invented around 100AD, that much is true, but it was invented in China - where it remained a tightly-kept secret until around 700AD when the Arabs learned the craft - it was not made exclusively from hemp (it was made from mulberry bark, bamboo fibers, rags, grass and even fishing nets!), and no European used the stuff until the 13th Century. Prior to the introduction of paper, Europeans mostly used vellum, which was made of animal skin (ever seen a Torah? That's vellum.) Earlier still, they used a papyrus product invented by the Egyptians around 5000 years ago!
Finally, in the U.S. and Europe, paper for newspapers was traditionally made from recycled rags (yes, some of these rags were undoubtedly hemp, but hardly the vast majority - cotton was the most prevalent.) In fact, rags were so in demand for papermaking in the mid-1700s that "rag wars" ensued, which saw countries banning the export of rags, leading to a large black market. When it became apparent that rags could not meet demand, the search for new fibers for papermaking led to paper made from everything from asbestos to swamp grass. The modern practice of making it from wood began around 1850. Given these facts, how is it possible that 75 to 90% of all paper used from 100 until 1883 was made from hemp?
As for money... paper money is a fairly modern invention. Unless Jack is arguing that coins were made from hemp, I cannot see how this claim can possibly be true either (especially considering the vast majority of money has been printed since 1937, when hemp was the victim of Congressional foul play.)
http://www.computersmiths.com/chinesein ... /paper.htm
http://www.conservatree.com/learn/Paper ... tory.shtml
Obviously, I will not continue to parse his entire page, but I hope that my point has been made. When you hear a claim like "hemp will solve the world's ills" that sounds too good to be true, you really ought to investigate such claims for yourself, not just take the word of someone who clearly has a vested interest in swaying your opinion. I swear, I really am for the legalization of hemp and I really do believe it has a great number of potential beneficial uses. This is a far cry from making outrageous claims or invoking environmental gloom to sway people emotionally, rather than logically.