Monday, January 22, 2007


Good to see Hemp for Victory reviewed (Jeremy Smith, p. 57) in the December 2006 issue of The Ecologist. Wonder when they will do a feature on hemp? Lots of good articles in this one, especially a piece on getting off pesticide addiction. Gerry Marten and Donna Glee Williams report on the Indian village of Punukula, where a local plant, neem, is used as a pesticide with better results than all the chemicals the big companies want to sell. Not surprisingly, cotton is at the core of this problem, as it attracts so many pests farmers get trapped into buying more and more from the companies, then go into debt. So maybe my next book will be Neem for Victory...

Neem and hemp are but two of many plants that are natural pesticides, and if we studied our environment more, we would not be buying all the new, manmade chemicals. A lack of knowledge has opened the door to a host of demons, and it is good to see them driven out.

Another article in December's issue by Pat Thomas spotlighted the chemical emulsifiers in commercial toilettries, and urged readers to contact the companies that use them and ask why. Further, it published a list of natural ingredients that could be used instead. Some of the manmade compounds tend to be carcinogenic. After using them ourselves, they wind up in the water. For some reason a lot of fish are changing their sexual identity, and it is not from watching late night telly. It's not just fish affected in this way, as a third hard-hitting article notes; Zoe Cormier writes about a town in Canada where the chemical companies rule like fuedal lords over a mainly indigenous people, who at one time had little right of redress. The ratio of boys to girls born to them has changed dramatically from the usual 51:49 split to about a 67:33. At least the women will grow up to have more choice! Do we really need all the chemicals we are being forced to use? Why do our governments not stand up for a clean environment? One point made, again in the December issue, is that apples in the UK not organically grown have up to 35 types of pesticide residue on their skin. I wonder if the environment minister, whose mug shot appears in the post before this one, reads any of this?

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