Friday, March 23, 2007


You can tell a person that they are going down the wrong side of the road, but if they think they are doing a good thing, they may never listen. Not until they see the bus full of people coming right at them do they admit they were wrong, but before that point they huff and puff and call you a mean spirited SOB if you are not along for the ride.

This serves well to illustrate the present state of do-gooders who do not have any idea about botany, agriculture or economics and go out and support in their zeal whatever comes along. This week the latest victim to this syndrome was Anya Hinchard, a posh shop in London where they sold 1,000 cotton bags, and not even organic ones at that. Thanks, Anya, the more cotton we harvest the faster we deplete the rivers and seas that support life, much of which is in the Third World and has never heard of your shop and its do-gooder zeal. They will never read the Change the World for a Fiver book that you sell, for which their trees were chopped down (it does not even claim to be published on recycled paper; it could start by suggesting we use recycled paper and/or hemp paper rather than admonish us to buy more copies of this book, chopping down more trees in turn).

When these people get told by scientists and professionals that they are actually quite wrong, they then scream bloody murder and how could anyone be so mean to them? We're not being mean Anya, we are trying to point out that that cotton kills. If you want to really change the world, you need to change your consultants and get some in-depth understanding about the environment. Stunts in the land of the posh are just that; many may self-righteously scream bloody murder when they are reproved, but that ought not to prevent the facts from being put forward, and the sooner the better, before more people think that wearing cotton which has been farmed with tons of pesticides and quite likely in conditions on a par with the slavery with which it is so associated, is a very cool idea. "Look at us, we are so cool!" is the subconscious mantra, being echoed through the idiot media with their wasteful magazines full of glossy pictures of some celeb wearing apparel and accessories. They make a good living, and the farmers in India, China and dozens of other countries do the dying while you look good and your bank account grows.

In the meantime, working away behind the scenes are those who have really spent the time in the field, literally in the case of the man wearing the hemp bag in the picture, which is incidentally 100% hemp, and organic hemp to boot. Bobby Pugh, who started the hemp movement in the UK. He now runs The Hemp Shop in Brighton, from which he has been selling 100% organic hemp bags for a decade or so. Or Mina Hegaard of Minawear Hemp Clothing, which makes a range of clothing, along with her partner Edie Marrs of GeoMio, both in California.

Another facet of hemp vs. cotton as far as the UK is concerned is that cotton has never been, and basically cannot be grown in the UK, whilst hemp has a long history here and solid organisations such as BioRegional Development Group have been working steadily on research trials with hemp in the UK with a view to reviving a textile industry here. Real jobs with real wages, not stunts done on the back of the oppressed in the Third World.

Feel free to contact me ( and get some sound advice before you stray further into the fast lane and I'd be glad to help, but travelling as you are down the wrong side, the only choice I have is to try to get your attention before it's too late.

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