Friday, September 21, 2007


Political bandwagons are always set to attract ne'er-do-wells to the cause, and these last few years you can find just about everyone going green. Of course, as a member of the UK Green Party once told me when they had so few answers to questions, one does not expect them all to be scientists. Opinion runs rampant and those who try to inject some sanity into it are often cast out as heretics. This blog has already earned me a few enemies, so I have nothing to lose by making a few more. I might start today with a look at The Changing Times, a London freebie that has joined so many other London freebie greenie mags. The irony erupts on pp. 6-7, where a lengthy infomercial by the Onya bag people gives us statistics on plastic bags, replete with a glaring mathematical error. The infomercial tries to get us to then buy platic bags! Why? They are FREE at most shops, so why pay Onya £6.50 or more? They do not tell us that they are plastic, the words 'parachute material' are used very cleverly instead. But to those of us with a brain...

Next in the firing line is Juliette Anthony, a former "laid-back research librarian", as she describes herself. Anthony's piece in 321 Energy is informative in many ways, but it misses much. For instance, when she points out that the recent drive to grow corn for ethanol was a debacle, she does not explain that there was no need to use the entire plant for ethanol. Strangely, she asserts: "Cellulosic ethanol from other plant materials is far in the future...". Does she not know about sugar cane in Brazil? Or Henry Ford's use of hemp? Maybe Harvard, Anthony's former employer, does not have a very adequate library on these issues. Completely ignored by her is the fact that cellulose is the most common plant compound on earth. Sourcing it is easy, we could collect farm wastes, paper and yard trimmings and have lots of it without using up a single acre of farmland.

Kern County California is mentioned in her piece, and if in her researching days she had bothered to be a little less laid back and diligently reach for the USDA Yearbook of 1914 she would have come across mention of hemp growing in that county. In her article concern is expressed for the amount of water that corn takes in cultivation, thus there is all the more reason to think about hemp. While she is at it, she just might look at cotton, which is using up water all over the world, with one million acres of it parching the ground in California.

I do agree with some of her points though, especially the use of solar panels. Quoting State Senator Tom McClintock (R), it is pointed out that the CARB regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions are being implemented in dangerous ways, so that they actually drive the food prices up. Oh, but the do-gooders who drew those up do not want to hear that, they are inconvenient facts much like Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre's findings on yearly temperature highs which embarrassed NASA and the climate change dealers. Where was George Monbiot on that?

Lastly let me turn my attention on a long-standing foe, the Independent on Sunday. This is the newspaper that will go on-and-on about fish oliver oil but not mention GLAs in hemp. This last Sunday it had a front page article against cannabis, and Free Rob called me up to point it out. Not that I was unaware, just that spending money on such junk is against my principles. Free is coming to London next weekend and will address the issue at Speaker's Corner, and one member of the Cannabis Fraternity has offered to strip off at the IoS office. Me I will stick to blogging!

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