Friday, May 23, 2008


A really good article in the Guardian on hemp was just brought to my attention by Sagar Shah. How I missed this for 4 months I do not know, may have something to do with the fact I do not buy that paper every day, too many trees chopped down by the newspaper industry to support it all the time. This one however was worth a few trees, though of course, we hope that in the future they will print on hemp, but that's another story.

The piece is by Guilio Sica, and is titled "Why is Hemp off the biofuel menu?" He starts off by noting that a number of agencies have all attacked the biofuels agency, citing their opinion that biofuel crops would cause more harm than good. In some cases, this is true, especially when talking about the poisonous jatropha, which Bill Clinton and lots of leftie do-gooder know nothings backed to the hilt recently. Sica notes that the reports all manage to ignore the one crop which has been successfully used for many years to create bioethanol, in more environmentally friendly than sugar beet, palm oil, corn or any of the other crops mentioned by the agencies. Of course, he is talking about hemp.

Also talking about hemp was Tory MP David Maclean who tabled a question to the then environment secretary, Ian Pearson, asking what assessment had been madd about the potential to grow hemp as a biofuel crop in England, to which the secretary responded: "Research into the potential of hemp as a biofuel crop suggests it is not currently competitive compared to other sources of biomass. However, hemp does have a number of high-value end uses. For example, as a fibre crop it is used in car panels, construction and as horse bedding. In addition, hempseed oil is used in food, cosmetics and various industrial applications. As a result, there is little interest in this country at present in growing it for biofuel production."

Sica continues: "So the government cannot point to ignorance of hemp's uses, which makes hemp's omission from any of the recent reports even more perplexing. Click here to see the entire piece.

5 out of 5 comments were in support of hemp, but I doubt the honourable secretary took the time to read it. The way they shuffle the cabinet, he is probably long gone. This government has done little to produce alternatives to petrol, and as petrol has gone from $30 a barrel to $132, the people are going to suffer greatly. Any alternative, even a non-profit alternative, would help to keep the price of the barrel down, the less bidders, the less the hammer price.

And of course, as a recent Defra report noted, hemp is ideal for the UK, so it would provide jobs for people here. But that may not be their interest at all, after we have seen how richly foreign companies rewarded Blair & Co., we wonder who they are serving.

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