Thursday, June 12, 2008


Image left is me at the Black Eagle Brewery. The pitcher of water was poured out as a way to get people to pay attention to what is happening to our resources, water included. Most of the audience was receptive, though a couple young girls sat in the back and giggled; but more soberminded people took note, and the recent headlines in the press, inluding yesterday's dour announcements that petrol could reach $250 a barrel, drove home my points. We need to curb our water use, ration how much land can be used for non-food items, and develop alternative energy. However, this means getting some of the trendy journalists to listen to science. For anyone who read the previous post, the name Lucy Siegle might come to mind. She sure sent me a less than happy email, reminding me that some of her work is based on votes from Observer readers. Very good, 50 million people can't be wrong...but science does not do democracy. It looks at facts, and when people have facts to back up their stance, they are confident in discussing them. So far, we do not see this confidence from my more outraged blogreaders - none has ever left a comment to rebut my findings. They would if they could but they don't. Other tactics prevail. More sensible blogreaders can see beyond the Observer.

On the issue of land use, today let me propose one more part of the solution. So far I have singled out cotton, and I do not think even the likes of Lucy Siegle can disagree with that, she informs me she commissioned the Dan McDougall expose on cotton culivation in Egypt. So then she ought to take note. But on to another plant that is not worn by fashionistas and guardianistas, let us take a harsh look at sugar. The other day I was squeezing my way through the aisles of my local mini Tesco, hardly able to find anything edible, when I noticed a whole aisle devoted to one kind of food - sugar. Six aisles and one just for sweets, plus two coolers with ice cream, lots of fizzy drinks, and other assorted sugary items at checkout. Not to mention all the other foods which contain sugar.

Now, sugar cultivation is destroying rain forest land, it is a monocrop, and it can be quite exploitive. Why do we allow so much land to be used for it? We consume on average in the West four ounces a day, so some 38,000 tons a day for the US alone. This substance causes bone and tooth decay, hyperactivity, ADF, etc. We need to look at crops like this and decide whether we want to waste our land on sugar, cotton and tobacco (not to mention cocaine, opium, etc.) or whether we want to eat.

Hemp is not sweet. For all the things I can say about it, I cannot sell it as candy. But I can make a scienific point about its use as a food, textile, paper, medicine and fuel plant and hope that someone listens. I do not have the money to place ads in papers or hang out with trendy people, but I can confidentally state the facts. Speaking of hanging out with trendy people and stating facts, a friend of mine went and found out last night that these two ideals do not always happen in tandem. He went to the screening of the new Oxfam movie on climate change in Leicester Square. But when he asked about hemp, he was given no answer. Guess who was there to give no answer? Lucy Siegle. Later in the evening she went ballistic when he mentioned my name; he told me that she hates me with a passion. He also informs that the climate change propaganda was forced on us once again by using images of starving people and maybe some polar bears - but no one there wanted to take on board facts that disprove their trendy theories. Mention Piers Corbyn and you do not get a smile from Lucy Siegle. Ask her about the sun spots and the similar climate changes on Mars and Venus, obviously not due to SUVs, and she does not seem to have any answer. But then again, she has 50 million Observer readers and they cannot possibly be wrong... So do not worry about my abrupt manner, find someone sweet and trendy and let them set the agenda - but don't look at me when that agenda ends up in terrible unemployment, food riots, lack of energy supplies - I will turn around and tell you I told you so. Facts are facts and they are meant to be listened to. We do not have time for fools.

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