By: Anthony J. Gerst.
My friend the photographer works for Siemens building wind turbines. He is excited because the next time there is a problem in the field he gets to travel and attend to the issue. His counterpart has just returned from a trip to Texas, where he brought back some photos. In half of the frame you have the Wind Farm, in the other half you have a coal-fired power plant. A very powerful image that depicts to him the battle we as the collective face.
Our current usage of coal, oil and the contemporary forestry practices on this planet are destroying the sustainable biosphere. The U.S. still leads the world in importing illegal lumber, with China rapidly gaining ground. Many organizations around the globe are fighting the good fight to preserve the forest. Now the ‘Legal Timber Protection Act’ H.R. 1497 is before Congress. This bill if passed would put illegal timber imports under the protection of the Lacey Act, which is a safeguard against importing illegal wildlife.
While this act is but a tiny step along the road to stopping all Old Growth Forestry, it is an action that needs attention. Should you be inclined to let your congress person know about this, here is a link to a Greenpeace action site, take action.
The ongoing issue in Myanmar is as much about humanitarian issues as environmental abuses. The citizens of this tiny country are tired of seeing their nation destroyed. Along the border with China their forest is being cleared to supply the lumber needs of China’s economic growth, part of the uprising in Myanmar, has its roots in the degradation of the nation’s resources and the decline in the standard of living for its citizens. The elite class of this nation grows at the expense of the laymen and impoverished members of the society, while they pander their nation’s resources to China.
From the Philippines to South America we watch as mudslides rip through communities and the people of the planet are displaced. What many fail to understand is that a lot of these mud slides are occurring in locations that have experienced clear cutting practices, or worse. From Malaysia, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, the Boreal Forest, New Zealand and Australia illegal logging is an issue that goes beyond the rainforest.
Have you ever hyperventilated? Many describe the forests of the globe as the lungs of the planet. We are suffocating the globe to satisfy the greed of humanity. If only there was something available to replace wood? Humph, one acre of hemp equals 4.5 acres of trees. Since you could get two crops a season of hemp in most localities, I guess one acre of hemp would replace 9 acres of trees; breathe Mother Nature, breathe.
So while you are signing that petition at Greenpeace, why not add a line to your congress person telling them it is time to reinvent the wheel. After all, hemp has been used by man for over 5000 years, it has only been taboo since the 1930’s. Once again I state, new varieties exist that make this crop useless as a drug. It is time to save the planet; and that plant is the answer.