Cannabis has a history of controversy. Whether it be parents on your case about the joint they found in your jacket pocket as a kid, to political parties arguing over the safety of the plant for their own political agenda, the consensus is that there is no consensus (regardless of the facts). Climate change is very much the same in this way. It has been a controversial topic for decades and the political opinion about climate change continues to be disputed (regardless of the facts). So it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that a symbiotic relationship appears to be blooming.
Since the election of Donald Trump many programs have been under the microscope, but none more than the ones pertaining to the health and well-being of the very planet that we live on. Sustainability and climate change have been attacked at every angle. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have handled much of this from the jump. Within the first week of the Trump presidency government scientists were told not to talk about their research, scientific grants were frozen and certain agencies pertinent to environmental longevity were told not to issue any press releases, publish blog posts or use social media until “further direction” is given.
This directive came as a startling instruction into an already controversial election. Beginning a presidency by ceasing the forward progression of groups that have dedicated their existence to funding research and projects to track things like air pollution, restore watersheds, or the study of many environmental issues today seems a bit backwards.
To make matters worse, Trump appointed Myron Ebell, an open EPA critic to oversee the transition and work as Trump’s EPA advisor. This appointment seems to be a continuation of the absurd and counterintuitive actions of the newest presidential appointments. This isn’t surprising considering Trump has called climate change “bull**it” and a “hoax.” To lead the EPA, Trump nominated and swore in Scott Pruitt, a fierce critic of climate change and the EPA as a whole. Pruitt is now acting as the agency’s administrator—a disturbing, albeit unsurprising, move on Trump’s behalf.
With the current President intent on dismantling the EPA and any program that is concerned with agriculture and climate change the endless possibilities of the marijuana plant may be part of a solution to these actions. Industrial hemp could replace many of the products that are creating a very real problem.
Fossil Fuels like coal and oil could be replaced with biofuels to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to global warming. Hemp-seed oil can be converted into a biofuel energy which is two-thirds less polluting and can be made at a fraction of the current cost.
Every year millions of trees are cut down leaving a desolate scene behind. It takes decades to return to these harvested areas to their previous beauty, for paper, lumber and any number of other uses. In comparison, hemp creates more fiber per acre, can be used to make paper. Plus houses built from hemp have lower cooling costs, decreasing pollution as a whole.
If we really want to gain a deeper understanding into the larger contributors of greenhouse gases and emissions, we have to start looking at our own plates. The meat industry is a large contributor to global emissions. Livestock make up 15 percent of global emissions with beef and dairy making up 65 percent of that total. If we want to talk protein and sustainability cannabis is inarguably the most complete and potentially available source of organic vegetable protein on Earth. It is also the only common seed that has all three essential fatty acids in proper proportion for long-term consumption.
These are just a few of the main contributors to the climate change issues but the facts are there, the science is there and so is the controversy. The orders directed to the EPA and USDA have made Trump’s anti-science views very transparent. By the looks of things, the very plant that the President’s cabinet (namely Jeff Sessions) are determined to get rid of, may be the answer to the impending issues that we will face if the EPA, USDA and other federal agencies alike are unable to do their jobs.