Earth 2100, Flibbertigibbet?


I by chance stumbled upon the last half of ABC’s show Earth 2100 a couple nights ago.  Now understand, I just returned from a trip to Texas, the land of my birth.  And Texas, with the exception of Austin, is not the land of environmental sensitivity.  And so my frame of mind was stemming from what some other bloggers on the topic of Earth 2100 have been referring to as “the lowest common denominator.”  Imagine my reverse culture shock when I found myself watching an acid trip induced, enviro-documentary/graphic novel about the end of humanity on prime time television.

Break out the shisha and tea.  I need to relax.  Now for the last couple of days most of the reviews on the show have been critical, but personally I think everyone needs to take a few puffs from the hookah.  After you feel a little light headed you should keep reading.

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Power to Plastics! Hemp Power!

ford-hemp-car-smHenry ford, you were so close.  While the early Ford championed all sorts of methods of making ethyl alcohol, one of those means was hemp.  Like I stated a few days ago, one of the magic numbers for hemp is its high percentage of cellulose (the key ingredient for conversion into alcohol or other fuels.  Ford created a hemp car that used hemp fibers in construction and ran on ethyl alcohol made from hemp.  Momentum was gathering quickly for the natural and sustainable fuel revolution.  Then oil, backed by powerful people and upstart companies like Dupont, stormed onto the scene.  And you know the rest.  Bit of a pisser, but what are you gonna’ do.

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Hempalicious: Miracle Plant?

hialogoSo what makes hemp just so wonderful on the one hand and feared on the other?  The magic number for hemp is its percentage of cellulose, which is as high as 77%.  This makes it the number one producer of biomass on earth.  Wood from most trees registers around 60% cellulose and obviously takes much longer to mature.  Hemp can grow from germination to maturity in 3 to 4 months and produces around 5 tons of dry fiber stalk and 10 tons of biomass per acre.  The last smoking gun is that hemp can be grown over vast portions of the earth’s land surfaces.  It can grow anywhere from China’s temperate forested mountains to Mexico’s arid deserts to Canada’s cool farmland. (It grows best in warm, humid areas with over 25 inches of rain but only requires a bare minimum of 10 inches and a temperate climate.)

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