Planting 216 million acres would absorb CO2 at the rate of 400 gigatons per year to clear the air.
Download the paper... food, clothing, fuel and shelter.
What we are looking at is a wholesale shift in the perspective that cannabis is an herb that is limited to "medical" or "recreational" uses. Taken at face value, the concept that cannabis adapts to increased CO2 levels by simply growing LARGER, has vast implications. This constitutes phytoremediation of the atmosphere using an ancient species that absorbs CO2 directly from the air. This is something that can make a real difference. THIS is something that we can do NOW. This 'technology' is available to every farmer worldwide ~ today.
With the extreme warnings issued by so many scientists, experts and leaders.... I wonder what it will take to see a difference. Capturing carbon is required to lower CO2 levels.
Phytoremediation (from Ancient Greek φυτο (phyto), meaning "plant", and Latin remedium, meaning "restoring balance"). This little gem first appeared on my radar after the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. An article in a science journal stated that an un-named plant was being used to draw radioactive particles out of the soil to clean areas around the site. Turns out they were using cannabis for it's ability to reach deep into the ground and collect heavy metals in the foliage above for disposal. Very interesting. Sounds like the same tactic should be used around Fukushima.
What is even far more fascinating is the idea that cannabis can be applied to phytoremediation of the atmosphere as well. Cannabis is an ancient species that evolved when the planet was running at 1200ppm CO2 levels. Probably dating back to the Eocene Era 34 million years ago. This means that it draws carbon dioxide out of the air at massive rate. Cannabis can use CO2 at 3x atmospheric levels. It exhales oxygen. Plants simply grows larger & faster as the CO2 levels rise. The process stores up to 30% of the entire bio-mass in the soil in the form of roots. Using the fiber & seed from the crop also captures CO2. Creating products virtually out of thin air by using agricultural phytoremediation. Tons per acre. Captured or 'sequestered' as they say. Tends to improve the farmland at the same time. Better yet, cannabis can be grown on marginal or "ruined" farmland where other crops do not grow very well. Remember the heavy metals mentioned above? Cannabis can grow where the land has been over farmed, over fertilized and the top soil ruined. Cannabis will grow in drought conditions where all else fails or requires heavy irrigation.
Applied to the critical problem of rising global CO2 levels, cannabis is a natural solution. Literally atmospheric phytoremediation on a global scale. There is nothing quite like it. Bamboo grows quickly in tropical environments but not so well in temperate zones. Algae may come close, but it's not nearly as much fun. The ability to sequester gigatons of carbon dioxide simply and easily ~ at a low cost ~ sounds like a winner, right? Farmers from the entire world community could begin tomorrow. Everyone with a small plot of land up to vast hectares of the prairies could easily grow cannabis. Profitable as well. The industrial benefits & products might even outweigh the objective of capturing CO2. Climate change folks talk about reducing emissions or a fictional "carbon tax". Fewer yet have suggested capturing the carbon. The very few technology projects running are vanishing small. Sucking the carbon dioxide directly out of the atmosphere with plant technology is just so elegant. Why is no one talking about this except the true believers? Oh yeah. I forgot. The worlds' elite prohibitionists and governmentals don't like cannabis. Neither do the corporate globalists. Here in Canada, where cannabis has been legal (as "hemp") since 1998, the restrictions and rules are quite draconian. Can't have people growing their own food, clothing & shelter, now can we? Cannabis just doesn't quite fit the corporate agenda.
Cannabis agriculture, taken to industrial levels, has applications which reach into many other sectors of the economy. Massive amounts of stalk material are being used in cement mixtures to build houses: hempcrete. Roof shingles, carpets, drapes, plastics and more can all be manufactured from this one crop. Every home built would capture tons of CO2 for decades. The initial thesis presented around these ideas was published by Marc Deeley at University of Strathclyde in 2000. The Hemp Industries Association circulated the idea here via the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance in 2004. Estimates of carbon bio-mass sequestration were verified by the Manitoba Department of Agriculture in 2006. Later the idea was sent off to the Virgin Earth Challenge in 2007. Today in 2016, a mere 107,000 acres are cultivated in Canada. A drop in the bucket. Used as diesel fuel or processed into ethanol, cannabis production would skyrocket. Did someone mention pulp & paper and deforestation? Tip of the iceberg. Imagine. Fifteen years later we could be doing a global countdown as CO2 levels drop below 350ppm.
Apparently the stigma from decades of prohibition has tainted the waters. A number of years ago, at the launch of the Canadian Hemp Trade Association in 2003, the scene of cannabis advocates and representatives from Agriculture Canada mingling was amazing. I had a sense that this juxtaposition was not quite what anyone expected. A collection of ganja nation true believers meeting government gentlemen in suits with briefcases who were all, "Wow, check this crop potential". Agriculture Canada is still trying wrest control of cannabis away from Health Canada all these years later. Sigh. The sheer size and scope of the funding, investment and development required to build a new industry eluded most of the attendees. Today I understand that a Chinese company is investing $390 million to build a fiber processing plant in Alberta. That is approximately 7 times larger than the value of the entire Canadian market annually. This is just a bare beginning of what is required.
I have a vision. Phytoremediation of our atmosphere, our farmlands and contaminated regions is a rather bold vision. It is a global vision. Someone should inform the UN Climate Convention folks in New York later this month that the ganja nation has presented a logical solution to the problem. They sure don't reply to me. This perspective and the original thesis research can be found in a PDF format here: CannaCom This is a straight forward solution. One that can be started now. One that can be employed world wide. One that you can help launch by sharing this vision. A global solution that requires only one simple act: REPEAL PROHIBITION all the way from the UN on down; for every nation, for every citizen on our planet. Then we would have a method to actually reduce CO2 ~ pull it directly from the atmosphere and capture the carbon dioxide. Then we would develop new products & industries to use the carbon as food, clothing & shelter. Then we could restore balance to our air & land. Then our children can live in a world where the Tree of Life is free once again.
Like the word means, plant restoring balance.