I’m Going Out on a Limb Here

Mostly cuz’ I haven’t posted anything in the hemp category for some time and cuz’ things have basically been quiet on the cannabis front (not that I think that’s a good thing). Unless, of course, you happen to live in Mexico, on the Texas border.

(I start climbing the trunk) I was out back reading my current copy of Scientific American. In the News Scan section there’s an article on a new type of acid rain. It’s not sulphuric acid derived (like before) but, is a result of nitrogen compound emissions.

Those emissions have several sources; coal-fired plants, cars and a weird ammonia\bacteria thing that happens in the ground. The ammonia is used in fertilizer manufacturing. I suppose as a natural phenomenon the ammonia bacteria exchange can’t really be called weird. Unless, like me you are uneducated and don’t understand the underlying chemistry. (okay fine, the article explains that, but I’m writing here, okay?)

You can use machines to test the emissions from cars and coal plants. It’s tough to gauge emissions from agriculture. Europe, howsomeohever, has managed to decrease their nitrogen emissions by a third, while the U.S. has gone the other way; our emissions increased 27% between 1970 and 2005.

William H. Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, says this new acid rain is most likely going to increase. Scientists are already documenting the effects on trees back East.

So what are we using all of this fertilizer for?

(Out I go on a very thin limb) We know that cotton requires quite a bit. I wonder about the various plants that we harvest for their oil. How much of this fertilizer could we do without if we started growing hemp to replace a portion of the crops currently being grown? Hey, I said it was a thin limb. I don’t have any numbers to quote. I haven’t any sources to cite. Hell, I might even be barking up the wrong tree (yuk, yuk).

The thing is, I read daily about fertilizer and pesticides winding up in places we’d really rather not have it. And now the Scientist Dudes are saying it’s even falling from the skies. I can’t help but believe that if we were allowed to grow hemp once again it would mitigate or possibly eliminate a good percentage of this agricultural pollution.

But, what’a I know?

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