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Old 06-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
elhigh
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Oh dear.

I look with an extremely jaded eye on anyone who espouses any one solution as the be-all, end-all answer to the problem in question. It's too simplistic an answer to what is really a much more complex situation.

We currently stand in an economic crisis that includes skyrocketing prices for crude oil, which trickles down to skyrocketing prices for fuel, plastics, fertilizers etc. The pricing crisis is not exclusively the demesnes of the petroleum industry, however. A fair portion of it is coming from other markets as well. That doesn't mean that radically reducing our reliance on foreign energy is a bad thing. But consider...

If we then invest tremendous sums of money, labor, and time into the ONE SOLUTION that can fix it all! ... (commercial hemp production? Really?) ... then how long before we find ourselves in a hemp crisis?

Eggs and baskets, as they say. A crop failure - or even just another droughty summer like we had last year - and the commodity pricing goes through the stratosphere. Rich people can make a killing speculating on that market while the rest of us just get it in the shorts. Unfortunately, the rich folks' speculating tends to fuel and extend the crisis. We continue to get it in the shorts. We are seeing the effects of this already in our current economic situation; we can also look to what happened with California's situation right after they deregulated their electrical utilities. Immediately, providers began gaming the system, much to the detriment of California's ratepayers. No malice was intended, but the utilities aren't in the business of making electricity, they're in the business of making MONEY. They do that by generating and selling electricity to whoever will pay the most for it. We are in the same situation now - and by golly, the prices keep going up and we keep paying them.

I do agree that commercial hemp is an unjustly maligned crop. You'd have to smoke a bale of it to get a buzz. Of course, you'd be dead of smoke inhalation before that took place, but I understand that can also be a rather heady experience, so you never know - someone just might give it a try. Don't know where they'll find papers that big, though.

Increasing hemp production would be a good thing. It would increase domestic textile production, which is great all around. It's good for farmers, good for business, good for consumers. But is it the grand solution to everything listed at the top of the thread? No.

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Last edited by elhigh; 06-18-2008 at 11:03 AM..
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