by Paul J. von Hartmann
Human disregard for ancient operating systems of the Natural Order has imposed fundamental imbalances on Earth’s environment over a relatively short span of evolutionary time. In just half a century, critical insults imposed on our atmosphere are resulting in increasing levels of midrange ultraviolet solar radiation (UV-B) “broiling” the surface of the planet. I trust this brief introduction to the problem and an ecologically realistic strategy for resolution will serve to initiate the timely, purposeful, coordinated polar shift in values required to avoid extinction. A proportionate organic agricultural response to the compounding threats is available, if we choose as a global community to survive.
UV-B exposure causes genetic mutation, impaired immune response and abnormal cell growth in plants and animals. Increasing incidence of cancers, cataracts, falling agricultural production, declining forest health and a catastrophic decline in the world’s “indicator species” (including bees, bats, birds, amphibians, coral reefs, juvenile fish species, shrimp & crab larvae, phytoplankton and krill) consistently indicate profound systemic imbalance. Though single causes are impossible to neatly isolate, health trends in all species indicate the synergistic break down resulting from increasing UV-B radiation.
For example, marine science has implicated “enhanced” UV-B in its disorienting effects on solar-sensitive krill, in the Antarctic. Increased UV-B interferes with krill mobility and reproduction, effectively undermining the foundation of the oceanic food chain. On land, half of the crops studied for UV-B sensitivity produced less food under conditions of elevated UV-B. In people, it can take two decades for the effects of a single intense exposure to manifest into symptoms of terminal illness.
Measurements taken by the National Science Foundation Ultraviolet Monitoring Network since 1988 show an alarming increase in UV-B levels. Comparing UV-B intensity between 1990 and 2010, at sea level in San Diego, California, there was an 118% increase in the number of days with UV-B readings rated as “Very High” (11 days at 10+ in 1990, 24 days at 10+ in 2010). At the South Pole (where the krill live) readings as high as 65.78 have been recorded (01/05/2001). When the UV index is greater than 9, UV-B is considered extreme. You will sunburn in less than 15 minutes. Higher elevations receive less protection from the Sun than lower altitudes.
Recent scientific understanding of the protective, “radiative” influence of atmospheric aerosols, historically produced in abundance by the boreal forests, makes further destruction of the northern “Taiga” regions an immediate primary concern. The boreal forest is the world’s largest terrestrial biome, encircling the cold Northern Hemisphere. The forest covers 6.4 million square miles (11 percent of the world’s land surface area) from Siberia to Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe and Northern Asia.
Boreal forests consist mainly of pine, spruce and fir trees. In addition to sequestering and storing atmospheric carbon, the forests exude a fragrant concoction of volatile aerosol compounds, including “monoterpenes.” It’s what you smell when walking through a pine forest.
Monoterpenes rise from the forests into the stratosphere, where they reflect solar radiation away from the planet and “seed” exceptionally bright and persistent clouds. The clouds produce a dilute, monoterpene-enhanced rain. Before they are washed from the sky, monoterpenes serve as a refractive “sunscreen,” shielding the planet against UV-B. Possessing powerful antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, monoterpenes may also serve as a water purifying agent, circulating through the our mycilially integrated aquatic ecosystem.
Since 1950 about half of the Taiga has been lost to logging (primarily to make toilet paper, newsprint, and magazines), oil & gas extraction, flooding (for hydroelectricity) and increasing insect pest infestation (attributable to global warming). Increased instability in the Middle East, advanced technology for working in freezing conditions and increasing, unaccountable extraction methods are expanding natural resource exploitation into areas and technologies previously considered either impossible, too environmentally destructive or unprofitable for plundering. The current rate of logging has been estimated to be five acres per minute, all day, every day. The remaining forests are being catastrophically decimated by unprecedented insect infestations attributable to continuous breeding cycles, made possible by increasing global temperatures.
The vast boreal region that previously served to sequester and store atmospheric carbon, is turning from “carbon sink” to “carbon source.” Additional carbon dioxide and methane are being liberated from warmed soils as accumulated plant matter thaws and decomposes. If this continues, eventually no recovery will be possible. As UV-B levels continue to increase and the planet gets hotter, the impending release of stored carbon on such a vast scale poses an incalculable threat. Release of greenhouse gasses on such a vast scale will exacerbate global warming beyond predictability. More UV-B also increases temperature, which increases UV-B, resulting in further warming. As temperature and radiation levels increase, monoterpene production by the forest declines.
Under present conditions the slow-growing coniferous forests will never recover. As the forests are cut, dry up, get eaten and die, protection from the Sun, afforded by homeostatic concentrations of monoterpenes established over thousands of years, is plummeting. At the same time carbon, methane, chlorine, methyl bromide and other atmospheric “weapons of mass destruction” are quietly eroding protective atmospheric ozone, the precipitous decline in monoterpenes is leaving the planet exposed to unprecedented levels of UV-B.
We truly have nothing to fear but the atmosphere itself. Increasing UV-B is an ubiquitous, immediate threat to individual health and the functional integrity of the ecosystem. Due to the deadly nature of elevated UV-B radiation, credible science appears to indicate that we are faced with imminent global extinction unless all possible remedies are applied in time to have an effect. Unless we are successful in addressing elevated UV-B radiation, it won’t matter much what other problems we do manage to solve.
“Global broiling” by escalating intensities of UV-B requires that all solutions be immediately, objectively considered. There may yet be enough time remaining to implement a biotherapeutic response to the insidious, lethal effects of increasing UV-B. All possible solutions must be prioritized and effectively implemented; Regardless of existing so-called “political realities” determined by obsolete, extinctionistic, economic inertia and critical wealth disparity, misdirecting incumbent, self-empowering, corporate political regimes that perpetuate imposed essential resource scarcity. If we are to avoid synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures upon which our lives depend, expansion of the organic arable base for maximum production of atmospheric monoterpenes is a global priority, regardless of any perceived constrictive influence. Freedom to farm “every herb bearing seed” is the first test of religious freedom.
At present, because of the blatantly irrational, counter-productive agricultural prohibition of Cannabis, the most likely remedy to global broiling is not even being considered. Potentially the world’s most widespread, prodigious source of monoterpenes, the Cannabis plant is exceptional in producing copious amounts of 58 monoterpenes in less time, in more soil and climate conditions, with greater ecological and economic benefit than any other agricultural resource on Earth. “Hemp” is also capable of sequestering nine tons of carbon per acre in a growing season, while respiring an abundance of oxygen and detoxifying contaminated soils.
Cannabis is an ancient, highly adaptable, globally distributed, agronomically beneficial, pioneer crop. Six American Presidents have signed Executive Orders identifying “hemp” as being a “strategic food resource,” available by “essential civilian demand.”
Cannabis is inarguably the most complete and potentially available source of organic vegetable protein on Earth. Hemp is the only common seed containing three essential fatty acids (EFAs) in proper proportion for long-term consumption. Hemp is also the only plant that produces complete nutrition and sustainable biofuels from the same harvest. This eliminates the mistakenly perceived trade-off between biofuels energy production and food security. In addition to being the world’s most useful, nutritious and safely therapeutic “herb bearing seed,” hemp also produces biodegradable plastics, paper, cloth, resins, therapeutics, pesticides, and building materials. Cannabis is potentially the most rapidly, globally distributed crop on Earth. In just three growing seasons, Cannabis can adapt itself to virtually any soil and climate condition, excepting the radical extremes.
It is all too apparent that the integrity of Earth’s environment is quietly unraveling under the effects of increasing UV-B radiation. Accelerating loss of atmospheric monoterpenes is an unpredictable, under-regarded “loose cannon on the deck” of Spaceship Earth. Expansion of the arable base, timely production of atmospheric monoterpenes, and rates of carbon sequestration we are able to achieve will largely determine our survival or extinction. A polar shift in values and an expansive global campaign of Cannabis agriculture is urgently needed to compensate for the decline in monoterpenes from the death of the boreal forests.
In the context of compounding, accelerating crises we face in the 21st Century, it appears that ‘time’ is the limiting factor in the equation of survival. The irrational prohibition of ‘marijuana’ has intransigently obstructed timely, objective consideration of Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade as proportionate global response for addressing multiple conditions of irreversible imbalance. The most advantageous sequence of remedial measures must be implemented immediately, to effect timely resolution of interrelated imbalances. Organic Cannabis farming appears to be mankind’s most time-efficient and cost-effective strategy for resolving problems of climate, food insecurity, economics and energy production. If humans plant Cannabis intensively this spring, there may yet be enough time remaining for agricultural remedies to have an effect.
Because ‘time’ is the limiting factor in the equation for healing the planet, Spring 2011 is the most critical planting season in human history. If humans don’t make the best use of every growing season we may have left to heal Earth’s atmosphere, then there is something very wrong with our society. To ignore an historically revered solution in deference to a so-called “drug war” that’s known to be counter-productive to its own stated objectives, risks sudden, irreversible synergistic collapse. Regardless of perceived limitations attributed to so-called “political realities”, the unavoidable fact is that what’s needed is an immediate, massive global planting of Cannabis.
Humankind faces a simple choice which must be decided before the Spring planting season of 2011. Either our species recognizes Cannabis as both unique and essential, and we use Cannabis as a pioneer crop to expand the arable base, planting hemp everywhere that it can possibly grow; Or the Earth will be “broiled” to eventual extinction, under elevated, increasing intensities of UV-B radiation.
An immediate, fundamental shift in values is urgently called for, out of critical global necessity. At the moment, in Hawaii, an opportunity currently exists to end prohibition by applying knowledge of the true value of Cannabis to free Cannabis Ministry Reverend Roger Christie. Hemp is valuable because it is unique and essential for several reasons. Petrochemicals aren’t valuable because they are insidiously toxic to our health & environment. There are so many variables and uncertainties regarding the synergistic causes of imbalance, the focus needs to shift to an active change in what is considered valuable.
Extrajudicially imprisoned-without-trial and shamelessly denied bail five times since July 2010, Reverend Christie’s immediate release from prison is an epic legal milestone that could punctuate the end of essential resource scarcity in the United States. The Constitutional supremacy of “religious freedom” empowered through public right of “essential civilian demand” for a “strategic” “herb bearing seed” “of first necessity” is currently being focussed on the blatantly unobjective federal court proceeding.
Ending Cannabis prohibition can be most expeditiously accomplished by regarding polls showing the majority of Americans in favor of reclaiming public access to Cannabis over the unaccountable control of the blatantly disingenuous, criminally intransigent, viciously counter-productive, obscenely expensive and tragically deadly DEA. Legal supremacy of our Constitutionally protected “religious freedom” applied to nationwide public exercise of “essential civilian demand” for a “strategic” “herb bearing seed” “of first necessity,” using a campaign of jury nullification, combined with lawsuits against blatantly unobjective court proceeding will be revealed as sufficient to end Cannabis prohibition at the federal level.
In essence the true value of Cannabis must free Roger Christie, through public nullification of disingenuous laws, before his trial that’s been postponed until next Summer. Because of what is at stake, and the ham-fisted dismissal of due process by the court, Reverend Christie’s case presents a “perfect storm” in which to convene “The Trial for the Century” in the court of public opinion. In essence, Reverend Chrisitie’s pre-trial exoneration will end Cannabis prohibition, potentiating the timely reversal of climate catastrophe.
The ‘limiting factor’ in the equation of survival, time is the only thing we can’t make more of. Every spring that passes is gone forever. Either our species will succumb to the inertia of a functionally obsolete, chemically corrupted, outlaw political regime that’s usurped control of the United States, leading us to extinction; Or people will wake up to the truth and wisdom of abandoning a viciously counter-productive prohibition in time to reintroduce the world’s most “Gaiatherapeutic” resource and let the free organic agricultural market work.
As people continue to discover that Cannabis agriculture is the most effective “phytotherapeutic” plant remedy to the most fundamentally toxic problems we face, eventual implementation of sound organic agricultural policy will be implemented. The real question then is, “How bad do things have to get before all solutions are considered?”
1.”Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived?”
2. National Science Foundation
Ultraviolet Monitoring Network
3. Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)
4. “Climate Change and the Northern Forests” June 1998
5. Ozone Depletion and UV Radiation
6.”Climate Projections Based on Emission Scenarios for Long-lived and Short-lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols” (2007), Review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.2, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC)
7. “Fragrance of pine forests helps to slow climate change” | Science | The Guardian
8. Hemp: Our Lifeline to the Future: The Consequences of Hemp Prohibition
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER 2010, Dr Andrew Katelaris.
9. Reverend Roger Christie and The Last Marijuana Trial
10. Boreal Forest is World’s Carbon Vault? Breakthrough Mapping Analysis Looks at Peatlands, Permafrost and Soil Carbon in Canadian Boreal? http://www.interboreal.org/globalwarming/
11. The Ho‘omaluhia or “Peacemaker” Award
12. First Freedom Project
13. US HI: OPED: ‘Ice’ Addiction Is Booming, Thanks To Anti-Pot Efforts
Pubdate: Tue, 2 Sep 2003
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
14. 1991-94 Final Report, “Ice and Other Methamphetamine Use: An Exploratory Study”
15. An Open Letter to Hon. MICHAEL B. SHAPIRO, FLORENCE T. NAKAKUNI! and MICHAEL K. KAWAHARA
*References to “essential civilian demand” in government documents
*16. 44 C.F.R. PART 334—GRADUATED MOBILIZATION RESPONSE
Title 44 – Emergency Management and Assistance,
§ 334.6 Department and agency responsibilities. (f)
*17. THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT OF 1950,AS AMENDED[50 U.S.C. App. § 2061 et seq.]Title VII – General Provisions Sec. 708. VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS AND PLANS OF ACTION FORPREPAREDNESS PROGRAMS AND EXPANSION OF PRODUCTION CAPACITY AND SUPPLY [50 U.S.C. App. § 2158]
[*See also, #23. William J. Clinton Executive Order 12919, below]
Six Executive Orders identifying “hemp” as a “strategic food resource”
18. Franklin D. Roosevelt Executive Order 9280 – December 5, 1942
Delegating Authority Over the Food Program.
19. Harry S. Truman Executive Order 10161 – September 9, 1950
Delegating Certain Functions of the President Under the Defense Production Act of 1950
20. Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Order 10480– August 14, 1953
Further providing for the administration of the defense mobilization program
21. John F. Kennedy Executive Order 10998 – February 16, 1962
ASSIGNING EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
22. Richard Nixon Executive Order 11490 – October 28, 1969 -Assigning Emergency Preparedness Functions to Federal Departments and Agencies
*23. William J. Clinton Executive Order 12919 – June 3, 1994
National Defense Industrial Resources Preparedness
24. American Presidency Project
25. MANAGING TERRORISM’S CONSEQUENCES: LEGAL ISSUES http://www.law.depaul.edu/centers_Institutes/ihrli/downloads/managing_terrorisms_consequences.pdf
26. The Taiga or Boreal Forest