Chapter One

In recent years a new movement has been sweeping across the globe. With our climate changing and species of plants and animals depleting, it is the realisation that we are coming up to the limits of our current resources and we need to find a sustainable alternative for these. No doubt it’s going to take a number of different things to help us find a balance with nature. No single resource alone will provide the answer for us and the cure to fixing the world from the damaging disease that we are, as not only do we need to replenish what we’ve already destroyed in order to compensate for our own overshoot of consumption but we need to ensure that we don’t keep overshooting. But more recently this has begun a trend of people asking why we don’t use hemp when it could answer so many of our problems? And why Hemp isn’t legal everywhere? Canada, the majority of Asia, Europe and now many states in America have decimalised/legalised marijuana, and I think this shows clear evidence that the need for this resource is now being recognized and with the rest of the world acknowledging their acceptance, more countries are under pressure to follow suit and embrace this natural miracle plant because its benefits can no longer be ignored and we can no longer be blinded by bad propaganda of it. The Hemp Revolution is soon to be upon us (if it isn’t happening already) regardless of the hard work that politicians and law enforcement agencies have done to prevent it, because now we are a world awakening to the truths of this little green wonder.
I know that there are still people out there still blinded by government indoctrination, I know there are people who don’t really understand what hemp is, and how it differs from cannabis as a narcotic. But that’s what I hope to address within this study, I want to find out what people really understand about Hemp, what their opinions are and what they have based those opinions on, and then I hope to educate every Tom, Dick, and Harry, even if they already understand the differences and what hemp is I hope I can provide them with more ammunition to fight for a healthy future, and a healthy planet.

In order to paint the picture of the crisis we are facing I want to firstly address exactly why we need to desperately push for more sustainable alternatives and why we must now begin to make ecological limits central to our decision making, and using human integrity to find innovative ways to live within our earths bounds as it’s not just humans at risk, numbers of many species across the spectrum of earthly existence have more than halved. I feel that one of the biggest concerns is the rate in which our earths forests are shrinking. Between 1970 and 2002 they had shrunk by 12%, which may not seem like a lot in terms of figures, but when you consider the mass of the earth and how little is actually covered by land, it’s quite a significant amount of vegetation we’ve wiped out along with all the wildlife once that inhabited it. Not only do we have that but 97% of the mature forests in North America have already been destroyed, not showing much hope for the forests of the rest of the world. These forests are vital to us, they provide much of the world’s oxygen, they are home to most of the world’s terrestrial species and are key to preventing loss of topsoil and preventing pollution of the water ways. But it’s not just our forests that are of concern, today humanity requires the equivalent of 1.5 earths to provide the resources we use meaning that it takes the earth a whole year and six months to regenerate what we use in just a year. UN Scenarios have suggested that if the current population and trends of consumption continue, then by the end of 2030s we will require the equivalent of at least 2 earths to support us all, and its estimated that within 100 years (most likely during our children’s life time) our fossil fuels will have depleted. The results of this however would be devastating; we’d face collapsing fisheries, diminishing forests over depletion of fresh water systems, and possibly most concerning is the build-up of carbon dioxide emissions which creates problems like global climate change. In Al Gores book, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ he states that “We are witnessing an unprecedented and massive collision between our civilisation and the earth” and he’s very much right, we’re going to have to work with nature, or face colliding with it. The fact is we are currently at a point where we can act, where we need to act, and we need to act quickly. Though we have already done much damage to our earth, it’s not something that can’t be repaired and compensated for; it’s not too late for us to make changes in aspects of our lives and within society to work towards a better future, a more sustainable future that our children can enjoy. Rather than leaving them with a big mess that in truth by then they probably wouldn’t be able to clear up. In the book ‘The Secret Life of Trees’, Colin Tudge comments that “arithmetic shows that the western goal of urbanised industrialised life and the promise of limitless wealth for everyone cannot be realised. It would need the recourses of at least 3 earths to raise everyone in the world to the material standard of the present day average brit(or less than average American)” , I feel that really puts things into perspective, when you consider how much poverty there is in the world, and then how much hidden wealth there is, how privileged the westernised lands are and compare the two, you really can begin to see that we are a country fuelled by consumption and materialism, and yet there are people in the world who survive with next to nothing, it’s almost shameful because there are people with no roof over their head, just happy to be living and yet here we are complaining about the most unnecessary and insignificant things in our life, such as not having the latest brand of iPhone. We’ve lost all sense of what true wealth and value is, the value of this world and life isn’t in what we can dig up from the ground and transform into the next evanescent product it’s in the world all around us in all the beauty we destroy to create these ephemeral items. And yet there’s no reason why we couldn’t have both, if we just let hemp integrate with society.
The way we currently live is only counting down to a death sentence for the future of ourselves and our planet, the longer we overshoot and consume more resources than the sustainable level, the more the long-term “sustainable level” actually declines meaning that if we don’t do something soon then the task of returning back to a sustainable level will only become more gargantuan.

(1192 word so far)

– I will follow on from this into my next section by explaining what Hemp actually is, what its used for, why it’s not globally legal, how it’s been portrayed in the media, its position within society and what it could mean for us if it was accessible by everyone….