The Dying Gasp of The Oil Age

How Solar Power Could Slay the Fossil Fuel Empire by 2030

What we are seeing are exponential improvements in the efficiency of solar, the cost of solar, and the installation of solar. “Put these numbers together and you find that solar has improved its cost basis by 5,355 times relative to oil since 1970,” Seba said. “Traditional sources of energy can’t compete with this.”

Despite decades of petrochemical  propaganda, the Oil Age is ending with a whimper, not a bang.

After decades of lies to make us believe that WE NEED OIL to survive, and therefore must do everything we can to protect “cheap” foreign oil by maintaining the largest military in the world, propping up third world dictatorships, and torturing anybody who doesn’t blindly support those dictatorships, the truth is now clear to all but the most corrupt fools.

Imagine if we had actually followed the advice of President Carter, who installed solar panels on the White House in 1979 and wanted to end our dependence on petroleum, instead of diving head first into the Oil Wars of President Reagan, who removed those solar panels in 1986 and sold our country to the Military Industrial Oil Complex.

 

 

Good Drugs and Bad Medicine

The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal

Taking the stage to rousing applause last February, [Patrick] Kennedy joined more than 2,000 opponents of marijuana legalization a few miles south of Washington, DC, at the annual convention of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA), one of the largest such organizations in the country.

“Let me tell you, there is nothing more inconsistent with trying to improve mental health and reduce substance-abuse disorders in this country than to legalize a third drug,” Kennedy boomed.

Unless that “third drug” is safer and less toxic than the other drugs, and would likely lead to lower use of those other drugs. So who, prey tell, could be against that?

Given that CADCA is dedicated to protecting society from dangerous drugs, the event that day had a curious sponsor: Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxy-Contin, the highly addictive painkiller that nearly ruined Kennedy’s congressional career and has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.

Prescription opioids, a line of pain-relieving medications derived from the opium poppy or produced synthetically, are the most dangerous drugs abused in America, with more than 16,000 deaths annually linked to opioid addiction and overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. The recent uptick in heroin use around the country has been closely linked to the availability of prescription opioids, which give their users a similar high and can trigger a heroin craving in recovering addicts. (Notably, there are no known deaths related to marijuana, although there have been instances of impaired driving.)

This article is more proof that the simplest way to understand how our world works is to follow the money, and the vast amount of money spent to ban marijuana and hemp will give you an small idea of the even more vast profits that are being protected by the competitors of legal marijuana and hemp. From alcohol, tobacco, and prescription pills, to fossil fuels, petrochemicals, and the entrenched agribusiness interests of soy, wheat, and corn: All these industries would lose business to a thriving hemp market, while independent farmers and manufacturers of America would benefit. I guess it’s pretty clear which side those industries are on…

The good news is that legally grown hemp and marijuana are now as inevitable as solar powered homes and cars, the bad news is that these these multinational corporations will do everything in their power to delay the legalization of this wonder crop for as long as possible while they keep raking in their Federally protected profits.

 

Speed and Weed: The Story of Two Schedules

The Speed of Hypocrisy: How America Got Hooked on Legal Meth

Most people understand that heroin and Oxycontin are both hard, addictive drugs. Not so with speed. When it comes to amphetamine, we’ve chosen a national split-screen in which doctors airily put millions of healthy children and adults on daily speed regimens while SWAT teams throw concussion bombs in baby cribs in pursuit of small-fry meth dealers.

I generally stay away from the medical marijuana debate because almost 80 years of Drug War propaganda has turned the “debate” into a chaotic mess of ignorance, racism, and police state inertia that has little to do with the facts, and this article is a great example of how ridiculous the “War on (Some) Drugs” has become.

Hemp has been banned for decades because the DEA declared that it is the same thing as the demon weed marijuana and therefore a Schedule I Drug (which are considered “the most dangerous of all drugs”).

So, what drugs does the DEA consider to be safer than marijuana? Cocaine, meth, and oxycodone, to name a few.

From the DEA:

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

This policy was upheld without a second thought when the Obama White House answered a petition to allow farmers to once again grow hemp by declaring that since it was the same thing as marijuana it should remain illegal “to protect public health and safety.”

While there is little debate outside the DEA whether marijuana or crystal meth is more dangerous to society at large, the truly amazing thing is how the federal government, mainstream media, and Wall Street have given a big thumbs-up to drugs like crystal meth and heroin as long as they are marketed under a patented tradename by the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies (who not-coincidentally give lots of money to politicians and the media while raking in the profits for Wall Street).

Much like the disparity in news reports and police interest based on the imaginary difference between cocaine and crack, OxyContin and Adderall are simply the patented time-released versions of heroin and crystal meth, and sales are through the roof!

Across all demographics, national spending on speed has nearly doubled since 2008. It is now a $10 billion market accounting for more than four-fifths of the world’s pharmaceutical speed. America’s speed consumption is projected to rise another quarter by the end of 2015. The Express Scripts report concludes with a rhetorical question: “Are we over-diagnosing and overmedicating the adult population?”

“Medicating” isn’t the word they’re looking for, but the query is a good start.

In Orlando, ADDA [the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, a front group for Johnson and Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Concerta] will officially celebrate 25 years in existence. The group will unofficially celebrate much more. After decades in suspended animation, the adult speed market is finally back on its feet, feeling pepped, and ready to go. A long-term strategy of cultivating professional societies, primary care doctors, the media, and political allies has paid off. From the beginning, the secret weapon of this strategy has been women like Quinn: pseudo-scientific quiz givers who talk like Oprah, who claim to suffer from ADHD and “get” you, and who have a little something that just might help you shed those pounds, manage house, and keep the blues at bay.

While the DEA’s Drug War targeted poor people for possession of pot, they have ignored a true epidemic of Neo-American speed freaks that will do far more damage to our country, but acknowledging the glaring hypocrisy at the heart of their “War on Drugs to protect public health and safety” would bring down their whole house of cards.

If you ask me, its time to burn that house of lies to the ground and put our tax money into something that actually helps the American people, instead of continuing to destroy countless lives to protect corporate profits and the DEA’s budget.

 

Grow Hemp, Make Money

A tip for American farmers: Grow hemp, make money

This was a great Op-ed in the LA Times by author Doug Fine about our favorite plant (hemp):

Farmers I’ve interviewed from Oregon to Ohio have gotten the memo. In a Kansas-abutting corner of eastern Colorado, in the town of Springfield, 41-year-old Ryan Loflin wants to save his family farm with hemp. “It takes half the water that wheat does,” Loflin told me, scooping up a handful of drought-scarred soil so parched it evoked the Sahara, “and provides four times the income. Hemp is going to revive farming families in the climate-change era.”

After decades of government suppression, hemp is once again growing on American farms and we are beginning to once again reap the benefits of real hemp crops grown by real American farmers FOR PROFIT. We are finally moving out of the theoretical debate about what hemp “could possibly do” and seeing the rebirth of the American hemp industry.

In a world devided by the “Haves and Have Nots” where we fight each other over the crumbs of crony capitalism, we are finally seeing “The Left and The Right” come together in the fields of America, where money speaks louder than bloviating pundits and politicians:

Even Roger Ford, a politically conservative Kentucky utility owner, told me his Patriot BioEnergy’s biofuels division would be planting hemp on coal- and tobacco-damaged soil the moment it was legal. Why? To use the fiber harvest for clean biomass energy. “We have a proud history of hemp in the South,” Ford told me.

Across the heartland of America, political parties are becoming irrelevant when all that really matters is once again getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, and more farmers are turning back to the sustainable agriculture of hemp where they can once again grow the food, fiber, and fuel that will feed a rebirth of local industries and manufacturing around the green economy of the future.

Or we could just keep keep fighting Oil Wars like we’ve been doing for the last 100 years and hope for the best.

[cough]

A better path forward is clear. The only question is how long we will continue to protect the fossil fuel paradigm that is killing us like a cancer:

American farmers and investors need our support to catch up with Canada’s and the rest of the world’s hemp head start. Now. As Loflin put it when I toured his family’s 1,200-acre Colorado spread, “I’m planting hemp to show my neighbors that small farmers have a real option as businesspeople in the digital age.”

I’ll let the Op-Ed author Doug Fine finish in his own words:

We’re down to 1% of Americans farming; it was 30% when our world-leading hemp industry was stymied in 1937. The crop is more valuable today than it was then. We should be waving flags and holding parades for the farmers ready to plant the crop that Thomas Jefferson called “vastly desirable.” I know I’m ready. To cheer, and to plant.

His book “Hemp Bound” is available wherever paperbacks used to be sold.

DEA Chief Would Arrest Our Founding Fathers

DEA Chief Michele Leonhart Should Resign

DEA Administrator Leonhart is virtually the only person left who still zealously supports the failed war on drugs. The U.S. and the rest of the world are moving toward an approach that prioritizes public health and legal regulation — but she remains hopelessly committed to the failed war-on-drugs approach. She is plagued with scandals, out of touch with reality, and increasingly an embarrassment to both Attorney General Holder and President Obama.

According to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, marijuana is as dangerous as heroin and crystal meth. She believes it is so destructive to the lives of the American people that her Federal Agents are free to ignore state law and destroy the lives of American people found in possession of that particular flower “dangerous drug.”

Along with the random searches, seizures, and SWAT Team killings, the DEA continues to arrest anybody who tries to grow marijuana’s botanical cousin hemp, which has been grown by generations of farmers including Presidents Washington and Jefferson. She continues to earn $165,000 of our taxes a year by declaring that the long history of hemp as a renewable resource didn’t happen and that even if it did we shouldn’t be allowed to grow it again because all those amber waves of hemp would make it hard for her DEA agents to catch the real criminals who are smoking pot and playing Pink Floyd too loud.

Why? Because hemp looks so much like marijuana that all those poor DEA agents might get confused  and arrest innocent farmers. The solution: Proactively arresting those farmers growing hemp for fuel and food, and fiber so they don’t accidentally arrest them later.

Make sense?

Of course not, unless you are paid to perpetuate the fear of “poor people on drugs” and the belief that our Federal Government should continue to spend $20 Billion a year destroying the lives of innocent Americans who aren’t hurting anybody.

There are no words for how destructive the War on Drugs has been to the American people. With $1 Trillion spent so far, and the naked stench of failure staring us in the face, it is time to call your congressional representative and #FireLeonhart.

Hemp Amendment Votes In The House TODAY!

Hemp Amendments Could Block DEA From Interfering With Programs Legalized By States

Time to get off your duff and call your House Rep!

Two important Hemp amendments will be voted on today that could stop the DEA from continuing to destroy the lives of American farmers trying to grow hemp for food, fiber, fuel and JOBS!

From Vote Hemp:

Today the House will be voting on amendments to the Commerce, Science and Justice appropriations bill which includes the budget for the DEA and Department of Justice. We urgently need calls to members of the House urging them to vote for amendments to the bill that would limit DEA from spending money on activities to thwart the implementation of hemp research and pilot programs authorized under the Farm Bill.

 

Please call or write your representative today and urge them to VOTE FOR the hemp amendments to the CJS appropriations bill. It only takes a few minutes. 

 

Jackbooted Thugs Stop Farmers From Helping America

DEA Seizes Kentuckys Hemp Seeds Despite Congressional Legalization

The Drug Enforcement Administration has seized a batch of seeds that were intended to be part of the launch of Kentucky’s legal hemp industry following congressional legalization of the crop for research purposes.

The DEA has offered a wide variety of explanations to Kentucky officials perplexed at the seizure. “They’re interpreting the law a hundred different ways,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R) told HuffPost. “The only way they’re not interpreting it is the way it actually reads.”

And who are these degenerate, drug pimping farmers?

The veterans group Growing Warriors will also be at the event, said Stansbury. The program helps veterans to re-enter civilian society by teaching them agricultural skills. “If they want to arrest a bunch of war veterans for planting hemp, thats their decision,” she said. The hemp fiber, she added, will be processed and made into American flags.

More proof that the DEA and their failed War on Drugs/Poor People has destroyed far more American lives than terrorism ever will.

The DEA are the jackbooted thugs of our nightmares. They are the epitome of Totalitarian Big Government, using our tax dollars to imprison farmers for growing a renewable alternative to oil.

The updated story notes that after this story broke the DEA released the seeds. Perhaps more publicity will convince DEA chief Michele “Pot is as dangerous as Heroin” Leonhart to resign, and maybe even convince congress that there are better ways to spend the $40 billion a year we spend on the failed Drug War.

For more Drug War facts: http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics

Biofuels and Bio-fools

Hemp-to-Biofuels Research Gets Green Light

“Hemp is a great crop for biodiesel, and we’ve already started experimenting with [cellulosic ethanol made from hemp],” explained Ben Droz with Vote Hemp, a group trying to revitalize industrial hemp production in the U.S., at last week’s National Agriculture Day in Washington, D.C. He pointed out that hemp goes back a long ways in this country’s history, including being grown by the Founding Fathers and the founder of our modern automobile industry. “Henry Ford was actually doing research on hemp fuels and hemp biocomposites. And now today we are looking back to see if we can grow hemp once again.”

The current biofuel “debate” is another good example of what a useless mess the corporate media have become. The talking news-heads earnestly debate the efficacy and expense of biofuel, while ignoring the fact that the biggest “problem with biofuel” is that it’s almost all based on corn.

This situation is very similar to the way Diesel engines have been demonized for decades because petroleum based “Diesel Fuel” gives us the billowing black clouds of Diesel exhaust we all hate. Most people don’t know that Rudolf Diesel built his engine in 1895 to run specifically on alcohol and vegetable based biofuels, and that every Diesel engine today could be running on vegetable oil or old french fry grease.

The fact is, Diesel engines are far more efficient and last longer than gasoline based internal combustion engines, and modern Diesel engines combined with cheaper, cleaner, and easier to grow hemp based biofuels will be a major component of our sustainable future.

If Diesel-Electric hybrid systems are good enough for submarines and locomotives, they should be good enough for us to commute to work and back without using a drop of foreign oil!