Humankind’s disregard for the ancient operating systems of the Natural Order have imposed fundamental imbalances on Earth’s environment over a very brief span of evolutionary time. In just half a century, major insults inflicted on our life-sustaining atmosphere have resulted in increasing levels of ultraviolet-B wavelengths of solar radiation (UV-B) reaching the surface of the planet (a.k.a. “global broiling”). UV-B intensities and global temperature increase are directly related, with increased UV-B resulting in increased warming. Temperature increase in-turn results indirectly in increased UV-B.
Measurements taken by the National Science Foundation Ultraviolet Monitoring Network since 1988 show an alarming increase in UV-B levels. Comparing UV-B levels between 1990 and 2010 at sea level in San Diego, California, for example, there was an 118% increase in the number of days with UV-B readings rated as “Very High” (11 days 10+ in 1990; 24 days in 2010). At the South Pole, readings as high as 65.78 have been recorded (01/05/2001). High elevations are even more exposed. When the UV index is over 9, UV-B is extremely strong, and you will sunburn in less than 15 minutes.
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 catastrophic decline in the world’s “indicator species” (i.e. krill, bees, bats, birds, coral reefs, amphibians…) indicate profound systemic imbalance, profoundly attributable to increasing UV-B radiation. The effects of “enhanced” levels of UV-B on solar-sensitive krill and other creatures in the Antarctic, fundamentally undermines the basis of the entire food chain of the world’s oceans. Fifty percent of the crops studied produce less food under conditions of elevated solar radiation. In humans it can take two decades for the effects of a single incident of elevated UV-B exposure to manifest into terminal symptoms.
Growing awareness and understanding of the effects of the role played by the boreal regions makes accelerating loss of the northern forests an immediate, primary concern. As UV-B levels continue to increase, the vast boreal forests of the world (that previously served to sequester and store atmospheric carbon) are warming, rapidly turning from “carbon sink” to “carbon source.”
The boreal (Taiga) forest is a vast ecosystem 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. Since 1950 about half of the boreal forests have been lost to logging, oil & gas extraction, hydroelectricity flooding and insect pest infestation. Increased instability in the Middle East, advanced technology for working in freezing conditions and the increasingly unaccountable desperation to extract fossil fuels are expanding natural resource exploitation into areas and methods once considered impossible, too environmentally destructive, or too unprofitable to pillage.
Boreal forests consist mainly of pine, spruce and fir trees. In addition to sequestering and storing atmospheric carbon, the trees exude a fragrant concoction of volatile, aromatherapeutic compounds known as “aerosols” — including in particular, “monoterpenes.” Monoterpenes rise from the forests into the stratosphere, where they reflect solar radiation away from the planet and seed formation of bright, persistent clouds. The clouds produce a dilute monoterpene-enhanced rain. Before they rain from the sky monoterpenes serve as a solar shield, cooling the planet. With multiple therapeutic properties, monoterpenes may also serve as a water purifying, anti-viral agent protecting all of the creatures of the Earth in other ways as they circulate through the capillary networks of our aquatic, mycelially integrated ecosystem.
Since the 1950s about half of the world’s boreal forests have died from insect and human predation (logging, primarily to make toilet paper, newsprint, and magazines). The current rate of logging has been estimated to be five acres per minute, all day, every day. The remaining forests are being further decimated by unprecedented insect infestations, attributable to continuous breeding cycles made possible by increasing global temperatures. Additional carbon dioxide and methane will be liberated from warmed soils as accumulated plant matter thaws and decomposes. This release of greenhouse gasses will exacerbate global warming even further. It seems certain that under present conditions, the slow-growing coniferous forests will never recover.
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. Increased levels of UV-B don’t increase monoterpene production. As the temperatures and radiation levels increase, monoterpene production declines.
We truly have nothing to fear but the atmosphere itself. Unless we are successful in addressing elevated UV-B radiation, it won’t matter much what other problems we do manage to solve. All possible solutions must be identified and effectively implemented if we are to avoid synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures upon which our lives depend. Expansion of the arable base and global, organic/biodynamic agricultural production of monoterpenes is a global priority.
Among other beneficial characteristics, the Cannabis plant is exceptional in producing copious quantities of 58 monoterpenes. Cannabis agriculture has the unique and essential potential of producing more 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. Cannabis is an ancient, highly adaptable, globally distributed, agronomically beneficial, pioneer crop that is uniquely “strategic” to regional production of essential energy, food, paper, cloth, resins, therapeutics and building resources. In addition to being the world’s most useful, nutritious and safely therapeutic “herb bearing seed” Cannabis is potentially the most rapidly, globally distributed plant on Earth. In just three growing seasons, Cannabis can adapt to virtually every soil and climate condition on Earth, with the exception of the radical extremes.
Cannabis is the only crop whose seed produces three essential fatty acids (EFAs) in proper proportion for long-term consumption. Hemp is also the only plant that produces a complete source of vegetable nutrition and sustainable biofuels from the same harvest. This eliminates the perceived trade-off between bioenergy production and food security & nutrition.
It is all too apparent that the integrity of Earth’s environment is quietly unraveling under 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 the rates of carbon sequestration we are able to achieve, will largely determine our survival or extinction. An expansive global campaign of Cannabis agriculture is urgently needed to compensate for the decline in monoterpenes’ “radiative effect,” 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. Organic Cannabis farming appears to be mankind’s surest strategy for simultaneous resolution of climate, food security and sustainable energy production. If humans plant Cannabis intensively this spring, there may yet be enough time remaining for agricultural remedies to have an effect.
As the forests are cut, dry up, get eaten and die, protection from the Sun, afforded by the homeostatic concentrations of monoterpenes established over thousands of years, is being lost at an accelerating rate. At the same time carbon, methane, chlorine, methyl bromide and other atmospheric “weapons of mass destruction” are quietly eroding the ozone layer, the precipitous decline in monoterpenes is leaving the planet further exposed to unprecedented levels of UV-B.
Prioritization of crises and consideration of all solutions, to identify the most effective sequence of remedial measures, must be implemented immediately to effect timely resolution of interrelated imbalances. The irrational prohibition of ‘marijuana’ has intransigently obstructed timely, objective consideration of Cannabis agriculture, manufacture and trade as a proportionate global response for addressing multiple conditions of irreversible imbalance. If humankind doesn’t overcome institutionalized obstructions to solving the problem of increasing UV-B soon, then it won’t matter much what other problems we do solve.
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. Because ‘time’ is the limiting factor in the equation for healing the planet, the 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 we risk the sudden, synergistic collapse of environment, economics and social structures upon which the quality of life on this planet depends.
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.
Time is the only thing we can’t make more of. Every spring that passes is gone forever. Time is the ‘limiting factor’ in the equation of survival. An immediate, polar shift in fundamental values is called for. Cannabis isn’t “illegal” — it’s essential to our survival.
Ending Cannabis prohibition can be achieved most expeditiously by reclaiming our “god-given” freedom to farm, through the legal supremacy of our Constitutionally protected “religious freedom” in nationwide public exercise of “essential civilian demand” for a “strategic” “herb bearing seed” “of first necessity,” applying jury nullification of blatantly unobjective court proceedings.
In Hawaii, an opportunity currently exists to end prohibition by applying the truth about Cannabis to free THC Ministry Reverend Roger Christie. Extrajudicially imprisoned-without-trial and shamelessly, repeatedly denied bail since July 2010, Reverend Chrisite’s exoneration and his immediate release from prison is an epic opportunity for legally ending Cannabis prohibition by urgent global necessity. Because of what is at stake, Reverend Christie’s is truly “The Trial for the Century.”
Will our species overcome the arrogant inertia of a corrupted plutarchy controlling courts that are punishing us to mass extinction? Or will people wake up to the truth and wisdom of abandoning a viciously counter-productive “war on drugs” in time to reintroduce the world’s most “Gaiatherapeutic” agricultural resource?
As people continue to discover that Cannabis agriculture is the most effective remedy to the most fundamental problems we face, nothing can stop the eventual implementation of sound, historically and scientifically proven agricultural policy. Recognizing ‘time’ as the limiting factor in the equation of survival, the real question is “How bad do things have to get, before all solutions are considered?”