UN Scientists Give Answer to Warming (Miss Critical Point)
For $300 billion dollars, UN climate scientists think they may have a solution which can halt global warming and buy humanity another 20 years to solve the problem. Learn more, and see what solution their plan seems to be missing.
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Earth, Milky Way (10/25/2019) - a decorated group of United Nations climate scientists believe they may have strategized a cost-effective way to halt anthropogenic global warming, stabilize emissions, reverse the loss of biological function of humus, and buy the human species another twenty years with which to innovate and adopt carbon-neutral technologies.
They claim this can be achieved with a small investment of $300 billion directly into agriculture-based reclamation efforts to restore a targeted 900 million hectares of stressed habitats and marginal land (roughly 2.2 billion acres). In so doing, this will capture and put millions of tons of CO2 back into as reporters Adam Majendie and Pratik Parija put it, “an overlooked and over-exploited resource: the soil.”
This comes in the wake of a September 2019 UN conference on desertification held in New Delhi where along with the EU, 196 countries agreed to adopt needed measures to restore land which has been made unproductive due to misuse, overgrazing, deforestation and other largely human factors.
“The proposed efforts to quickly and efficiently restore distressed land in ways that both provide a service to local communities and capture atmospheric CO2 can be dramatically improved through the use of industrial hemp - the most efficient and cost-effective agricultural option which outperforms agro-forestry in terms of CO2 sequestration.”
Core solutions presented in the messaging surrounding this $300 billion dollar solution from news outlets like Bloomberg and Time have been:
Plant lots of trees. Kenya is mentioned and the effort to plant 2 billion trees to restore 10% of their lost forest cover.
Pump fertilizers into dry lands in an effort to restore vegetation.
Reports of dozens of countries initiating programs designed to reverse the loss of farmland; at least 20 nations with major efforts underway to replant lost forests.
Hemp vs. Trees in Reclamation Efforts: There’s No Comparison
Hemp grows in a fraction of the time, can be harvested multiple times per year, produces far more biomass, captures far more CO2 (15 tons CO2 per hectare per harvest), is a superior multi-purpose crop with local and global-value commodities, and it heavily outperforms trees in terms of not just returning life to the soil but cleaning soil through phytoremediation.
There really is no comparison here.
What kinds of long-term value will trees provide for locals? By planting hemp, communities and economies can be created as long as processing means or partnerships with outside processors and transportation are in place.
Initially hemp can be used to clean the soil and restore needed nutrients. Then, further crops can be transformed into the core triad: seed-based products, fiber-based products, and biomass-based products like biofuel or non-intoxicant cannabinoid production like CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol), becoming a source of herbal endocannabinoid system supplementation for local communities while helping to halt human-caused global warming.
If large swaths of highly-distressed lands were converted to hemp crops specifically for fiber and seed cultivars, we could produce nutritious food while revolutionizing the global textile industry for example. Not only would this substantially reduce its CO2 footprint by displacing cotton, it would capture so much more CO2 and put it back into the soil directly and indirectly after its fibers biodegrade.
Benefits of Hemp in Land Reclamation
Hemp involves ecosystem-based adaptation (EBA) (Scarano 2017) and Nature-based solutions (NBS) (Nesshöver et al. 2017).
While it isn’t a widely-known fact, the term ‘phytoremediation’ was actually coined by a scientist named Ilya Raskin, a member of a team that studied hemp’s ability to clean and reclamate soil in fields surrounding the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the 1990s.
The hemp crop requires little to no conventional herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers and lends itself naturally to organic and sustainable farming practices in accordance with fighting desertification.
Because of its long, fast-growing and impressive root system (10-12 inches in less than 30 days which also breaks up compacted or overworked soil) and high easily-renewable biomass conversion, hemp is an ideal candidate for phytoremediation efforts suitable for nearly every region on earth.
The species has a proven ability to absorb and accumulate heavy metals - lead, nickel, cadmium, zinc, and chromium. Can also be used to effectively clean up pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and landfill toxins.
Hemp farming and production outside any other impacts being factored in when it comes to displacing fossil fuels, cotton, animal protein, etc. is a carbon-negative process.
Countries around the world have already demonstrated the science - from Italy and Ukraine, to America where tens of thousands of sites could benefit from industrial hemp, to Poland.
“Hemp is in the top 5 out of 23 crops for biodiversity friendliness, performing better than all major crops such as wheat, maize or rapeseed” (Montford and Small, 1999)
Hemp Seed vs. Fruit Trees: Again No Comparison
Whether we look at the nutritional quality of hemp seed in relation to any kind of fruit imaginable, reliability to provide more food security, or the economic value of hemp seed-based foodstuffs like raw seed, hearts, and protein powder, hemp seed is the obvious choice. Perhaps the only area where fruit trees would win is in terms of maintenance and processing. Hemp as a crop does require human labor if machinery and tools aren’t made accessible.
From a sweeping Special Report on Climate Change and Land distributed by the IPCC in August of 2019, in chapter 4 regarding land degradation, specifically 4.8.1 “Actions on the ground to address land degradation”
“Implementation of sustainable land management practices has been shown to increase the productivity of land (Branca et al. 2013) and to provide good economic returns on investment in many different settings around the world (Mirzabaev et al. 2015). Giger et al (2018) showed in a meta study of 363 projects over the period 1990 to 2012 that 73% of the projects were perceived to have a positive or at least neutral cost/benefit ratio in the short term, and 97% were perceived to have a positive or very positive cost/benefit ratio in the long term (robust evidence, high agreement).”
These results can be compounded and boosted through the adoption and support of industrial hemp in vulnerable areas where other efforts in this respect have fallen short.
Alas, it seems to be about the political and corporate will to act. Maybe Susan Matthews is right, reporting for Slate on this recent $300 billion proposal,
“The story and the plan are good reminders that technical questions like how to successfully restore soil are not the main thing stopping us from addressing climate change. That responsibility falls instead to the complete void of political will from the people in power to actually make this a priority.”
When it truly does become a priority for the decision makers, their plans will include real solutions like hemp. Let’s hope more UN representatives learn about hemp and with the crop’s newfound legality in countries like America, it finds its way into more serious global land reclamation research efforts.
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