Alternative Energy

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United States: Dr. Ron Paul and Stephen Baldwin Debate Marijuana Legalization on Larry King

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! This editorial is in regards to the video (posted above) of the debate about the Legalization of Marijuana between Congressman Ron Paul (R) and Actor Stephen Baldwin.

When can we find someone who will debate against medical marijuana and/or legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults who actually has actually read any research, studies, and statistics which back up their arguments? This time the chosen spokesperson is the actor, Stephen Baldwin. Wait, what? Stephen Baldwin? Is he an expert in anything other than sophomoric comedy?

Iowa: Heartland Hemp Farming Needs Lawmakers’ Help

By DI Editorial Board

There is a truth that must be heard! A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers is putting forth legislation to legalize the growth of cannabis, or hemp. The Industrial Hemp Development Act (HF 608) would provide licenses to qualified farmers for the cultivation of hemp, after passing background checks, of course. Iowa lawmakers must pay close attention to the progress of Minnesota’s hemp act; its success or failure may signal how a similar act would fair here. Regardless of the reaction of our neighbors to the north, hemp production will dramatically change the face of agriculture in America, and Iowans need to be out ahead of this increasingly popular trend.

Seven states — Hawaii, West Virginia, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Kentucky, and North Dakota — have legalized hemp production; however, not one is producing the crop because of resistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Hemp farmers in North Dakota are granted licenses by the state, but they are required to obtain separate permits from the DEA. The agency has continually refused to accept applications, leading farmers in North Dakota to file a lawsuit against the federal government.

A common complaint among law-enforcement agencies at all levels of government is that monitoring acres of hemp for hidden pockets of marijuana would be next to impossible. This idea is, in fact, very reasonable, because hemp and marijuana are members of the same species, cannabis.

Europe: Hemp - A Break Crop Alternative

By Dominic Kilburn, Farmers Guardian

There is a truth that must be heard! GROWERS still to make a final decision on cropping choice this spring, and those with a larger acreage to drill than originally planned for, could look to grow hemp under contract as an alternative to regular break crops.

With fast establishment and rapid growth, neither herbicides nor fungicides are required for growing hemp.

That’s according to East Anglian-based processing and marketing company Hemcore, which says that hemp can offer a competitive gross margin – characterised by high yields and low input – while providing additional benefits such as good weed control opportunities, fewer field operations and improved soils.

Richard Smart, who joined the company as fieldsman for the crop earlier this year, says that Hemcore is actively searching for farmers to grow the crop this spring following last year’s opening of a state-of-the-art factory in Halesworth, Suffolk – capable of a 50,000 tonnes per year throughput.

Demand for hemp being grown in the UK has been limited by processing technology and new and developing end markets, he says.

“Now, with established markets for the fibre in the automotive industry and domestic insulation, horse bedding and construction from the woody core of the stem, things are really moving forward both in the UK and Europe.

Canada: Stonehedge Makes Pitch To Farmers To Grow Industrial Hemp

By John Campbell, The Community Press

There is a truth that must be heard! Stirling – Stonehedge Bio-Resources Inc. is looking for farmers to grow industrial hemp that can be turned into insulation, biomasonry concrete and fuel pellets. It’s also in the market for a site to build a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing plant somewhere along the Highway 401 corridor between Belleville and Port Hope that will employ more than two dozen people.

“The total project is probably going to be in excess of $15 (million), maybe close to $20 million,” John Baker, president of Stonehedge, said in an interview. More than half of that will spent on specialized equipment developed in Europe where industrial hemp is used extensively in a variety of products, including auto parts.

The decortication factory will be the first of its kind in North America.

The Stirling-area company has “commitments” of capital from investors in the United Kingdom and the United States who need “a supply chain .. to grow their business,” – mainly hempcrete, Baker said. They’re “ready to develop the U.S. market.”

Other potential investors have expressed an interest in purchasing equity in Stonehedge as well and Baker has approached the provincial and federal governments for financing in the form of loans. However, even though “there are all kinds of government programs for the green sustainable economy,” the funding is “hard to access,” Baker says. “It’s a slow ... frustrating process.

Canada: Hemp Plant Takes Giant Step With Three New Foreign Investors

By Suzanne Atkinson, AgriNews Contributor

There is a truth that must be heard! STIRLING – Central Ontario’s hemp decortication facility took a huge step closer to reality recently when three foreign investors pledged more than $2-million to join a company here in processing the crop.

President and CEO John Baker of Stonehedge Bio-Resources, Inc., said a processing facility will be built between Cobourg and Trenton which will process hemp into building and insulation materials.

U.K. investors have been processing hemp stalk or hurd into a building material. When blended with a lime-based binder, a bio-based composite building material is created which "locks up around 110kg of CO2 per m_ of wall. It provides one of the best value materials for low impact, sustainable and commercially viable construction."

Joining an anonymous U.K. investor in anteing up funds are Lime Technology Ltd, a pioneer in the development of hemcrete, and American Lime Technology

A huge opportunity exists in Canadian for hemp production, Baker says, because it is illegal in the U.S.

"Americans don’t distinguish between hemp and marijuana like we do," Baker said during an interview with AgriNews.

"We’ve got our foot in the door. We have to move at lightning speed."

Minnesota: Hemp, Hemp, Hooray - Bill Aims To Aid Farmers With New But Controversial Crop

By Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

There is a truth that must be heard! It can be made into paper, rope, food, biodegradable plastic and even low-carbon concrete, but in Minnesota it is illegal to grow hemp. A bipartisan group of legislators is hoping hemp production will be a boon to Minnesota farmers and manufacturers as demand for the plant and its byproducts continues to grow. The Industrial Hemp Development Act (HF 608) would allow the state to issue licenses to qualified farmers who pass background checks.

Canada already allows for industrial hemp production, and North Dakota has passed laws to allow its farmers to produce hemp — only to be stymied by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency.

Hemp farmers are required to gain a permit from the DEA, but the agency has continued to reject the applications of North Dakota farmers, prompting them to file suit against the federal government. Six other states have legalized hemp production — Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana and West Virginia — yet none is producing the crop because of DEA resistance.

Illinois: Toyota Wants To Build A Car From Seaweed

By Samantha Rose Hunt, TG Daily

Chicago (IL) - With the entire world looking for green alternatives, Toyota is in talks regarding an ultra lightweight, incredibly efficient plug-in hybrid with a body made of seaweed. The vehicle could potentially be seen in showrooms in 15 years, but it’s definitely not coming any time soon.

The concept builds on the 1/X plug-in hybrid concept that weighs in at 926 pounds. With bioplastics gaining popularity, instead of the vehicle having a carbon fiber body, it would instead be composed of plastic made from seaweed. Toyota believes this is a practice that will begin to catch on with other manufacturers.

Bioplastics are currently being utilized for many things, cellphone cases and gift cards being among those items. According to USA Today, in five years it is expected that demand will increase to 50 billion pounds annually, which would account for 10 percent of the world's plastic market. Bioplastic production requires the use of 30 percent less energy than the production of petroleum-based plastics.

Even though you want be able to see the algae car, Toyota will be showing off three of its awesome hybrids- the next generation Prius, a new Camry concept, and the 1/X which is named for its significantly reduced carbon footprint- at the Melbourne Motor Show.

New Mexico: Legislative Hemp Tidbits - House Bill 403

By pntonline.com

A measure introduced by Rep. Ray Begaye, D-Shiprock, would set up guidelines for the “growing, licensing, selling and processing of industrial hemp in the State of New Mexico.” House Bill 403 would spend $150,000. Of that, $100,000 would go to New Mexico State University to set up a seed bank and a seed certification so the program would meet the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The other $50,000 would go to the Department of Public Safety to set up a program related to the growth and sale of industrial hemp. The bill is before the House Business and Industry Committee.

Hispanic Affairs would be its own department

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, is sponsoring a measure (Senate Bill 21) to set up an Hispanic Affairs Department. The measure appropriates $700,000 and would set up a 10-member Hispanic Affairs Commission. The measure, which has been introduced in the past, is pending in the Senate Finance Committee. Tuesday was Hispanic Culture Day at the Roundhouse.

Looking Ahead:

• A measure that would enhance the felony sentences of public officials is set to be considered this morning by the Senate Rules Committee.

The bill (SB 141) would ramp up the penalties for public officials convicted of wrongdoing.

Global: Hemp as a Fuel - Energy Source

By Jeremy Briggs, Hemphasis

Biodiesel fuel from Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil can be used as is in bio-diesel engines. Methyl esters, or bio-diesel, can be made from any oil or fat including hemp seed oil. The reaction requires the oil, an alcohol (usually methanol), and a catalyst, which produces bio-diesel and small amount of glycerol or glycerin. When co-fired with 15% methanol, bio-diesel fuel produces energy less than 1/3 as pollution as petroleum diesel.

Energy and Fuel from Hemp Stalks through Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is the technique of applying high heat to biomass, or organic plants and tree matter, with little or no air. Reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants and automobiles can be accomplished by converting biomass to fuel utilizing pyrolysis technology. The process can produce, from lingo-cellulosic material (like the stalks of hemp), charcoal, gasoline, ethanol, non-condensable gasses, acetic acid, acetone, methane, and methanol. Process adjustments can be done to favor charcoal, pyrolytic oil, gas, or methanol, with 95.5% fuel-to-feed ratios. Around 68% of the energy of the raw biomass will be contained in the charcoal and fuel oils -- renewable energy generated here at home, instead of overpaying for foreign petroleum.

United States: Embrace the Possibilities of Hemp

By Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is one thing that we all have in common: this tiny planet we share. Today the world is throwing around terms like "sustainability" and "green living" but what does that really mean? Cannabis sativa, also known as Hemp, is one of the most diverse plants on the planet, and could literally supply most of humankinds needs for fuel, food, clothing, building products, and medicine.

Despite its usefulness, hemp is illegal to grow in the United States. This simple plant, Cannabis, can be put to use in many ways. It would fill so many needs and put our country on a path toward sustainability. A forward-thinking attitude toward hemp and cannabis would create jobs, revitalize our farming communities, boost tourism, and create millions of dollars in revenue for the country.

US agriculture will thrive; the potential is too great to ignore any longer. It is my goal as a writer for Hemp News to participate in the great Hemp discussion and possibly help to educate our readers. Please take the time to examine the benefits of the Cannabis plant, and it's potential influence in all aspects of our society.

It is my hope that one day this plant will be free to grow and use as each individual desires. Whether it be building fiber for a house, yarn fiber for a shirt, pressed seed oil for energy, delicious hemp flour for food, or the beautiful flowers full of medicine and relaxation. Cannabis sativa is a blessing to this planet and we must embrace the possibilities.

North Dakota: Industrial Hemp Production Licenses Accepted By N D AG Department

By Staff Writer, Jamestown Sun

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for 2009 industrial hemp production licenses. "The applications are due Jan. 1," said Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson. "Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration continues to prevent holders of state licenses from growing industrial hemp, NDDA remains committed to fully implementing state laws authorizing the production, processing and sale of this crop in North Dakota."

Source: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1106/a04.html

[MAP - Hemp]

United States: Year in Review - 2008 a Huge Year for Marijuana Reform

In this annual season of year-end reviews, marijuana policy reformers are counting 2008 as one of their most successful years ever. 2008 saw major progress on legal reforms plus a raft of new data that validated reformers' critiques of current marijuana laws.

Among the changes are marijuana decriminalization Massachusetts, the addition of Michigan as the nation's 13th medical marijuana state, and new research verifying that marijuana helps with pain relief.

Source: http://salem-news.com/articles/december162008/marijuana_success_12-16-08...

[Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana]

Colorado: Bring back hemp

By US Citizen

The United States uses corn for ethanol because hemp is illegal. Hemp was made illegal due to a greedy component of capitalism combined with ignorance. Hemp prohibition is grave and dysfunctional, affecting world improvement, as Dennis Newman (Letter: “Change needed on ethanol,” Nov. 13, 2008), exposes. Instead of embracing hemp for what it is; a God-awesome creation, America’s leaders strive to exterminate it. Before greedy ignoids conspired to prohibit hemp, it was referred to as the billion-dollar crop, when the B-word wasn’t thrown around so loosely.

America has had the technology to build and fuel cars using hemp since the 1930s. A sane argument to perpetuate prohibiting free American farmers from utilizing the plant doesn’t exist. Some estimates indicate using 10 percent of America’s farmland to cultivate hemp would eliminate any need for foreign petroleum. Discussion of alternative fuels without mentioning hemp is foolish and any and all research into hemp’s history backs it up. And that’s just for fuel; hemp is equally beneficial for feeding people who are starving to death.

America’s future political atmosphere may be more conducive to changing hemp’s status as a Schedule I drug along side heroin and LSD. Americans must work hard the next few years to re-establish hemp as a component of American agriculture. In fact, environmentally conscientious Americans must fight harder than big oil and other mega corporations which profit immensely off hemp prohibition and spend huge fortunes to guarantee its existence.

Canada: Industrial hemp growers launch national plan

By Staff, country-guide.ca

Market research and development, quality control and processing capacity are among the goals of a new national strategy mapped out by Canada's industrial hemp growers.

The strategy was rolled out Wednesday at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance's meeting in Winnipeg, mapping out the market potential and obstacles in the food, fibre and oil markets, as well as in hemp production and plant breeding.

Manitoba was among the "earliest adopters" of industrial hemp as a crop, as well as the necessary processing technologies, provincial Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a release. The provincial and federal governments funded the strategy's development through their joint Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI).

"This new strategy shows how far we've come while also identifying the opportunities and challenges that we must tackle for sustainable growth," she said.

Among the supports needed from private and public business and research partners for a hemp industry, as per the new strategy, are:

* development of commercial-scale hemp fibre processing and cost-effective hemp oil processing, plus access to risk capital for processing and manufacturing projects in those markets;

* domestic and international market research, as well as work to maintain existing market access;

* gauging the environmental and economic advantages of using hemp-based products compared to petroleum-based products;

UK: Famous Eco-friendly Fashion Manufacturer Now Available from Major Web Store

by Charlie Mann,

The Viridis Luxe line of ethical fashion clothing is now available from www-fashion-conscience.com. The Viridis Luxe mission is to provide sustainable luxurious clothing to those who are making the choice to tread lightly on our planet, while continuing to enjoy fashion, luxury, and style. Viridis Luxe has reinvented one of the world's oldest cultivated fabrics, and launched a luxury brand of hemp clothing.

The Viridis Luxe aesthetic is the embodiment of effortless chic. Their signature organic fabric, exclusive to Viridis Luxe, is a revolutionary blend of the finest cashmere with long-fiber hemp. The Viridis Luxe line also includes exotic bamboo T-shirts and their exclusive sheer silk-hemp collection of jersey tops. Viridis Luxe is committed to making beautiful clothing using ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly methods.

With global warming and sustainable agriculture on everyone's mind, elegant clothing that benefits the planet is proving irresistible to celebrities like Amber Valetta, Uma Thurman, and Scarlet Johansson. They are just a few of the luminaries cosseting themselves this winter in enlightened luxury including lush wraps and sweaters adorned with the nifty VL embroidered logo. They are discovering the phenomenal qualities of hemp, and feel good about themselves as they enjoy this wonderful fabric which promotes a win-win situation.

California: A $100,000 Hemp Challenge

By Jack Herer

If all fossil fuel and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable, natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper, plastics and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs; provide about 30% of the world's medicines, while reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere, all at the same time…and that substance is the same one that has done it before, for the last five to 10 thousand years, until about 125 years ago…

CANNABIS HEMP!

No one has taken the $100,000 challenge to prove me wrong. Why? Because I am right. The U.S. government has been lying to us since the early 1900s. Do economic interests and the police have more to say than the people about the future of our planet? How angry are you for being lied to by the U.S. government about Cannabis Hemp? Are you willing to make a stand right now?

No one can dispute this information and knowledge. You have to join me in this fight. Either you are on the U.S. government's side or you are on the Earth's side with me!

Jack Herer

Source: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=71554350...

Nebraska: Senate hopefuls focus on ethanol

By Kristin Jirovsky/Daily Sun

LINCOLN -- The three Nebraska U.S. Senate candidates discussed their views on ethanol as a renewable fuel source Thursday during a forum at the Mary Riepma-Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

Before the forum, Mike Johanns, Scott Kleeb and Steve Larrick watched with several Lincolnites a video entitled, “The Ethanol Maze.” The film was a project completed by students of a depth reporting journalism class taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Each prospective senator then took his turn to share views on ethanol as an option for alternative fuel.

Kleeb, a Democrat, was up first, saying he is a supporter of using corn-based ethanol for alternative fuel.

“This debate is going to be increasingly important,” Kleeb said.

Most of all, Kleeb said that ethanol should be the first piece of the puzzle in reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Kleeb posed a question to the event attendees. In 2005, the energy bill was passed that promised a lessened dependence on foreign oil and lower prices for fuel.

“Which of these have we gotten?” he said.

“I do think we need to have higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles,” he said.

Green Party candidate Steve Larrick stepped up to the podium next.

“I like the open discussion the film provided,” he said. “We do need to look at all of the issues.”

Larrick went to a more “green” side of the debate. He said the best thing to do is look at the options for cellulosic ethanol.

UK: Tackling the global issues

By ThisisBathco.uk

Hybrid electric cars and straw houses are just some of the solutions to global warming on show at the University of Bath.

The Sustainable Energy and the Environment showcase yesterday highlighted the latest research on reducing carbon emissions and saving the planet.

Researchers at the university have been looking into the use of hemp, timber and straw as building materials to help reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry.

Director of the BRE centre for innovative construction materials, Professor Peter Walker, said: "The environmental impact of the construction industry is huge. For example, it is estimated that worldwide the manufacture of cement contributes up to 10 per cent of all industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

"We are looking at a variety of low-carbon building materials, including crop-based materials, innovative uses of traditional materials and developing low carbon cements and concretes to reduce impact of new infrastructure."

Another group of researchers is hoping to develop rechargeable batteries to improve hybrid cars.

Professor Saiful Islam, of the chemistry department, is researching new lighter, safer and more efficient alternatives.

His research recently won the Fuel Cell Science and Technology Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professor Islam said: "Developing new materials holds the key to lighter and more efficient rechargeable batteries for hybrid electric cars, reducing our use of fossil fuels and cutting carbon emissions."

Europe: University of Bath to showcase cutting edge environmental research

By Science Centric

The global problem of climate change will hit the spotlight on Wednesday 17 September as researchers from across the region meet for a showcase on environmental sustainability.

Experts in engineering, chemistry, architecture, physics and economics will join forces at the University of Bath to discuss the climate change challenge. They will host an exhibition of some of the region's cutting edge research in the fields of sustainable energy and the environment.

Wednesday's event will also see the launch of the new Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I-SEE) by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Mitigating the effects of climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing science today due to the complex nature of the problem. The University of Bath's I-SEE will combine the expertise of world-class researchers from diverse disciplines of science, engineering, economics, management and social science to address the problem.

It will also study the socio-economic impacts of climate change, inform policy and provide technological solutions to mitigate the effects of global warming, helping the UK to achieve its target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050.

Some of the institute's ground-breaking research will feature at the showcase.

Key research areas of the exhibition include:

- Future sources of energy including improved energy storage, low cost solar cells and hydrogen fuel production and storage.

Global: Hemp - The Ideal Biofuel

By Green Experience

With oil prices constantly rising, the need for alternative energies is becoming greater and greater. In addition to the economic costs, the stress on the environment has been excessive, and climate change is becoming a very real threat. Therefore, we need to find a solution, and fast. Biofuels are popular, but the most utilized ones currently come from food crops, mainly corn. Using these kinds of crops for fuel reduces the overall food supply, raising prices and causing shortages. The best kind of biofuel is one that is not food, grows in abundance, and supplies large amounts of biomass. Surprisingly, the plant that fits all of these requirements is none other than hemp.

Hemp is the industrial version of the cannabis plant, and can be used in thousands of products, from paper to building materials. Most importantly, it can be converted in to fuel, and used for heating, transportation, and other energy needs. The specific process through which hemp fuel is made is pyrolysis, where high temperatures are applied to the plant in the absence of oxygen. This creates charcoal, which is a clean burning fuel that does not release sulfur (the primary cause of acid rain). Using adjusted methods, hemp can also be turned in to methanol and other oils.

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