fwd: wasteful junk mail

Kirk Johnson newkirk at olywa.net
Tue Feb 10 12:22:03 EST 1998

In article <u$WW$deN9GA.193 at upnetnews04>, "Scott McPhee" <hyphae at msn.com> wrote:

> >Personally, it does not make me happy to think that the forests are
> >turning into junk-mail, newspapers, magazines and books. There are other
> >sources for pulp and definitely other ways to make this a more
> >"sustainable" world rather than falling trees to keep up feeding the
> >market's greed.
> What do you propose? Clearing forests and/or meadows to grow hemp?! Get
> real.

Here is an idea, tobacco farmers could make the switch to industrial hemp,
which would be highly profitable if it were legalized. They are feeling
the pressure from the (well deserved) assault on the tobacco industry
these days. That must suck for them. Let's give them an economic way out -
let them grow hemp. Why do you automatically make the assumption that we
would have to "clear forests" to make room for hemp production? Is that
supposed to be some kind of scare tactic?

> I would agree with you though that our greed and dependance on pulp
> products makes me a bit quesy. 

Me too.

> I do not see the difference between trees or
> hemp or whatever for pulp, they are both living organisms that we cultivate
> to get the pulp to make our products.

The difference is, hemp takes one growing season, trees take perhaps
dozens (depending on what part of the country you're in, the type of
trees, etc.). You can get more paper pulp faster in a plot of land growing
hemp than you do trees. Plus, I understand hemp is fast growing on it's
own, and so therefore doesn't need much weed killer (it grows so fast that
it blocks sunlight from hitting the soil, and grows faster than any weeds
that might sprout anyway) or fertilization. Tree plantations take all
kinds of chemical applications.

> Our forests are also turning into houses for the next generation of
> families. I think that we are a bit beyond the point where everyone could
> just move back into caves, as you seem to want us to.

Again, why if we're not using trees do you make the wild leap that we will
be "mov[ing] back into caves"? I didn't see the previous poster imply
anywhere that cave dwelling was the way to go. For one thing, you can
probably make particle board out of hemp. For another there's all kinds of
alternatives. Even building houses out of old tires! We can be innovative
and diversify without having to "move into caves".

Check out "Mass Appeal: Build Beautiful, Energy-Efficient Houses Out of
Tires and Aluminum Cans for $20 Per Square Foot!" by Tim Knipe in the
Oct/Nov 1991 issue of Mother Earth News. This article provides just one

Kirk Johnson

Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell  -Edward Abbey

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list