“the Environment... Now What?!?”

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“The Environment... Now What?!?”
Or
“How WouldYou Like That Steak Cooked?”

By
Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton
Eng 104 T-TH 1045-1210
23 Apr 2013
Essay #3

As a nation that clearly stands out from the rest of the world we are metaphorically stepping on our private parts with golf shoes on when it comes to the handling of the environment. The actions needed to reverse our current dependency on fossil fuel should have happened decades ago. Not only are the Gumby-like government representatives to blame with the flexibility in which they acquiesce and bend over backwards to support the will of lobbyists and special interest groups, but the undecided American populace is responsible as well. Unless their homes are under water, or their fields are dried up due to drought, or their houses are snowed in for weeks from climate change most Americans do not care what is happening with the environment. Part of the reason for this ambivalence is because we have become absolutely wonderful at engineering our lifestyles to avoid the inconvenience of inclement weather. Since we do not feel the climate actually affecting us individually it makes it challenging to get people to stand united in taking on climate change. Climate change is here and the environment is suffering because we refuse to sacrifice enough of our modern conveniences to reduce the accelerated rate in which the environment is changing. What’s next? What do we do?

We cannot completely stop climate change or its effects on us, but we can reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Methane (CH4) gasses that we produce which in turn slows down what is currently happening to our environment. Although you can ask just about anyone who is an advocate for positive environmental changes what needs to happen and they will tell you that the main focus is on reducing CO2 & CH4 gasses and that until this reduction in these greenhouse gasses occurs nothing else matters. One may query how do we reduce these gasses? The most common or popular answer is in finding cleaner alternatives for fuel and energy along with better agricultural choices in farming not only with crops but cattle as well. For example, a once legal crop and main staple of the American way of life until the end of the 1930’s is industrial hemp. This is a crop that not only has many practical uses, but helps the environment too. The opposition would have us think that it is a drug laden plant that is connected to marijuana. Since industrial hemp has less than 1% of the active drug THC found in marijuana their claims are false, but unfortunately they have enough money and power in Washington D.C. to perpetuate their lies about it. Thanks to the DuPont’s and Hearst’s of the world lobbying to make industrial hemp illegal not only did they affect the economy and their bank accounts, but they unknowingly assisted in the beginnings of climate change. The DuPont Company still produces petroleum based products like plastic and polyester, and Mr. Hearst was the owner of newspapers and paper mills where he was a main contributor in deforestation and smear campaigns for his own profit. Anything that is made with synthetics, cotton, or paper can be made from the fibers of industrial hemp. Here is a quote that appeared in an issue of Popular Mechanics in 1938: “Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.”(“New Billion-Dollar Crop”). Once our brilliantly minded elected officials decide to do what is right for the country and not just for themselves, we may actually see a great reduction in the amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted into the atmosphere. The...
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