from The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
Energy & the Economy
The book Solar Gas, Science Digest, Omni magazine, The Alliance for Survival, the Green Party of Germany, the United States and others put the total figure of our energy costs at 80% of the total dollar expense of living for each human being.
In validation, 82% of the total value of all issues traded on the New York Stock Exchange and other world stock exchanges, etc., are tied directly to:
- Energy producers such as Exxon, Shell Oil, Conoco, Con-Edison, and so forth.
- Energy transporters such as pipeline companies, oil shipping and delivery companies.
- Refineries and retail sales of Exxon, Mobil, Shell, So. California Edison, Con-Edison, etc.
Eighty-two percent of all your money means that roughly 33 of every 40 hours you work goes to pay for the ultimate energy cost in the goods and services you purchase, including transportation, heating, cooking, lighting. Americans - 5% of world population - in our insatiable drive for greater "net worth" and "productivity," use 25-40% of the worlds' energy. The hidden cost to the environment cannot be measured.
Our current fossil energy sources also supply about 80% of the solid and airborne pollution which is quickly poisoning the environment of the planet. (See U.S. EPA report 1983-96 on the coming world catastrophe from carbon dioxide imbalance caused by burning fossil fuels). The best and cheapest substitute for these expensive and wasteful energy methods is not wind or solar panels, nuclear, geothermal and the like, but the evenly distributed light of the sun for growing biomass.
On a global scale, the plant that produces the most net biomass is hemp. It's the only annually renewable plant on Earth able to replace all fossil fuels.
In the Twenties, the early oil barons such as Rockefeller of Standard Oil, Rothschild of Shell, etc., became paranoically aware of the possibilities of Henry Ford's vision of cheap methanol fuel,* and they kept oil prices incredibly low - between one dollar and four dollars per barrel (there are 42 gallons in an oil barrel) until 1970 - almost 50 years! Prices were so low, in fact, that no other energy source could compete with it. Then, once they were finally sure of the lack of competition, the price of oil jumped to almost $40 per barrel over the next 10 years.
* Henry Ford grew marijuana on his estate after 1937, possibly to prove the cheapness of methanol production at Iron Mountain. He made plastic cars with wheat straw, hemp and sisal. (Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1941, "Pinch Hitters for Defense.") In 1892, Rudolph Diesel invented the diesel engine, which he intended to fuel "by a variety of fuels, especially vegetable and seed oils."
By the year 2000, the U.S. will have burned 80% of its petroleum resources, while our coal reserves may last 100-300 years longer. But the decision to continue burning coal has serious drawbacks. This high-sulfur coal is responsible for our acid rain, which already kills 50,000 Americans and 5,000-10,000 Canadians annually. In addition, the acid rains destroy the forests, rivers, and animals.
(Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1986.)
Conversion to biomass fuels should begin immediately to stop both planetary pollution and lemming-life genocide, and to make us naturally energy independent.