Politico: The next great climate threat? Ganja! Weed! Mary Jane! Grass! Bud! Stinkweed! – ‘One of most energy-intensive crops’ – Progressives toketh & progressives taketh away’


By: - Climate DepotAugust 11, 2021 2:45 PM

 

https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2021/08/11/politico-the-next-great-climate-threat-ganja-n408048

 

BY ED MORRISSEY

In the end, everything will succumb to the Gaia emergency … even the bounties of Gaia. After having pushed for legalized marijuana for decades and promoting the industrialization of the industry, progressives have suddenly discovered that adding a massive cash crop to America’s ag sector has an impact on the environment. Politico serves notice that pot’s status as Cool may go, well … up in smoke:

Marijuana has never been more popular in the U.S. — and its carbon emissions have never posed a bigger threat to the climate.

America’s patchwork approach to legalizing weed has helped make cannabis cultivation one of the most energy-intensive crops in the nation. And as states increasingly embrace marijuana, a growing source of greenhouse gases is going essentially unnoticed by climate hawks on Capitol Hill.

Marijuana has never been more popular in the U.S. — and its carbon emissions have never posed a bigger threat to the climate.

America’s patchwork approach to legalizing weed has helped make cannabis cultivation one of the most energy-intensive crops in the nation. And as states increasingly embrace marijuana, a growing source of greenhouse gases is going essentially unnoticed by climate hawks on Capitol Hill.

It’s not just the “patchwork” approach that creates the environmental impacts, and those aren’t limited to carbon emissions from energy use either. Marijuana also adds stress to water consumption, fertilizing issues, land use, and so on. The fertilizing issues can contribute to carbon emissions.

However, for the moment the focus is on energy consumption, which is off the charts — even for legal operations. Illegal operations create even more environmental impacts:

One recent model estimated that Massachusetts’ nascent cannabis industry represented 10 percent of the state’s industrial electricity consumption in 2020. Another study found that growing enough bud for a joint — a gram — consumes as much electricity as driving about 20 miles in a fuel-efficient car. Then there’s the still-vibrant illegal market — where there are no emissions rules whatsoever — that consumes fossil fuels at an even higher rate, often using standalone generators or stealing power from neighbors to fuel their operations.

The problem is only going to get worse.

Three months ago, a story out of London offered a hilarious perspective on this issue. British police use drones to search for heat signatures in buildings that may indicate illegal marijuana operations, a strategy that has found some success. In one case, however, the police raided the joint expecting to find lots and lots of joints … and ended up uncovering a cryptocurrency mining operation instead.

That was also illegal, by the way, in part because the operation stole power from the electrical provider in the area.

Thanks to the efforts of progressives to push legalization, the problems of marijuana will get worse, probably a lot worse. The Biden administration has signaled that it wants to end the federal prohibition on marijuana to allow states to regulate it instead, thrilling Bernie Sanders and his supporters. The incentives that creates will have an exponential effect on marijuana farming, creating even more energy demand at a time when Sanders and his wing of the Democratic Party want to constrain US energy production. Not to mention that they plan to cut energy production at the same time that the Biden administration wants to push cars onto the grid rather than run on gasoline, which creates even more demand for fewer resources.

The whole scheme is unsustainable, even without the marijuana, but the marijuana will make it much worse in short order. We’ll need the weed to escape the stagflation realities that this will create, so at least we’ll have something to look forward to, I suppose.

Update: This is kind of Jazz to say, but I wish I’d thought of it before I wrote the actual headline for this post: