My World View

By Derek Dahlen

As I gaze out upon the streets of Ukiah this beautiful blue-skied morning, I see potential and a great need for some serious change. My view of the world is one of optimistic caution. I don't look at it with the belief that humans can create a better world than that which was here before us, but instead people could live a more fulfilling life if they simply didn't try so hard to change what nature has perfected. We need to work with nature and within the realm of naturally occurring substances.
One of the worst problems in our world today is that of overpopulation. With overpopulation comes another major problem called urbanization. Urbanizing the valleys and plains of the world is a constant paving over of valuable cropland. This, in turn, creates problems of starvation and malnourishment. Overpopulation and urbanization are also direct causes of deforestation and strip mining for much needed resources? Do we really need trees for fiber and building materials? Or are trees more valuable as habitat, shade, and for oxygen production? We are dependent on many minerals for "survival" in today's world, but do we really need them?
I believe we can cure all these major problems in our world today and many more with the bounty that nature provides. And this can be done sustainably with all except overpopulation. As for the cure to this planetary disease, people are going to have to die in large numbers all over the world or we have to all realize that the community within which we live is global. We must all conceptualize that what we do at home ultimately affects the world as a whole. As the saying goes, "Think Globally, Act Locally."
As for our global need for fiber , it can be fulfilled with annual crops such as hemp and kenaf. Hemp alone can produce over 3 times more fiber than trees can on a single acre. And hemp can continue to produce this fiber year after year after year, instead of having to wait 30 or 40 years to harvest trees on that land again.
While we're on the topic of hemp, I might as well reflect some more of my knowledge of this plant's potential. Hemp not only produces this fiber for paper, clothes, rope, particleboard, insulation, canvas, etc.; it also has many other uses. For example, the Cannabis hemp plant seeds are a very useful source of lamp oil as well as lubricants for many purposes and is also a good source of essential amino acids. Grain alcohol made from hemp is the cleanest fuel available for combustion engines. Cellulose from hemp can even be used to make plastics. Imagine that: biodegradable plastics that are absolutely natural and non-toxic. Not to mention the pharmaceutical qualities that this plant of many uses, hemp is possibly the most useful plant our planet has ever seen. No wonder all the big corporations want to continue calling this plant known as the devil weed, when it is actually the plant that is going to end up saving our planet from destruction.
As for the multinational corporations that run the world and control every market from food to fuel to clothing, if everyone made their own products and food at home from their garden, we wouldn't need these corporations. They would then lose all the power that they have over us and over the health of our planet. I'm sick and tired of seeing these chain stores come in and build over fertile topsoil. As if we aren't losing our topsoil fast enough to erosion, they have to come in and pave it over making it absolutely useless forever more.
As I'm ranting and raving about big business, I may as well give my opinion of modern medicine. Western medicine has millions of people in the U.S. alone strung out on chemical drugs. Most of the time these drugs aren't necessary for the patient's health. And more times than not, herbal medications are much more beneficial and safer without the side effects. The pharmaceutical companies have got us by the balls. Most people don't know any better than to take something like Sudafed for a head cold when a tincture of feverfew would almost certainly cure their pain without the drowsiness. Echinacea is much more helpful in cases of an itchy throat than Chloroseptic ever wished to be. So, why have all these herbal remedies been tucked away since WWI? Because the multinationals wouldn't make any money if everyone made their own medicines.
Moving right along into the depths of commercial agrobusiness, totalitarian agriculture has turned the once prized art of growing food into an industry of genetically engineered, chemically tainted food products that can be thrown into the cart at Safeway. Most people don't realize or don't even care where their food comes from. Well, I do and I know that most food in America that doesn't come from a lab is highly pumped up with chemical fertilizers and, in the case of meat, hormones and antibiotics. Crops are frequently dusted with pesticides and herbicides to ensure that nothing else grows in their beautiful monocropped acres of corn or whatever the case may be. This is why I grow, eat, and support organic products. I am an organic mini-farmer and I plan to some day grow all of my food, fiber, medicine, and fuel. I will no longer support those that are bringing our planet to the brink of destruction. I will live simply so that others may simply live.

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