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In 1971, five high school students in San Rafael, California, used the term in connection with a plan to search for an abandoned cannabis crop, based on a treasure map made by the grower (sounds like a movie waiting to happen). The group called themselves The Waldos, met after school at 4:20 PM, and were later popularised by High Times magazine. Now 420, 4/20 or 4:20 (pronounced four-twenty) is used as a general slang or codeword for smoking cannabis, and also represents April 20, an annual occasion for cannabis activities, including pro-legalization marches where it is still illegal.
Nobody likes hurricanes or floods, fires or droughts. We offer up prayers to those affected, whether traumatised or killed. Sadly, prayers are completely useless in the face of nature. Nature doesn’t care about gods. It’s chemistry, biology and physics. Nature is what we constructed our god myths around. You could say that nature is our gods. So, are our gods angry?
What is climate change and what does global warming have to do with it?
If the climate is a god, we’ve made it angry by adding heat. Hotter oceans have more energy, so release more water vapour into the air. Hotter air holds more water. Hotter air melts ice caps, leading to higher ocean levels and more devastating storm surges. The melted ice cap water heats up and so the water cycle on steroids continues. This is very basic science, something that most 10 year-olds can grasp. But many older men in positions of power are unwilling or unable to grasp this inescapable, scientific truth. This is bad.
Because we want you to enjoy a fabulous online shopping experience in our sustainable lifestyle and hemp marketplace, we now offer FREE SHIPPING on most products. It may take a little longer for your order to arrive – that’s because we use surface shipping to minimise environmental impact.
Free shipping is one way for us to work with suppliers all over the world to bring high quality, sustainable products to you. Reasonably-priced products from Readathriller can’t compete with the big ecommerce brands that own fleets of airplanes, or have cosy relationships with global express delivery brands. And that’s what makes us different. Our main aim is not to maximise profit by squeezing out all competitors, but to save this planet.
This is a new kind of capitalism
Readathriller.com represents a new model of capitalism, one that puts buyers, suppliers and planet on an equal footing, recognising that we need to share the results of human ingenuity and the bounty of this planet fairly, while looking after the planet herself. Planet Earth is the capital that we all share. That’s a fundamentally different way of looking at our economy. Try it.
Why the Readathriller sustainable hemp marketplace?
We know that you’ll love our eco-friendly products:
We source hemp products wherever possible.
We supply products that replace single-use plastics.
We supply products that help you to reduce your impact on the environment.
We supply print-on-demand products (e.g. t-shirts) that are printed only when ordered; no wasteful stock created, to be dumped if not sold.
We work with our suppliers to minimise plastic packaging.
We use surface shipping, part of bulk deliveries where possible, to minimise the environmental impact of transporting our products to you. Delivery may take a little longer, thank you for your patience and commitment.
This is the world’s only marketplace that’s designed to stop climate change. This is where every product you buy means a hemp plant planted and CO2 removed from the atmosphere.
As we fund the planting of hemp crops, in Ireland and around the world, we will bring new hemp products to market – right here! Sign up to Thrill me!, our email newsletter, and you’ll be among the first to know!
Get shopping today, save the world and spread the word!
Frequently-asked questions on hemp, climate change, CBD, THC, cannabis
There’s a lot of confusion around hemp, cannabis, the uses of these plants, and their impact on climate change. So we’ve put this handy FAQ together for you. If there’s a question that you’d like us to add to this resource, please email us at email@example.com.
What is hemp?
Hemp is a plant that has been cultivated by humans for about 10,000 years for its useful fibre (think paper, fabric, rope, sails); and also for its oils, which can be used for food and as moisturisers; and for its CBD, which is undergoing multiple clinical trials on its medical potential; and for its conversion to fuel by fermentation (think ethanol). You can also make hemp beer by fermentation, it’s up to you. Hemp can be used to make plastic. In 1941, Henry Ford unveiled a car made almost entirely of hemp, which ran on hemp fuel. Hemp can claim to be the most versatile and useful plant in the world.
Can hemp help stop climate change?
Yes. The key problem in climate change is the carbon dioxide (CO2) that we emit into the atmosphere by burning oil, gas and gasoline. There lots more contributors, including methane emitted by livestock, but CO2 is the single biggest problem. Hemp, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. The CO2 is combined with water (H2O) inside the plant, to form carbohydrates. Oxygen (O2) is left over, so the hemp releases new oxygen into the air. One acre of hemp can absorb 10 tons of CO2 from the air.
Is hemp the most effective plant at absorbing CO2 from the air?
Yes. Hemp grows fast, with two crops a year possible in hot climates. It has a dense fibre and wide, lush leaves. We’ve calculated that planting hemp on just 5% of the world’s agricultural land will absorb enough CO2 to prevent us going over the 2C degree tipping point into environmental catastrophe.
What other environmental benefits does hemp have?
Hemp needs less water to grow, 50% less water than cotton for example. Hemp needs less pesticides. Hemp renews the soil in which it grows, making it the perfect rotation crop.
Is hemp the same as cannabis?
Hemp and cannabis/marijuana are, taxonomically speaking, the same plant; they are different names for the same genus (Cannabis) and species. But, in terms of utility, the plants are entirely different. Hemp typically contains less than 0.3% THC. Cannabis, whether used for medical or recreational purposes, contains THC in the 5 – 20% range. Hemp containing higher levels of THC was bred into cannabis by humans, starting thousands of years ago, to create the different varieties we see today.
What is THC?
THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis (marijuana, weed, grass) that gives feelings of elation and euphoria, the ‘high’. THC also has medical benefits, used in treating multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and the side effects of chemotherapy. Clinical research into the medical benefits of cannabis continues around the world.
What is CBD?
CBD – cannabidiol – is a chemical found in hemp, and also in cannabis, that may have multiple benefits. In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for the treatment of two epilepsy disorders. Clinical testing of CBD continues around the world.
Where is cannabis legal for medical use?
So many countries and states recognise the potential that cannabis has to alleviate pain and suffering. At time of writing (October 2019), cannabis is legal for medical use in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Kingdom,and Uruguay. It is also legal in 33 US States, led by Colorado, and DC. (Source: Wikipedia.)
Where is cannabis legal for recreational use?
Things are changing fast, with the number of countries legalising recreational cannabis use accelerating. It is currently (October 2019) cool in Canada, Georgia, South Africa, and Uruguay, plus eleven states and the District of Columbia in the United States and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. (Source: Wikipedia.) Possession in small amounts has been decriminalised in many other countries, including Ireland for a first offence.
Where does possession of cannabis still carry severe penalties?
Some countries still mandate the death penalty for possession of even personal amounts of cannabis. Cannabis can get you the chop – literally! – in Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Singapore doesn’t even need evidence of drug possession to jail a foreigner. The wealthy island nation appears to be the world’s only anti-drug system that gives drug tests to visiting foreign nationals in the arrival airport, and then arrests anyone who fails. Seems a bit harsh, a bit 1984, as hemp/cannabis is just a natural plant. And isn’t nature everything?
It’s a story about how the common people of the world come together to fix the mess made by crooked, oil-sodden dictators, soulless corporations that plunder the planet to benefit only shareholders, and politicians that can’t see beyond the next election. The very existence of the human species, and all the other life that shares our planet, is at stake. So this story is a thriller. The clock is ticking. Can you hear it?
You want an existential crisis? Well, guess what? You’re living it, along with every other person in the world! No wonder so many people are starting to lose it. So many people need your help, and now.
We don’t mind what medium you use or what your skill level is. What’s important is that you care enough about saving the world from climate change, giving every living creature a chance.
Get in touch on our contact form with your ideas, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have attachments.
Calling all storytellers
So, do you:
Want to be a sustainability storyteller in any medium?
Want to write a post for this site? Any topic welcome, including sustainable lifestyle, environmental politics, hemp, cannabis, popular culture, fiction.
Want to create photos and/or graphics?
Want to make short and feature-length films?
Want to create music, sounds or smells?
Want to do graphic design for print (magazine coming soon!)?
Want to create powerful promotional and advertising assets? Think growth-hacking.
Want to create memorable and shareable social content?
Want to do something else that will make a measurable difference?
Gary J Byrnes, Contributing Editor for this site, is ready to help make your work awesomer, so don’t hold back.
We’re building a completely new kind of hemp and sustainable lifestyle marketplace, one which sells the products you want and need, delivers great value for money, and actively stops climate change. We will benefit the planet both by displacing products that are harmful to our air, land and water, and by planting hemp for every purchase, so that the marketplace itself powers the plant engines that absorb CO2 from the air, stopping climate change.
We need to know what matters to you, and what you’d be interested in buying online in the Readathriller marketplace. It only takes a minute, and you can sign up for our awesome-sauce, free email newsletter at the same time!
Photosynthesis is pretty incredible when you think about it. Using the power of sunshine, plants absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the air, then combine it with water to create the carbohydrates – glucose – that they use to grow, emitting an exhaust gas in the process. Thankfully, that exhaust gas is oxygen. Because of plants, we exist. All our food is powered by plants and photosynthesis, and the oxygen that we need to survive is generated by plants. Oxygen rules, and your body is 65% oxygen!
Plant for life!
There is a growing awareness that plants hold the key to solving the climate crisis. Why risk tampering with the atmosphere (will we ever learn?) or waiting for some new technology to be invented, when plants and trees are already working hard to pull the planet back from the brink. Trees are a great strategy, so let’s plant billions of them, everywhere possible. They take a few years to get going, though, and time is of the essence. That’s where hemp comes in. One acre of hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, pumping out the same amount of oxygen. Hemp grows real fast, with two crops a year easily achievable in hot climates. Our plan is to enable the planting of hemp all over the world, funded by the sale of sustainable and hemp products from our online marketplace.
The hemp plant multiplier effect
So hemp absorbs carbon dioxide and pumps out oxygen, but this story gets even better. As hemp has so many industrial uses, it can also displace the oil and oil-based plastics that are causing so much damage. Hemp fuel – biodiesel and ethanol – can power vehicles instead of petrol, and hemp concrete – hempcrete – can displace cement as a building material. Cement production is a major source of CO2 emissions. And hemp plastic is, well, plastic that is completely biodegradable: it’s made from a plant, not from poisonous Saudi or Russian oil.
Readathriller.com will work with you and partners all over the world, harnessing the power of hemp to save the planet, and here are three things you can easily do to help plants stop climate change:
1 – Remember Johnny Appleseed? When you eat an apple, try to bury the core in soil somewhere. When you eat cherries, stick the cherry stones into the ground, or start them off in a pot until established.
2 – In the autumn, gather seeds from any trees that you can, including chestnuts and acorns. Plant them in nature or stick them in pots until you can take them somewhere that will give them the opportunity to grow into the giant CO2-absorbing machines that they are destined to become.
3 – Share these tips on social and when in conversation. Encourage everybody to start actively planting trees. Put pressure on your government to embark on large-scale tree planting.
Wisdom from China
An old Chinese proverb says:
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today.
Plants stop climate change by making more oxygen. Here’s how we’re doing it…
The importance of the upcoming European Parliament elections from 23 – 26 May 2019 can’t be overstated. Brexit has turned everybody off the conversation about Europe, and caused years of policy paralysis. We should have been making things better for Europe’s citizens, but our unelected EU ‘leaders’ have shown poor leadership abilities, while the fascists have risen on Europe’s right flank. Time for action, and fast. Here are 5 quick wins for Europe, to make the EU relevant, inspiring and useful…
Let’s make the EU more democratic
The names Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk have never appeared on a ballot paper, yet they seem to be running the EU. Why? What is the point of the European Parliament? Why should we bother to vote in May? The EU needs to answer these questions, and urgently. And don’t say ‘The information is there if you look for it.’ It’s up to the EU to communicate to its citizens why it works as it does, how it’s changing to reflect the views of the populace, and what a more democratic European Union will look like.
Let’s build the European Union of Hemp
The United States is leading the way, with the recent legalisation of industrial hemp, added to many states’ embrace of the medicinal and recreational potential of hemp’s sister, cannabis. This is very positive and very welcome. Europe needs to look to America to appreciate the potential of hemp for reducing climate change, for displacing multiple harmful products, for medical treatments and for a safer alternative to alcohol. By legalizing hemp and cannabis at federal EU level, individual member states can develop policies under the protection of the EU.
Let’s make Europe lead the fight against climate change
Hemp is one powerful tool that Europe can deploy to stop climate change. Let’s go further with some big EU ideas. We must tackle livestock subsidies, and stop funding animal production of greenhouse gases. We must ensure that our fisheries become sustainable sources of protein for Europe. We should set a date for banning diesel cars in the EU, embrace and develop the next generation of electric/hydrogen vehicles. We need to ensure commercial aviation cuts its emissions, while expanding fast rail and other less harmful ways to travel within Europe. A rail tunnel from Ireland to France would be awesome. Why can’t we dream big and inspire the next generation?
Let’s ban monarchies, make Europe abide by the ideals of equality and liberty
One good thing about the UK’s departure from the EU is that the EU will then have one less monarchy. It’s pretty disgusting to realise that there will still be six: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. Europe needs to enforce liberal, republican ideals both at high level and at individual member state level. There is no place for monarchies in 21st century Europe. Let’s work to abolish all monarchies within the European Union.
Let’s tell the European story better
Let’s face it, Europe rocks! The European Union has prevented World War 3 by fostering cooperation and fraternity among nations and peoples. We have incredible art and culture, fabulous cities, incredible food and drink, and the jewel of the Mediterranean and all that it has inspired, from Greek democracy to the artists of Spain. We have skiing in the Alps and a surfer’s paradise on the west coast of Ireland. We have Airbus and BMW, Stripe and Mytaxi, GDPR and the Eurovision. The world’s happiest country – Finland – is part of the EU, so why can’t we learn from them and use their strategies across the European Union?
We can and should build a fabulous future for the people of Europe and the world. Europe has been a shining beacon – reflecting what is best about humanity – at many times in her past. We can and must aspire to again being that beacon. We must get past Brexit quickly, so we can again be proud of what we have achieved. And we should make it clear to everyone that the best is yet to come.
Interestingly, the 12-starred flag has never been officially adopted as the flag of the EU. Rather, it was kind of inherited from the EC. The flag also represents the quite separate Council of Europe, which has 47 member states including Russia and Turkey. Go figure.
You have 60 seconds to save the world. This online shopping survey means the world to us, literally. We think we’re on the right track with Readathriller.com, and we really need to hear your views and opinions.
When Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg decided that she couldn’t wait for the adults to take climate change for the existential threat that it is, and started a school strike to draw attention to the issue, did she imagine the scale of what would come? It was a truly impressive butterfly effect to see schools across Ireland close early so that 10,000 students of all ages could converge on the houses of parliament in Dublin, with dozens more protests across the country.
System change not climate change
In time with a deep drumbeat, the good-natured crowd marched in spring sunshine, from St Stephen’s Green, down Dawson St, and took over all of Molesworth St in front of the Dail, Ireland’s houses of parliament (yes, we kept the British colonial structure after independence in 1921). The placards were many, with some catchy slogans used again and again: There is no planet B. System change not climate change. Even this: F$ck climate change.
The students have called on the Irish Government to declare a climate emergency and have issued a list of six demands to lawmakers:
A transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and a pledge to leave all Irish fossil fuels in the ground.
A climate emergency declaration – including a national information campaign.
A socially fair transition to a carbon-neutral society, preventing need for regular citizens to carry the economic burden.
2018 was short on good news stories, but President Trump gave the world something to celebrate late in December, when he signed the 2018 US Farm Bill into law. One part of the Farm Bill decriminalised industrial hemp, at federal level, meaning that US farmers can now grow the crop without a complex licensing process, or fear of federal intervention.
Reefer Madness and all that
The Marihuana (sic) Tax Act of 1937 effectively made possession or transfer of marihuana illegal throughout the United States under federal law through the imposition of an excise tax on all sales of hemp. This act was brought in to criminalise the use of recreational cannabis, following the infamous Reefer Madness religious propaganda film. Many believe that hemp was effectively criminalised under this act so as to protect the paper and plastics interests of American industrialists. Whatever the truth was, hemp is now legal to grow, without the need for licences or advance tax payment. The 1930s were truly odd.
Hemp for sustainable production that helps the environment
Hemp built America, and much of the modern world, so it’s great to see this plant again taking the lead in the search for sustainable materials that can keep us in the lifestyles to which we’ve become accustomed, but without destroying the planet. An acre of hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, while the processed plants can displace materials and foodstuffs derived from trees, oil and dairy cows. So hemp is the champion that can save the world. And it is truly awesome to see America again take the lead in mass cultivation of hemp.
The climate solution is hemp. Whatever the deniers may claim, the devastating fires in California are a result of climate change. Carbon dioxide is the biggest problem in climate change. We produce it by burning coal, petrol and gas in electricity production and transportation. Agriculture is another big source of CO2, as are deforestation and cement production. The CO2 that’s released by human activities helps to warm up the atmosphere. This is called the greenhouse effect, and CO2 and other contributing gases, such as methane, are called greenhouse gases, GHGs. A warmer atmosphere has more energy, which unsettles weather patterns and causes more severe weather events. Hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, ice storms are all caused by our GHG emissions.
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