How to save the planet – Top 5 things you can do in 2020

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The world is sliding to hell in a handbasket and it can often seem overwhelming. Well, fear not. The time to start taking action to save the planet is now. Learn to take the spectre of imminent catastrophe in your stride by making a decisive difference. Arm yourself with these actions and be the hero…

1. Be aware of your carbon footprint, cut your emissions, save the planet

What is your carbon footprint? It is a measure of the amount of CO2 you help generate, mostly through your everyday choices. The average for industrialised countries is 11 tons of CO2 per person per year. The world average is 4 tons. The target for all of us? 2 tons. If you want to accurately measure your carbon footprint, this calculator from the WWF is a good start. If you fund the planting of just one acre of hemp with Readathriller, you pretty much offset your CO2 for a year, so watch out for our CO2 offset packages, coming soon. Meanwhile, use our CO2 offset calculator tools and buy some hemp seeds and away you go into an instantly more sustainable future.

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What is climate change?

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Are the gods angry with us?

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.

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Oxygen rocks! Biological machinery to stop climate change already exists. It’s called plants.

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Plants are awesome – they make oxygen

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!

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Hemp leaves. Hemp is probably the most effective plant at absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to stop climate change.

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…

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Learn more

Start your journey of plant discovery on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant


Image credits

Header image – Leaf – By Jon Sullivan – PdPhoto, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18858

Hemp leaves – Lode Van de Velde [Public domain]


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EU factory farm subsidies cause animal cruelty and climate catastrophe

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Ireland exported a staggering 160,000 live male calves to Europe in 2018

The Guardian reports on the secret filming of unweaned male calves (cows) being treated with cruelty and disdain as they were transported from Ireland to the Netherlands for slaughter as veal. The mistreatment of animals in Europe’s factory farming model, and the horrendous practises of the dairy industry are truths that we prefer to ignore as we drink our cow’s lactation (designed for calves, not humans!) and chomp down on a burger that’s probably made from the flesh of a dozen animals, not all of them cows. The whole system is actually horrendous, when you think about.

EU factory farm subsidies – the horror!

41% of the EU’s โ‚ฌ137 billion annual budget (2017) is given to farmers as handouts. So Europe funds the cruel live animal trade, while propping up the dairy sector that produces all those unwanted male calves, in a subsidy system that favours industrial-scale farming. Besides the justified ethical concern that we as Europeans are subsidising cruelty in factory farms across the EU, we are also helping industrial farming be a major contributor to climate change, greenhouse gases and plastic waste. Ireland’s agriculture sector contributes over a third of the country’s GHG emissions, and there is no hope of EU reduction targets being met in 2020. Or even 2030. Our track record is abysmal.

Top 3 ways the EU can fix agriculture, improve animal welfare and cut GHG emissions

  1. Short of banning live exports, which would be ideal, there should be a distance limit, say 200km. Livestock producers should be encouraged (maybe with those infamous subsidies?) to slaughter animals locally, adding value to the local economy, then exporting finished meat products. Or, better still, sell the meat locally also.
  2. Consider the impact that Europe’s huge herds of cows, pigs and sheep have on our greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture should be carbon-neutral and if that means shifting our tastes away from animal meat, so be it.
  3. Live animal exports to countries outside the EU should be banned completely and immediately. If EU-based companies treat animals with such cruelty as we have witnessed, what chance of welfare do animals have in places like Saudi Arabia, where even humans are treated with contempt? No chance.

Top 3 ways you can help end live export cruelty and agriculture’s impact on climate change

  1. When buying meat, always try to identify its source. If it came from another country – let alone another continent – refuse to buy it. Old-school butcher shops often rear and process their animals nearby, treating them better than any factory farm, and you can taste the difference.
  2. Lobby your MEP, especially with the upcoming elections front of mind. See if you can turn even one MEP against live exports (email a link to this article!). That could make a real difference.
  3. Meat-free alternatives are actually fab. There’s a lot of product development going into animal-free ‘meat’ that tastes as good as the real thing, with less saturated fat, growth hormones, antibiotics etc. Also, do you still drink cow’s milk? If so, you need to stop immediately. It’s just too weird. Hemp milk is awesome and there are some absolutely gorgeous oat and coconut/almond milks available widely. Take your breakfast cereal to the next level!

Learn more about EU agriculture, live export cruelty and GHG emissions from livestock…

Read the full report on the Guardian here.

Read more about the EU budget here.

Read more about Ireland’s GHG emissions from agriculture on the Irish Times here.

Cow photo, creative commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_somatotropin

Hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 per acre, hemp is the climate solution

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Don’t listen to climate change deniers

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 thatโ€™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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