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In order to calibrate conditions to reap multiple harvests a year, growers have to bake the plants in light while cranking the air conditioning to ensure rooms stay at a finely balanced temperature. la gastronomie A dehumidifier is used to prevent mold, carbon dioxide is pumped in to bolster growth and fans mimic the presence of a breeze. Irrigation systems are often hoses plugged into the plants, leading to tubs of water.

High intensity lights. Air conditioning. Dehumidifier. Irrigation systems. All of which is stunningly energy intensive. electricity synonyms The engineer in me balked at the air conditioning in particular, given that it is in the same environment as the highly inefficient lighting. That’s a LOT of heat to draw away, and that requires an exorbitant amount of energy. So there’s an exorbitant amount of thermal energy pumped into the system through the lights, and it takes even more exorbitant amounts of energy to suck all that thermal energy out to keep the temperature just right.

Finally, back to my original investigation; the consumption of marijuana. As it turns out, a single marijuana cigarette produces as much CO2 as one of those horrible, anti-ecosystem, CO2 burping, evil, immoral, inefficient 100W death bulbs burning for the better part of an entire day. So not only does marijuana have to contend with horrible inefficiencies on the production end of things, it also must do so on the consumption end of things.

If the average joint has 0.32 grams of marijuana in it then each kg of marijuana plant results in 31 joints, or the equivalent of keeping those horrible 100W bulbs lit for roughly 527 hours – roughly 3 weeks straight. And we previously read that a “couple of pounds” of marijuana (not exactly 1 kg, but close enough for a sense of scale) is equivalent to driving across America seven times. electricity generation by source Therefore, between producing and consuming our proverbial kg of marijuana you could just as well have driven across America seven times and left the energy-sucking inefficient lights on for three weeks straight.

You can almost imagine the stoners trying, desperately, to find some silver lining in all this eco-disastrous news. A couple of the articles alluded to the idea that these systems are ridiculously inefficient because marijuana has been illegal for so long. Now that it is being systematically legalized, well, pot farmers can do proper research into improving efficiencies.

First, even pot producers working for the criminal underworld have enough common sense about economics to understand that saving money on their production costs will result in higher profit margins. Criminals may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they aren’t that stupid. gas efficient cars 2012 Which means you can be virtually certain that most of the potential energy-reducing measures have already been tried. In fact, one article said exactly that; they tried swapping out the ridiculously inefficient lights for high-efficiency lights, but the “quality” of the product suffered dramatically.

In fact, while reading the articles it becomes abundantly clear that extensive research has been undertaken with respect growing the “best” marijuana. A specific light for one phase of its growth. A different sort of light for the next phase of its growth. Exactly how humid does the air need to be? They’ve tested that. Exactly how hot does it need to be? They’ve tested that too. All these questions and many more have been carefully and extensively tested over the years, to the point where pot producers know exactly how to answer all of these question. Does anyone seriously think, in all those years of development, that no one bothered to ask, “gee, maybe we could get the same results while saving money if we use these other light bulbs?” That borders on the ludicrous and the only people likely to believe that are those who have consumed a fair amount of the product.

Second, many of these processes are just inherently inefficient. gas and electric nyc Simply having these sorts of physical process at work (air conditioning, dehumidifiers, etc) will, invariably, mean that a whole lot of energy is being sucked up. There’s just no way around that. End of statement. The only possible way to improve the efficiency of such systems would be to find some kind of process that violated the laws of physics. z gastroenterol journal In short, once someone invents a perpetual motion machine then maybe, just maybe, the pot industry will be able to scale back their horrendous energy demands.

If so, then we can safely conclude that the pot industry is destroying the planet. After all, the pot industry is significantly increasing the energy demands across the world, and the majority of that energy is produced through the burning of fossil fuels (in various forms). If the pot industry were to vanish tomorrow (which would be spectacular for an entirely different set of reasons) then the energy demand would drop by 1 – 2% overnight. In fact, that doesn’t even take into account support activities not directly related to the pot industry, like the transportation of supplies and finished products, lights and heat in marijuana storefronts, the ambulances driving stoned teenagers from vehicular accidents to hospitals, and so forth.

Ah, but what if the pot industry were fueled entirely be renewable resources! Wouldn’t that relieve them of the moral guilt associated with destroying the planet? Hardly. gas engineer salary Renewable resources are a very limited set of resources, which means if they are being used in one place then they cannot be used somewhere else. If the pot industry were fueled entirely by wind turbines and solar panels then that would just mean that the energy produced by those sources would be directed to the pot industry and not to other energy consumers. Those other energy consumers, unfortunately, would have to resort to fossil fuels (until more turbines and panels can be installed).

The point is, at the end of the day there is a total amount of the energy that the human race wants to use for its activities, and the overwhelming majority of that energy is provided by fossil fuels for a long list of technical reasons that I won’t get into; reasons that will forever relegate most renewable energy sources to the status of second fiddle. As such, any activity that increases the overall energy demand – like the energy hogging process of producing pot for all the stoners out there – will necessarily increase the overall energy demands on the entire system, which means they will necessarily increase the total amount of energy demanded, which increases the amount of fossil fuels that get burned.

The only possible way around this would be if every pot producing facility has its very own wind turbines and solar panels and was completely off-grid. But, then, they could only produce pot on days that were sunny and / or windy. That might lead to shortages, especially in Canada in the winter. And I kind of suspect that stoners would strongly prefer consistency and predictability in their supply chain that fossil fuels can readily provide, instead of sacrificing such comforts in the name of protecting the planet.

As a final note, I don’t buy into the fact that the changes we are seeing to our climate are, on the whole, negative and destructive. electricity word search answers In fact, my research suggests there are far more upsides to these changes than downsides. However, if one does believe that and one also supports (or, worse; consumes!) marijuana, then that is a highly hypocritical position to take on the subject.