Nobel Laureate Al Gore's favorite money making myth suddenly has some competition for the wackiest reason the planet has warmed in recent years.
As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis reported Tuesday, a University of California, Berkeley, scientist believes that the indoor growing of marijuana is responsible - at least partially, of course:
A new study by Evan Mills of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that indoor Cannabis production has a very large carbon footprint. If you’re too far gone to read the study, man, then, like, just look at the picture:
These smokey findings were first reported Monday by E&E News (subscription required):
Indoor marijuana cultivation consumes enough electricity to power 2 million average-sized U.S. homes, which corresponds to about 1 percent of national power consumption, according to a study by a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Researcher Evan Mills’ study notes that cannabis production has largely shifted indoors, especially in California, where medical marijuana growers use high-intensity lights usually reserved for operating rooms that are 500 times more powerful that a standard reading lamp.
The resulting price tag is about $5 billion in annual electricity costs, said Mills, who conducted and published the research independently from the Berkeley lab. The resulting contribution to greenhouse gas emissions equals about 3 million cars on the road, he said.
Narrowing the implications even further reveals some staggering numbers. Mills said a single marijuana cigarette represents 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours.
“The added electricity use [to an average home] is equivalent to running about 30 refrigerators,” Mills wrote. “Processed cannabis results in 3,000 times its weight in CO2 emissions. For off-grid production, it requires 70 gallons of diesel fuel to produce one indoor cannabis plant, or 140 gallons with smaller, less-efficient gasoline generators.”
This raises a bigger question: As it seems likely that most pot smokers believe the global warming myth, will they put down their bongs to save the planet?
At least former President Bill Clinton's conscience is clear on this one.
He didn't inhale, you know.