GOOD

Not So Kind: Weed Growers Suck Down 1 Percent of All U.S. Electricity

All those grow lights, it turns out, inhale enough juice to power 2 million American homes.


Weed-loving treehuggers, you are on notice. The cultivation of your beloved endo, or marijuana grown indoors, consumes a whopping 1 percent of the entire nation's electricity. That's enough juice to power 2 million American homes. All those grow lights, it turns out, inhale some serious juice.

This is according to the work of Evan Mills, a longtime researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (who worked on this on his own time, he makes sure to note). Mills released his eye-popping independent study last week. As you can see below, he writes in the beautifully staid language of a scientist:


The emergent industry of indoor Cannabis production results in prodigious energy use, costs, and greenhouse-gas pollution. Large-scale industrialized and highly energy-intensive indoor cultivation of Cannabis is driven by criminalization, pursuit of security, and the desire for greater process control and yields...

In California, the top-producing state—and one of 17 states to allow cultivation for medical purposes—the practice is responsible for about 3% of all electricity use.

\n

As Colin Sullivan notes in Greenwire, the closest comparison for these massive, industrial-style grow facilities (most of which are based in California), are the massive, industrial-style data centers that keep our internet churning.

On top of his work at Lawrence Berkeley and his heady side-research, Mills is a member of the U.N's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's preeminent climate change research front. So it was obvious that he'd translate these electricity demands into their effect on the climate.

The yearly greenhouse-gas pollution (carbon dioxide, CO2) from the electricity plus associated transportation fuels equals that of 3 million cars.

\n

Wondering about that loose joint you scored at Coachella? Mills writes that "a single Cannabis cigarette represents 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours with average U.S. electricity."

Before you renounce weed entirely (as if you were about to) keep in mind that this massive carbon footprint is caused by the lights and fans and air filters of indoor cultivation. Outdoor weed plantations may have their own issues, but energy use isn't a big one. What's more, Mills does bring up the serious potential for energy efficiency upgrades, estimating that efficiency improvements of 75 percent are conceivable.

Photos from Roach4Mayor.blogspot.com

Articles
via Jim Browing / YouTube

Jim Browning is a YouTuber from the UK who has an amazing ability to catch scammers in the act.

In this video, he responds to a scam email claiming he bought a laptop by breaking into the scammer's computer. In the process he uncovers where the scammers work, their banking information, and even their personal identities.

"I got an 'invoice' email telling me that I had paid for a $3800 laptop," Browning writes on his YouTube page. "No links... just a phone number. It's a real shame that these scammers emailed me because I was able to find out exactly who they were and where the were."

Keep Reading
Business
HG B / YouTube

Danielle Reno of Missouri left her car running and it was stolen by thieves. But she wasn't going to let her car go so easily.

For 48 hours this owner of a pet rescue tracked the charges being made on her credit card. Ultimately, she found her car at a local Applebee's, and then went after the thieves.

Keep Reading
Communities
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
Politics