Marijuana Growing Consumes 1% of Nation's Energy

More

There's nothing green about growing the green stuff in your house--that's the upshot of a surprising, even mind-boggling (but lamely titled) new study on the carbon footprint of marijuana-growing operations by a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Evan Mills, who conducted the study in his spare time, and even so may get a stern talking to from his supervisors tomorrow, found that indoor growing operations use lighting as intense as hospital operating rooms, ventilation more powerful than that in a biotech laboratory, and power intensity equal to a data center. In other words, pot farmers are huge energy hogs who are obviously destroying the planet. How much energy?

The analysis performed in this study finds that indoor Cannabis production results in energy expenditures of $5 billion each year, with electricity use equivalent to that of 2 million average U.S. homes. This corresponds to 1% of national electricity consumption or 2% of that in households. The yearly greenhouse-gas pollution (carbon dioxide, CO) from the electricity plus associated transportation fuels equals that of 3 million cars. Energy costs constitute a quarter of wholesale value.

Wow. That's a lot of energy. Kind of makes Cheech and Chong look like the Koch Brothers, doesn't it? Maybe they should stop growing that stuff. Or, you know, grow it outdoors.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

Just In