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Kansas City Star: Lots of cash behind coal plant clash



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Lots of cash behind coal plant clash

The energy industry, utilities and environmental groups are locked in a high-stakes battle in the Kansas Legislature to win the minds (and votes) of legislators. Theories of global warming clash with debates over coal as a clean fuel. Questions of fairness and economic development are lobbed back and forth.

And amid all the rhetoric, the effort to swing votes has turned into the most expensive lobbying fight in state history. Annual lobbying expenditures have topped $1 million for the first time. More than half of the $1.17 million in lobbying expenses reported to the state in 2007 came from energy companies and utilities.

The article continues with comments on legislator’s beliefs in the science of global climate change:

Science in dispute

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/30


The magic bullet



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There isn’t one. …

There is no “magic bullet.” 

We have an inflated view of the power of technology to solve our problems. Especially in our art and thought, fantastic futures are only a few years away.

Consider the movie (and book) 2001 a Space Odyssey. (Your author went back to see it fourteen times in his youth, and didn’t realize that Clark had died within hours of the posting of the original version of this story.) (more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/29


The Winter of Al Gore’s Discontent



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Glenn McCoy writes a political comic, primarily devoted it would seem to making fun of Democrats. The March 10th entry in the Kansas City Star featured the title “The Winter of Al Gore’s Discontent.” (The link is to an online copy, not a KC Star site.)

“Global Warming is here!” A fat disheveled Al Gore holds a sign in blustering snow, a snow peaked news stand displays “Record low temps,” “Arctic Ice Thickens,” “Snow in Saudi Arabia,” as a penguin observes questioning. Apparently this attitude is common, just a randomly searched web site complains “Global Warming Update: Winter 2008 Coldest in Seven Years,” and pokes fun at “liberals.”

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/26


Kansas in Global Warming Crosshairs in Future



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Kansas in the CrosshairsIf you think Kansas summers are brutal now, look at what our grandchildren & great-grandchildren will face in the summer of 2090!

Craig Volland of the Kansas Sierra Club has written a pointed article on the potential effects of global warming on Kansas farmers if we continue “business as usual”: Kansas in Global Warming Crosshairs in Future. (Note this link is to an Acrobat .PDF file.)  Get Adobe Acrobat  Click the graphic to the right to see larger color image of the graph in the newsletter, and also a list of reference articles.

This article refers to a paper from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, called The Heat is On Climate Change & Heatwaves in the MIdwest. (Note this link also to Acobat .PDF file.)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/23


New changes at KansasWarming.org



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We’ve made a number of changes.

The “about” page has contact information.

Printing of articles now works without all the clutter. It’s not perfect, but you won’t get all the links. To print, just print the page, no special links to follow–try it! Better to kill a few trees if it will save an entire power plant or two from being built.

Navigation around the site works better now. 

We have a steady stream of articles in the works, about one every day or two.

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/22


Use wind, not coal — Harris News Service



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This article may have appeared in several newspapers around the state.

‘Use wind, not coal’
Protesters to coal-fired power plants overwhelmingly push for renewable energy.
By Sarah Kessinger - Harris News Service

“It’s bad economic development policy to be building new coal plants,” said Perney, a city commissioner. “Electric power from wind farms puts more money into communities where they’re located. We need a band of wind towers from Elkhart to St. Francis.”

He and counterparts Tuesday also voiced their objections to a bill that was written and passed to enable two new coal-fired power plants for a Kansas utility and two others from Colorado and Texas.

“If we go with coal now, we’re never going to make a transfer to a renewable source,” said Megan Hughes, a stay-at-home mom from Parsons.

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/21


Clean Energy Day, in Hutchison News



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The trip that many of us made to the Capitol made the Hutchison News.

Diverse mix of Hutch residents attend rally

Like most of the passengers on the bus, Branscom was hoping that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would veto the energy bill, House Substitute for Senate Bill 327, which passed the House and Senate last week.”I’m a very concerned citizen,” Branscom said.

While completely opposed to the two proposed coal-fired plants in Holcomb, he also was hoping to convey a message to legislators that there needed to be provisions for Bill 327 to include wind energy.

Your author and many more from across the state made this trip–indeed a learning experience.

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/20


Who do you trust on global climate change?



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by Harry Gregory

Board Member, Kansas Citizens For Science (www.kcfs.org)

3/9/08

Whenever the findings of scientific research conflict with strongly held beliefs or threaten economic interests, there is, predictably, push-back from groups and individuals who are affected. Because most people don’t have the necessary scientific background to judge scientific claims on their merits, they trust people they consider to be their authorities.

However, in some cases, these authorities are not as scientifically informed as they might be. In light of some public confusion as to which authorities have “the real scoop,” It is advisable for anyone making decisions of a scientific nature to follow the consensus of the worldwide scientific community.

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/19


Play with the devil



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“Sometimes to dance with the angels you have to play with the devil a little bit.”

According to Sarra Kessinger in the Salina Journal (2/29/2008), about coal-fired power plant legislation:

Yet a majority staunchly supports the measure’s intent to upend a state regulator’s denial of a permit for the power plants because of their expected carbon dioxide output.

“I think you’ve got to have consistency in regulation,” said Rep. Deena Horst, R-Salina. “We have no (CO2) standard, so how can you choose one and say, ‘I’m imposing this standard’?” (more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/18


Carbon “deficit” spending



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Legislators understand deficit spending. At least they should.

“Deficit” is the amount of change in the debt. That is sometimes obscured–the nation’s “deficit spending” has been reduced. That is only a reduction in the rate at which the national debt is rising.

Carbon dioxide emissions are like a debt to the stored fossil repository that exists within the earth. We extract coal, natural gas, oil, and we “spend” them on producing energy for the things we enjoy. But as they are burned they produce carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas which is causing global climate change that will eventually be very damaging to our lifestyles.

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/17


Make a decision



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Are we going to leave a world to our children, grandchildren, and their descendants with a drastically altered climate–one that literally if not figuratively “uproots” the essence of our way of life? (Indeed, Kansans may be facing a very different landscape, one of draught followed by land eroding torrents that do not stay long enough to properly nourish crops, and temperatures that suit a very different kind of plant life.)

If you are a legislator in the State of Kansas, you must make a decision. Will you work toward a lowering of carbon dioxide emissions–or will you not? The question is not whether you want to limit the growth in CO2 emissions, the question is whether you will work to reduce emissions. Scientists tell us we need to reduce by as much as 80% (4 out of every 5 units of CO2 emissions eliminated). Limiting the growth of CO2 will have almost negligible effect on climate change, as it continues the buildup of CO2 each year.

(more…)

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/16


News articles



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Kansas City Star: Greener living: Take small steps to big energy savings in your home

Parade Magazine: As the cost of fuel rises, battles rage over Wind Power

Topeka Capitol Journal: Power Plant Expansion — One to watch

Salina Journal: House, Senate still have no decision on coal

Time: Global Warming’s Next Victim: Wheat

eredux.com: Statistics on Kansas Energy Consumption
epa.gov: Statistics on Energy

Kansas Warming
http://www.kansaswarming.org/archives/12

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