Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Jeremy Bloom3
Kansas tries to drop a house on Sustainability
You know how it goes… when sustainability is outlawed, only outlaws will be sustainable.
You’d think that Kansas, of all states, would be the one that would look at climate change and say “OMG! Bigger, stronger, more destructive storms?!? Epic droughts that will blister our corn in the fields?!? What can we do to prevent this?”
But then, Kansas keeps building trailer parks, too. And outlawing evolution. And… well, banning sustainability.
The latest lunacy: House Bill No. 2366, which criminalize the use of “public funds to promote or implement sustainable development.”
And just in case you’re thinking, “Oh, they don’t know what that means, they’re afraid it’s a UN conspiracy to send in black helicopters and take away our guns and put grandma in front of death panels, here’s how the measure defines “Sustainability”:
“development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.”
Well, okay then.
Bloomberg (the publication that brought us the simple and direct, “It’s Climate Change, Stupid!” headline after Hurricane Sandy) caught an interview with Dennis Hedke, who they describe as “the geophysicist who does contract work for oil and gas companies and is chairman of the [House] committee that wants to ban sustainability in Kansas.”
So what’s the scoop? Why ban sustainability? Writer Tom Randall lays it out:
Hedke said in a phone interview that he brought the bill to the committee on behalf of a group of “maybe a dozen” people who approached him about it. “The idea of sustainable development and its association with a range of activities is something that needs to be scrutinized in the public domain,” he said. Hedke declined to comment on what sorts of activities he was referring to and wouldn’t disclose who was involved in the group that brought him the bill.
And of course, there’s a fine line between “scrutinizing it in the public domain” and “Dropping a house on it, stealing its ruby slippers, and then melting its green sister, for good measure.” But that’s what they’re looking at: totally throwing cold water on any kind of sustainable development (at least with public money).
Bloomberg’s Randall adds that Hedke said this wouldn’t affect wind power development – you’d think Kansas would by stampeding toward wind power, right? – because Kansas already doesn’t support wind power development with public money. Because, you know, Socialism!
For the record, Randall looked into what that sort of dastardly evils the Sustainability Monster could bring to the good, simple folk of Kansas, and this is what he found:
Kansas has the wind-energy potential of 3,102 terawatt hours a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s about 80 percent of the annual electricity consumption of the entire United States. If Kansas developed just a tiny fraction of that — 7,158 megawatts — by 2030, it would provide economic benefits of about $7.8 billion for the state, according to the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab. And it would do so without contributing to the global warming that’s frying the state’s wheat and corn and pushing America’s breadbasket north.
Well, we can’t have that, can we?