Like the rest of the nation — and the entire planet — the state of Kansas is suffering in our carbon-polluted climate. Most of Kansas is in moderate to severe drought. Southwestern Kansas has Dust Bowl conditions, crippling its wheat crop. On Gov. Sam Brownback’s request, the federal government declared a drought emergency for about half the state in May. Now Brownback is again asking the federal government to provide taxpayer money to help his state’s farmers in more of the state:
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare a drought disaster in an additional 25 counties. Brownback made his request Friday, his second to the USDA in seven weeks. The federal agency declared a disaster in 21 counties last month.
Unfortunately, Brownback is not taking action to reduce the fossil pollution that is turning Kansas into a dust bowl. Although Brownback said in 2007 that “we need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,” he has since embraced radical conspiracy theories about climate scientists. Brownback called Obama’s climate plan “one of the worst ideas to come along in a long time.”
As governor, Brownback’s primary action regarding his state’s energy future has been to make 11,000 square miles of Flint Hills tallgrass prairie off-limits to wind farms while promoting the Holcomb coal plant.
Brownback’s gubernatorial campaign was heavily supported by Kansas-based Koch Industries, the Kansas-based pollution conglomerate that directs right-wing global warming denial. Over his career, Brownback has received about $200,000 from the Koch brothers in campaign contributions. While the Kochs have contributed a tiny fraction of their wealth to protecting the Flint Hills prairie from windmills, that unique ecosystem, just like the state’s farmers, has no defense against the global warming pollution Koch Industries produces.
David Koch believes global warming pollution is good for farmers. “The Earth will be able to support enormously more people because a far greater land area will be available to produce food,” he said last year.
In 2009, ACORE released a plan explaining how Kansas could generate 200 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources.